Every morning on the trail, Emily, Brandon, and I would look at the thru-hiker’s companion to get a sense of what our day would like. Would there be any good overlooks? Roads? Towns? Famous landmarks? Of course most days never went as planned, but the companion usually gave us some valuable piece of information --- some place, person, or thing to look forward to. It gave us something to think about, something to desire, and sometimes, it was that little piece of information that gave us the motivation to continue.
One day, during an uneventful breakfast, Emily and I asked Brandon to give us the news of the day. “The only thing in the next 25 miles is a water spigot coming out the side of a building on a dirt road,” he said.
25 miles and all I thought about was that water spigot:
It’s amazing what your brain can do on so little information.
“Ms., if you don’t have your documents ready please step aside.” I have them right here. Safe and sound in a Ziploc bag. “Have a seat until your number is called.” Have a seat, okay. Omg, why do my knees still hurt so bad. I think I need to see a doctor. Why are so many people at the DMV on a Wednesday morning? “E0115! E0115, please step up!” Oh shit, that’s me. “You are aware that you need to take a written test?” Eh???? What are all these road signs???? Is this a trick? Omg, I am going to be so late to work. Just guess. “You passed. Picture over there. Plates to the office on the right. You need a Chicago sticker to park your car, which is in the building across the street. NEXT!!” Huh, okay. Follow the crowd.
Okay, 11:30am. How did I just spend $300. What else do I need to do? Open a new bank account. Get a credit card. Pay rent. Pay cell phone bill. Pay student loan. Clean my AT backpack that is currently quarantined in a garbage bag on my back porch. Enroll in firm health insurance plan so I can go to the doctor. Eat. Eat what I dunno. I need sugar. How do I have 50 new emails before noon? I hope Brandon and Emily are doing okay with the transition home. I need to call Grandma. And I’m at the office, put the smile on, here we go….
Ok. Ok. You can do this, Kate. You just thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. Seriously. One step at a time. Step one: figure out what a responsive pleading is and file it…..