Pre-ride jitters again
Three days in a city sometimes puts me into a weird funk by the third day. Introversion kicks in, and I feel deep down like I need to refuel with a big dose of seclusion and introspection.
My extroversion tank has gone to empty in Parral with all the attention and time spent online. Really, it’s not you; it’s me. I feel like I need to crawl inside my head and peace out for awhile.
At the same time, I feel so comfortable here. I have a bed, a shower, a private room, wonderful new friends, a place to eat, and everything else I need to feel secure. The thought of staying another day, two days, or three has crossed my mind. It’s the stayer and drifter mentalities duking it out in my head once again.
In the left corner, the evolutionary heavyweight champion of all time, Stayer, flexes his muscles. And in the right corner, the self-actualizing underdog, Drifter, looks to sweep the match with some kind of ideological justification for constantly being uncomfortable.
This battle between stability and adventure is tough today. It’s the same battle that emotionally wrecked me when I left Texas. Every day I get further away from something great, and for what? Something else great? A few pretty pictures and some lines on a map? Checkmarks on some bucket list?
I’m not completely adverse to people, and I don’t need to continue my ride today. These are just my thoughts this morning as I make ready to leave. I know these jitters go away as soon as I sit in the saddle.
That people today are more kind than ever isn’t helping. The señora on duty is kindly washing my clothes for only two dollars. The funny men next door feed me breakfast, and a fellow patron secretly pays my bill. After breakfast, the shoe shiner, Alex, walks me to the post office because the directions to get there are too complicated for his English or my Spanish. We stop for fresh juice on the way back as my token of appreciation for his genuine hospitality and companionship these days.
Alex is the familiar face I can always expect to see in the Plaza. Miguel and Mario and the others have made eating in their cafe something close to having a meal with family — something I dearly miss from my time in Texas. And they all offer this comfort every day as if such connections are commonplace here.
These wonderful, wonderful people don’t just treat me well. They treat everyone well, and I will leave Parral with their impression being my lasting memory of the city.