maandag 31 oktober 2011

I pulled a forest gump, and all I got was the FBI and dehydration.

So, I made a blog. It's mainly about art, but I'm going to start off with a huge wall of text post, mostly irrelevant to art.
If you’re interested in the FBI or dehydration part, just keep reading…

A few things you need to know about me – I haven’t done any sports in the last 3 or so years – staircases make me tired. My physical condition is zero, assuming it doesn’t go into the negatives.  I have the physical endurance of a morbidly obese man. In fact it’s amazing I’m not obese.
Every now and then I do, and write some cheesy crap for myself, and usually lock it in the farthest corners of my hard drive. This time, though, I figured I’d use it as an opener for my blog-thing. After all, I am a human being, and as one, I want people to know about my achievement.

Every now and then I go out, without a plan, or anything but an MP3 and a handkerchief maybe – and I start running. You could say I run on emotions. I hate running, Usually I’ll run around randomly everywhere within my city Torhout. I do this at night because I do it partly to think - there is less traffic and people in the dead of the night.

That’s exactly what I did – until I was physically tired. However, just when I was about to return, I came to this point -- “the road” – where one way leads to the safety of my own city – literally the lighted centre-church is at one end, the other end of the road is basically infinitely long, and leads to god knows where. For some reason, I had to sit down on the pavement and start thinking. A lot of thoughts went through my mind - “I can’t do it, if I go down that road I’ll be gone for hours”, but I started to get curious if I could do it. What seemed 100% impossible became a challenge. I kept chickening out, though. It was one of those things “that would be cool” but “from a practical standpoint, no fucking way.”

In the end, I chickened out. I started walking back home to the familiar. 

But then! Dun dun dunnn. “Fuck it.” I turned around, and started running down the infinite road.
I’m not going to go to in-depth about everything that happened along the way, I could write a full length novel, probably, but explaining everything will probably take a long while of text either way. I hope you can find the time to sit through it. 

I ran to the next city, then I decided “fuck it” again, and I ran on, to the next city…and to the next. I ran until my feet fell asleep (literally) and soon after, my lower legs – I don’t even know how it’s medically possible, but I ran on. Entirely on mental determination. I ran into long stretches of nowhere, where it was pitch-black. I could almost hear the cars that passed on the highway at 100+km/h next to me go “what the fuck is this guy doing” since behind and in front of me was just road, for a long while. I was almost going to write in my blog post “I didn’t think about the way back”, but that’s a lie. In fact, I thought about it constantly – holy fuck, I still have to double this way back. But I didn’t take it into consideration. By this time I had an actual goal in mind (a location from my past) that I’m literally legally not allowed to specify (I know, that sounds cool, right?) and I was going to make it, or die. Mentally I was doing quite okay actually, I was pretty euphoric at times. 

The distance was a lot longer than I expected, let me tell you that. And I expected it to be looong.
After a while, I noticed I stopped sweating and got slightly dizzy. This was a problem. You see, I have a form of Hyperhidrosis, which basically translates directly to “Sweating a fuckton”. It means I have an insanely fast metabolism when it comes to liquids, and I have to drink several liters a day to upkeep it. After running this long, I had basically run through all my fluids and stopped sweating. For anyone who doesn’t knows about dehydration: this is bad news. Keep in mind, it’s the middle of the night, I didn’t have a penny (or  a wallet), or a phone, and I was about 3/10’s the way there. I brought a small bottle of tap water with me, but by now I had about one sip left, which I rationed. I forgot to take hydration into consideration completely, when I set off, which was a huge mistake.

I pulled through, though. I didn’t stop or go back, I continued. The entire time scanning for public bathrooms, or anywhere I could find a tap. After a while, I got back to a more rural area, at which point I got the idea to start scanning for garden taps. It took a while, but I found one at the front of a house, past their garden. Probably a bit shady, but at that point I was ready to rob a store for a coke. Let me tell you this, tap water has never tasted that good, to anyone, ever. It’s amazing how few taps there are around, and how 9/10 of them don’t work.

At this point I was nearing my goal. I started sweating again and stuff too, the water helped a lot. The last stretch of the first half was okay after the refill. Little did I know that was nothing compared to what was to come.
I made it. It seemed pretty unreal, the area I had in mind, in front of me, through sheer power of will. I had been gone for about, 3 to 4 hours already at this point. I did take a bit of a break then, at a bus-stop. My feet and especially hip joints were killing me. But I was euphoric. It was time to start going back, because was only at 5/10ths of the way. This is where shit started to go wrong.
A couple hundred meters into the way back – a fancy car pulls up next to me, sirens blazing.
2 undercover FBI (lack of a better definition) badasses. Both bald, bulletproof vests, likely armed (but I didn’t get too long a look) started asking me a boatload of questions. I answered swiftly and correctly, going “holy shit is this happening” inside my mind. I’ve never talked to such suspicious people in my life before. What I liked in particular -

“what are you doing”
“I’m jogging”
“At this time of the night.”
“Yeah, it’s calmer, less traffic, I prefer it”
“Where are you coming from?”
I blew his fucking mind.
There were more questions – name, address, stuff like that.

All in all, I don’t blame ‘em. After all, I am a 20 year old southern/eastern looking bloke, in a hoody and cap, running around in the dark of the night, stealing people’s tap water. Plus, remember I didn’t have any money, ID, phone, nothing. Nor do I know any phone numbers by heart. They let me go, though, wishing me a good trip back. I wouldn’t have minded if they arrested me. That would have been exciting. Also, it would have saved immense agony to come, but unfortunately they didn’t have grounds on which to arrest me. I wonder if I’ll hear from them.

I kept going, and soon I stopped sweating again. Too soon, in fact. I was back in the middle of nowhere, that stretches forever and ever. No tap water here. My mouth went dry, and I got pretty dizzy after a few more kilometers, skin dry as a bone, heart rate scarily elevated. I was still able to realize I was in a messy situation. I still had a looong way ahead of me. 

After another while, things started to get serious. At this point, you have to know, I wasn’t running anymore. That was impossible. Walking was hard, actually. I had to take breaks every now and then, stand still for a while. Having to stand changed into having to squat, which changed into having to squat with hands leaning, which changed into having to sit down entirely. I made sure I took my absolutely necessary breaks whenever there wasn’t a car passing, because I didn’t want anyone to help me. In my mind, I was yelling “ASK FOR HELP, LIFT”, but I had come this far – I wasn’t gonna give up. Having to sit down, changed into sitting down and automatically lying down as a result. 

Something is up, when a grown man is having to lie down on the side of a highway. Still, I took care to not do it in the sight of anyone passing. I know this sounds weird, almost unreal; it even does to me at this point (recovered now) but this is actually what happened, I ain’t bullshitting. Lieing down changed to literally collapsing, in the last 2 kilometres or so. I started collapsing more frequently.
Your mind does very weird things when you’re this dehydrated. It goes to weird places, like a bad trip. You suddenly feel how easy the road to death is, among many other things. Those empty soda and beer cans on the side of the road are looking real fucking tempting. Hell, the creek of shit-mud on the side of the road does at that point. I didn’t think it possible that standards would shift so dramatically when ”survival” is at hand. The last few stretches was probably among the hardest things I’ve ever done. I literally collapsed every 50 metres or so, every time taking longer to get back up. You know when you skip a night, or two, and you can’t keep your eyes open?  I had that, too. I was on the verge of fainting, and (irrationally, but my mind was all over the place) afraid I wasn’t gonna wake up.  No one noticed. 

I was in familiar territory: “almost there” and I started dreaming of my garage full of drinks at home.
I can’t tell you how I felt, when I entered my street, and saw the front of my home. I got nervous, actually. I opened the garage, ripped out a bottle of whatever, and collapsed right there in my garage with a bottle of soda on my face. I can’t express in words, how amazing that was, to drink something. It sounds so stupid, but damn, it was so true.

The symptoms don’t go away instantly, your mind needs time to recover from the headache, being dizzy, delusional and whatever  else– what I did next was hoard about 6 bottles of drink (whatever I could find) and bring it all up to my bedroom, to sit next to me while I slept. When I woke up, I realized how unnecessary that was but it did prove to me that, all of this actually happened.
It’s pretty crazy, because I know that if I had done this a year or 3 ago (with enough water, heh) it wouldn’t have been a big deal at all. Stuff is so relative.