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Eviction. I didn't have anywhere to go, any way to pay for it, but I had a week to get it done.
My books went on Craigslist, promising "to best offer" with requirement of "bring your own boxes." The same went for my video games and systems, my TV, my computer, my furniture, my car.
I found someone with a worn but hardy tent, a down sleeping bag, and a hiking back-pack, and he took my xbox as payment.
My notebooks of writing and all other other paperwork was shredded and trashed. Everything of import was digitized, on the internet or external hard drives, and those went into my bag, though I had no expectations of being able to access them again.
I perched myself carefully on my bicycle, and left my apartment more forlornly than I found it, and rode off down the bike path, pointed south.
Within the day, I was pedaling down paths I'd never visited, past cities and towns I'd never heard of. I passed business I would never patronize, houses I could never make into a home, people I'd never know and would never come to know me.
When dusk approached, I found an isolated strip of land, put up the tent, locked up my bike, and crashed into sleep.
I preferred riding in forests.
Light to see by, but not beating down on me. A reminder of days long since passed, when a man could get by on the strength of his back alone, and the land wasn't cut up, parceled out, and every scrap accounted for.
One morning, I found myself deep in an unknown wood, long since alone, and everything came crashing down on my shoulders:
I had nothing.
With quick, sure hands, I unlaced the backpack, letting my external baggage fall to the path. I tossed one end over a branch, tied off an ugly knot, and patted the seat of my bicycle.
We'd been through a lot together, and now...
I whispered words for the first time in days.
"Go on now. You're free. Thank you."
I tossed the cable and lock into the forest, unwound the harnesses and light-strings, and dropped them by the wayside, before climbing up the tree a few feet, and pulling my neck through the noose.
Then I set myself free too.
A body was found hanging in a local tree, this afternoon, and had clearly been there several days. Camping and bicycling gear was found at the foot of the tree, except for the bicycle, which was found mysteriously atop the branch holding up the rope. The rope itself was heavily worn by what appears to be the rear tire of the bicycle.
The circumstances surrounding this incident remain unknown.
Written 23 July 2013