I return to Buena Vista almost one year to the day from my first visit. It should have culminated from a year of a renewed friendship, but instead was a time of healing and a renewed sense of resolve as I solidified my solo journey. I’m still working on shoveling all of the hatred out of my heart.

I strip down and scald my skin in the natural hot springs, my eyes barely above the surface of the water. The Autumn air is just below fifty degrees. I see a reflection of my naked body, the lumps and fatty tissue that has made a permanent residence on my body as the years have gone by.

“Is that why she left?”

I down another beer, knowing that isn’t the reason.

The golden hour of light before sunset is upon me. I make the final turn on the lonely canyon road when the deer darts out of nowhere and collides with my vehicle.

“Did that truly just happen? Fuck…”

The deer shakes and trembles, then raises its head and looks at me, into me, then hobbles off into the forest. I feel more broken than ever. The damage to the car is minimal, but my soul is shattered. I look up into the night sky and watch a thousand stars pass over me.

“All I am seeing is death from above, the last waning light of a planet’s existence.”

I’ve lost my sense of adventure. I sleep constantly, but always feel tired.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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