The fleeting two months in Calgary were noting short of miracles, a derailed train ride through rocky mountains, marshy swamps, and eerie ravines… I thanked the high wind for blessing my, no, I should say our- Auss’ and my journey. After all, the two of us have become one. How could we not when we’ve gone through those homeless days sleeping under trees, sneaking into random people’s garages, recovering from multiple wipeouts and hospitalization, hitching a ride in a cop car, being chased down and assaulted by some crazy woman, partying like animals; most of all, our coexistence in the lone train cart, each partaking of an unusual partnership that demanded a tremendous amount of forgiveness and acceptance because Auss is no ordinary good-tempered man, neither is Yanise an ordinary docile woman.
I think it’s time to take a break and carry on my own journey before I have the capability of welcoming another passenger. The discovery of the imminent inline skate marathon in Minnesota that takes place in a few days was an apparent green light for me. I must leave. I booked a one-way ticket to Duluth, Minnesota, bringing along 80Ibs of belongings. I thought to myself if I liked Dulth, I will stay for the next two month.
I know my departure was a cruel insult to Auss’ deep injuries, like a sharp knife stabbing through his heart without mercy. He distanced himself from me the entire morning. I even pleaded persistently, “please, why can’t we cherish the last day in peace together?” But according to Auss’ temperament, the best way to minimize his pain was to guard himself with passive aggressive and silent defense mechanism. Eventually, I talked him into taking a small saunter with me as I held him tight and swamped his shoulder with tears. I gobbled down the last brunch I made for us and kissed him goodbye before I slithered into the taxi’s backseat.
The gentle custom officer (unlike the one in Vancouver who abused her power to take out on innocent travelers,) inquired, “when are you coming back to Canada?” I replied firmly, “I have no intention to come back any time soon.”
Reaching Duluth at 11pm, I had nowhere to go. I had somehow set my mind to remain here for another month but was certainly open to whatever spontaneity that will come forth. Yet, failing in finding an apartment on Craigslist and a host through couchsurfing made me realize that Duluth might not be my calling.After all the baggages had been claimed, the hubbub of chitchats dissolved into stark silence. The airport was quiet and deserted. I sat next to the baggage carousel debating to myself whether I should nap or stay alert. I was hoping the security wouldn’t mind my rude self-voluntary to sharing their workload guarding the airport. I thought the inevitable came when a security guard slowly zoomed in on me, “No place to sleep tonight?”
He might think I am a shameless loiterer if I told him I came to Duluth with absolutely no plans, so I lied, “hmm…No. Unfortunately, my host canceled on me. Looks like I have to crash here tonight.” I was so relieved and thankful that instead of disapproving, he suggested, “well, why don’t you go upstairs and push the sofas together to make yourself a bed. It’s way more comfortable upstairs.” So I did and spent a night alone against the blaring of the TV at Duluth airport.