February 23, 2021:
As a teen I rode my bike through here.
I remember the road, the frontage road. Right now it's on my right as I travel south on 101 near Lompoc. I remember the rows of tall trees which shaded us, riding north in dappled sun.
It was a difficult and poorly organized trip. I lacked a backpack because I couldn't afford one, so I carried clothes and supplies inside a pillow case bungied to the small rack behind my bicycle seat. We went the wrong direction, south to north, against prevailing coastal winds, so that progress was struggle before taking the train home. We should have done the other way, with the prevailing 15 mph winds to our backs pushing us along.
In one completely straightforward way that's a metaphor for later life. It's entirely like depression. A stupid obstacle, invisible yet constant. You can't see it but you feel it. Where forward progress costs struggle all day every day, and it's only much later — obstinate years later — you realize you could have addressed it with a different approach. Therapy, and medication.