A Short Preface

Hamlet had it wrong. To be, or not to be, is not the question.

What to do is the question

As I exit two repressed years of the Covid pandemic, I am thrilled to find myself not dead yet, in reasonably good health, with a surprising amount of money, and with an unknown but rapidly diminishing quantity of time before I do become dead. So I am going for a walk.

Walking, i.e., human bipedal locomotion, is nothing less than willfully falling forward, under control. Sauntering is falling forward, slowly. My aim is to saunter along some of the Camino de Santiago, going from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

This will be a journal of stuff that happens along the way.

MAY 7, 2022

Jet lag always thrashes me to within an inch of permanent incoherence. So this trip, I’ve decided to ’science the shit out of jet lag.’ Today I began using the TimeShifter app, following its program for defeating the time bomb we call jet lag. In a few days, I’ll report on results.

MAY 10

Newark airport. Waiting beside the carousel of baggage claim 5, and both the TimeShifter app, and my body, telling me to drink coffee, I saw a sad looking kiosk called World Bean. I approached the clerk, a very pretty young woman with smooth tawny-colored skin who was exhibiting quietly desperate boredom while simultaneously demonstrating poor posture on a stool.

“Is the coffee here decent?” I asked her.

She made direct eye contact with me but her blank expression did not change as she slowly shook her head side to side.

“Oh,” I said. ”Thank you for telling me.” I gave her a big grateful smile.

As I turned to walk away, she said, “There’s a Dunkin Donuts right over there.”

I turned and looked to where she pointed, beyond the end of the baggage carousels, and caught a glimpse of the Dunkin sign.

“Thank you!”

I stood beside baggage carousel 5 sipping decent coffee until my carryon bag came bumping along the conveyor.