Living with another human day in and day out can be difficult. Nothing tests the limits of tolerance and friendship than traveling with someone. All waking hours of the day, every day of the week, we are together.. doing the same thing. There is no escaping by hanging out with other friends (we are each others only constant friend), or a job (our only job is to ride our bikes…together), or personal hobbies (our hobbies include cooking…together, surfing the Internet…together, and sleeping…
together near each other). Time spent with a spouse is, in my estimation, half of the time you would spend with a traveling companion. Only conjoined twins spend more time together I would venture to guess.
When times get rough, there is no one else there to take the blame for, or to take the brunt of, your negative energy. Here is a taste of the most insidious of my daily thoughts.
Does he ever shower?
I know he’s not going to take the last cookie, that’s rightfully my cookie… he just ate the last fucking cookie.
His farts smell like raw sewage.
If he say “ya,ya,ya” while I’m trying to finish my sentence one more time, I’m going to stab him with this pen.
He rides his bike too fast… how am I expected to enjoy this?
He rides his bike too slow… how am I expected to enjoy this?
If I have to hear this damn story one more time…
That is the worst Spanish accent I have ever heard…
How does he drink so loud?
…and so on.
Then one day you get blind sided by a freight train. Your traveling buddy approaches you timidly but with a resolute ferocity in his eyes.
Travelbud: “I think I need a little space man; maybe we can meet back up in a few weeks.”
Me: “Seriously dude? You’re breaking up with me? I thought we were having such a good time together.”
Travelbud: “It’s just, dude, you tell the same story every day, and I’m tired of hearing it; sometimes you’re really mean to people; you eat too much of the food; and we ride our bikes at such different speeds.”
Travelbud: “..and that’s not all…”
I’m flabbergasted and caught off-guard. I submit to my verbal lashing and come to peace with our separation. How could I have been so blind? I would have bet my life I was the perfect travel companion. Times like these are great moments for calm reflection; I could only laugh at myself.
Fast-forward two months; we are still together.
Since the break up talk, he has bandaged me up when I’ve fallen off my bike. We’ve partied way too hard together too many times and had mind altering experiences together in the jungle. We often fart in unison. He’s my right hand man, my solid, stoic brother. We’ve climbed countless mountains, been hit in the face by the same relentlessly fierce winds and rains, bathed in the same freezing waters, slept in the same hovels, schools, and closets. Our bodies and minds have experience the same paralytic exhaustion. We’ve been barraged by the same questions day in and day out. He’s the only one that truly understands the last 3 months of my life. I love him for all of these things.
He is still telling the same stories, he rarely lets me finish my sentences, and often he smells. “That’s okay” I comfort myself, “It’s highly likely I don’t smell that great either”, and we continue on.