Even then I loved a good list. The bike trip taught me a lot: about relationships, friendship, myself, love, lust, tuna, exhaustion, pain, hunger, fear. The list does go on for a long time. This list is a little more superficial than all of that, but still important life lessons. The post was cleverly titled “11 Things I’ve Learned” and it is dated June 25, 2011:
Here are a few essential things I have learned/discovered so far:
1) people do weird things in public bathrooms like plucking all of their eyebrows and dyeing their hair.
2) it doesn’t matter if you have a chest or junk in your trunk, so to speak, a six-year-old will still ask you if you are a boy, looking perplexed at your bald head.
3) bag balm (butt ointment) will become your best friend.
4) the boy on the trip will make fun of you for how much stuff you have brought along, but then he will use your pliers, tent repair tape, sunburn cream, leatherman, and stove.
5) you will become disturbingly comfortable with disturbing bugs.
6) you will he surprised when the day comes when your butt isn’t the partook your anatomy that hurts the most at the end of the day.
7) shaving your head will become the best decision you have ever made.
8) “clean” is all relative.
9) you can burn your sunburn.
10) your new favorite thing will be to walk into the campground shower fully clothed, shower, and walk out again without drying. You will do this more times than is proper–probably depriving a whole third world country of their drinking water for at least the next ten years.
11) your biking partner will not appreciate your rather wonderful rendition of Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz. He will not like it so much that he will slow down till he is fifty feet behind you–obviously a BIG indication of his bad taste.