I was out for a good walk a few days ago, and I saw my next big hike in the distance, the cross at the top of Cerro San Cristobal, 409 metres high, which means nothing to me till I work it out in feet. The cross is a local landmark, and I use to to orient myself when I can find it in the fog. I need all the help I can get. I have some kind of brain problem that, among many other things, has left me with very little sense of direction. I have trouble distinguishing left from right, and in the dark, up from down. I live as a traveller, and this presents me with numerous problems as I go from place to place. Being colour blind and half blind on top of that makes my travels all the harder, though I think I have a number of good ways to compensate. Some disabilities I can do much about, and I travel anyway, in spite of what it means. It means that small mistakes might well be fatal. That's a price I am happy to pay for this life, though I suspect I am facing the cashier sooner than expected, if one can anticipate such things in a reckless life at all.
I'm going for a long walk soon, and I don't know how to go but by moving forward to a goal that I have no sense of. I understand there will be a rough neighbourhood between me and my goal, and I understand that well given that I stumbled into it recently and got out as quickly as I could. Lima has its poor and criminal class, and I fell into the centre of it without a blink between me and safety of a sort. But I know my way around the mind of the world to a fair extent, and I got in and out in one piece. Still, there is a ghost walking beside me now whose outline is becoming increasingly clearer as I see my life up-coming.
I came to Lima and to Peru to do some writing, to type many hundreds of pages of manuscript for my book, A Genealogy of Left Dhimmi Fascism. I am on schedule and a bit ahead, though I have come to see what I wrote as seriously flawed and in its current condition a failure. This is good in that I can save it now that I understand that I failed. To have gone so long without noticing this is what frightens me. How could I have missed the obvious for so long? This kind of failure in such a basic way undermines me. I have to fight myself to keep on smiling. I have many flaws that prevent me from being the man I would be. I have to struggle for the most basic things, like finding my way across town and seeing what it is I am supposed to see, like how to be alive in the world. I miss it mostly and must rely on experience and determined thinking. I seem to have been born in a deep hole and it is my life's experience to claw my way to hope of daylight. It will take me a lifetime to know as much as the average six year old. Mostly I am a deeply failed person in the world, and it is my hope to become at least aware of how to try to do some things rightly. I travel so I can see how things are done and how I might do those things as well. It's too late in life to apply much of it, but I will end with at least some knowledge others have taken for granted all their lives. I will, if I am lucky, know what others simply accept without having to think about it. That is my joy. I will be aware.
But I might not be aware enough to make it through this trip. I fear that my brain is not working as it should in basic ways. I'm forgetting things. Recently I lost my eyeglasses, which I cannot see without. I was lucky enough to be rescued by someone who found them for me. And too with losing my day pack. But yesterday I lost my passport.
It is a serious loss, and I am in deep trouble without my passport. I have to go to the embassy here and go through the process of replacing it. But the problem is far deeper than that. The problem is that I seem to be losing my mind.