Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2005.05.30 : The Loose End

"At the end of all freedom is a court-sentence; that's why freedom is too heavy to bear, especially when you're down with a fever, or are distressed, or love nobody."
         - Albert Camus, The Fall

     Yesterday I woke up and it was all over and everyone was gone.

I had spent all of calendar 2005 to date either frantically planning, or actually executing, my next new great thing – hiking across the entire width of England. Months of reading, and planning, and buying gear, and scouring maps, and reading guidebooks, and online coordinating . . . were followed by Mark hitting town, then Darby hitting town, then the frantic tour guide routine, then packing, then getting to the train to St. Bees on the Irish Sea, then the great adventure, two weeks and 191.5 miles, fells and dales and moors and tarns and fields and rocks and sheep and rain, going too fast to really parse, too much of it to record, too intense to consider in real time . . . then back to London, another couple of days of hectic London devouring, Big Day Out with my mates, another couple of pubs and a restaurant . . . then Sunday morning came and it was all over and everyone was gone.

I am having very strange feelings. I am lonely. (Typically, after being on top of other people for weeks on end, I'd be dying for time alone. Am I changing?) I am at a loose end. I am – substantially, though not fatally – sad. I am listening to Death Cab for Cutie, each song by whom, and all of them in aggregate, seem to recapitulate my emotional state perfectly. I am calling my loved ones to stay grounded. My best friend went into detox, realising that the drinking had gotten the better of him. Good for him. I love him. I am cooking food, where I always find comfort. I lost nearly ten pounds on the trip (hiking up mountains with a 30lb pack for 6 hours a day will do that to you). I need to re-tool. I need something. I generally need something. I failed to call my grandfather for Memorial Day. I find I miss her.

  coast-to-coast walk     dargbles     food     melancholy     pitely  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

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ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 4 - Duty by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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