I should have known better than to say “next stop …” as if I knew where my next stop would be, because it wasn’t ten minutes later and I stopped on the side of the road, climbed a hill, and took pictures of cows. That’s right, Cows! I live in farmland too, but damn it’s so different than the farmland I was driving through. Everything was so green and alive. That’s the right word. Alive. I sat on my first SRT rock in the middle of nowhere … the first of many as I was to find out. What can I say, I love rocks. My kids tease me that when the grandkids come over for a visit, they don’t play with the few toys I have, they play with my rocks … inside the house and out. Sitting on this solitary rock at the top of a hill overlooking acres and acres of pasture land was exactly what my soul needed. Deep breaths of fresh air, and then I let out a warrior cry … actually it came out more like a mournful wail, and that’s when I realized just how unhappy I am in my life. Tears slid down my cheeks, and a sudden breeze wrapped around me. I do so love that nature knows when I need a hug. I’m by myself for the next five days, so there is no need to put on a fake smile, or go through the motions of living because I’m with other people. I can and will cry when I want to. I can and will Feel anything and everything I want to. I can and will Do whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want. SRT is all about me and what I want, and there’s nothing wrong with that!! The little bits of self-talk on that rock became the compass for my trip. Discovery and exploration of my internal landscape along with the external landscape of a land I’ve never been before. Before driving away, I left my mark on the side of that highway, in the middle of nowhere, just in case some of that Montana wildlife comes sniffing around, they would know that TeaMarea was here.
Emotions always take a lot out of me, and when I started down the road again, I was ready to end the day. How much further was Malta? No road signs. No idea really where I was. I just knew it wasn’t much farther. I started to notice signs of civilization … ranches and acreages here and there, grid roads going to nowhere, more traffic. Around a bend in the road, houses with yards. Was this Malta? Again, no road sign, so I assumed it was perhaps a suburb and then Malta sort of just happened without warning. A stop sign at an intersection with another highway. Which way do I go? Left or right? Without thinking much more about the answer, I turned left and crossed Milk River or Creek?? I was like a little kid, trying to take in everything, probably driving slower than I should, and giggling right out loud. I chose well when I turned left. The Royals Inn was right there, and relaxed knowing I had arrived at my destination for the night.
The Inn is your typical highway motel. The ‘innkeeper’ your typical small town older gentleman, abit on the shy side but friendly enough. He gave the impression of being content with where he was in his life, and I’m afraid my exuberance may have been a bit much for his quiet nature. With a signature and the first charge to my credit card, the key to Room #2 was presented to me. Two. “Good number”, I said to the innkeeper, and he gave me a confused look, then smiled. I looked around the little office, and spotted a local newspaper. I don’t read newspapers, but I was nudged to take one anyway, and there began my journey in newspapers. With good intentions of flipping through, I also took a Montana tourist book, but then felt like I was stealing, so told the Innkeeper that I would leave it in my room after I was finished with it. He nodded and looked distracted because something was happening in his tv program in the other room.
When I opened the door to Room #2, I smiled. It looked exactly like the pictures did on Expedia. Small and cozy, with a worn armchair beside a high window that didn’t open. The bedspread was in tones of browns and oranges and reminded me of something that I couldn’t quite put my finger to. On the wall was not one, not two … but three artificial eucalyptus wreaths with tired and dusty fake flowers. The one above the bed was tilted just so, that it made me smile. Perfectly imperfect. The bathroom was small, and the door had to be closed in order to use the toilet. I figured out that sitting sideways works just fine. There was an unusual but familiar smell as well. Wish I could say it was pleasant, but then again, it wasn’t all that unpleasant either. I loved the feel of the room … comfy campy … a place to rest my head.
It felt so good to climb into bed. I don’t have satellite or cable tv at home, so with anticipation I clicked on the small flatscreen on the cupboard across from the foot of the bed. “We are sorry, but this signal has been interrupted. Please contact management for further assistance.” Or words to that effect. Too funny. I guess I wasn’t meant to watch TV tonight, so I curled up and fell asleep without effort.
I woke up refreshed, but with a bit of a headache. My phone said I had been asleep for 45 minutes. Fuck!! I hate when that happens. Catnaps at 9:00 p.m. suck. I went pee, climbed into bed, and let my mind flip through thoughts like a magazine. The bed felt strange. Was my head lower than my feet? Nah! Eventually, I drifted off again, and woke up at 2:00 or so. Another sideways pee, then back in bed for another go at sleep. My head is definitely lower than my feet!! Not by much, but enough to make me feel icky inside. There was much internal discussion before the decision was finally made to change positions and sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. A different perspective, and it made such a difference. I slept through to 6:00 a.m. My first SRT night under my belt. Note to Self … a small shift can have a huge impact.