Stress kills.

Sitting here before you today, I’m a few days out from a night’s sleep during which I woke up from a dead sleep sobbing not once, but three times. Stress is a funny thing, and something that’s extremely difficult to shake. The reasons for the rocky slumber are great in number, but I suspect the foundation for at least some of them were a Friday morning conversation with my tax lady regarding my finances, which sent me down a winding rabbit hole of visions of destitution, and agonizing loneliness.

In response, I made a declaration regarding the sale of any paintings I’ve made that previously I didn’t want to let go of. Like for example, the tribute I made for Buddy just after he died;

Some people have expressed interest in it, which I appreciate very much. Just the same, the thought of letting it go breaks my heart. I’m kinda between a rock and a hard place though, and have to just remember that at best, I have three or four decades left on this planet, and it’s likely that these paintings, as well as the other things I’ve assigned such value to are not only not going to go with me, but likely to wind up in the trash, so why not let them go now?

I suppose the emotional connection that I’m struggling to release is wholly related to a life that it would seem I no longer have. I desperately miss the consistency and security, and though I’ve tried with everything I have to embrace the uncertainty of tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on, the truth of the matter is that right now I’m scared, and unbelievably sad.

DeMonika told me shortly before my departure in June that I didn’t possess the ability to dream. To dream about a bigger life, or possible adventures beyond what I might be able to financially afford. I lived too small, she’d often tell me, and to a degree, I guess she was right but that’s not to say my life wasn’t one without dreams. Having grown up with two parents who loved each other very much, in a home that was consistent and safe, it occurred to me that the only dream that was a constant was having a partner who loved me and a safe place to live. I’m not a terribly complex person, and I’ve never needed much, but that’s something that has been foundational.

The closer I get to returning to the Bay Area, and possibly being confronted with a reality consisting of neither of those things, the more unglued I become. Ideally, I would just snap my fingers and never return, because to be perfectly honest, I just can’t face the sadness of the dissection and extraction of my existence from it.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, and at least right now, the thought of an unknown tomorrow is too hard.

Relating to selling visual fodder, I also have made an offer to make random little watercolor postcards like these for just $25.00 bucks a piece;

I have a Pay Pal address that looks like stevil(at)allhailtheblackmarket(dot)com, if anyone might like a piece of custom mail, the purchase of which would help fund a few more miles down the road.

So I guess all that’s left to do is throw up days 120 to whatever day today is;

Photo by Soulrun Laura.

Photo by Soulrun Laura.

Now, I suppose because this is a douchebag bike blog, (same diff), I should shine a momentary light on some technology of which it’s very possible I’m the last person to be aware;

This here is a rack that’s made by a company called Küat, and while I’ve long been familiar with the brand, I can’t believe it took me this long to find out that their hitch racks come with a F-ING INTEGRATED WORK STAND;

Did everyone know about this? I feel like I’m the guy who’s discussing all the cool things I saw at the bike trade show two months ago, when suddenly I come to find out that the one coolest thing that everyone saw was the one cool thing I didn’t see, and in fact dwarfs all the cool stuff I saw, thereby making all of what I saw totally uncool.

I mean, when I picked up my camper a few months ago, DPow! and I were trying to figure a way to mount a work stand arm onto a bracket that was bolted onto the side of it, and all kinds of other claptrap cockamamie ideas. Had I known such an explosion of inspiration existed, I would have traded in my existing rack in a New York minute.

Anyway, my Moab hosts (Joe and Laura from Soulrun, natch) have them and love them, and it seemed only right to include a plug for the company, as well as the best innovation in rack technology since the swing hitch.

Having said all of that, the adventures among the rocks continued;

And not as though you needed one, but here’s a quick reminder that human beings are trash;

Oh, would you like to take a petroglyph home with you?

Sure, that seems pretty reasonable.

Artifacts for everybody.

And here was a fun exchange I had over the weekend, when I happened to run into this fella, whose name is Efrem;

He is my screen printer, and besides slapping hands and catching up a bit, he said that he would happily give me terms so that I could place another order of the Respect Women shirts before my return so that I could beef up the inventory. So to any folks who’ve reached out asking for information, they’ll be back in stock sooner than I have been anticipating.

As always, thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

Anyway, moving on…

Having said all of that, and in conclusion, by the time today’s post is published, I’ll be on my way to somewhere else. Maybe southern Utah, or perhaps Arizona. One thing is certain, as long as the pressure’s chasing, there’s a better than good chance that I’ll continue to run.

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Leave a Reply

15 Responses to “Stress kills.”

  1. Selene October 15, 2019 at 8:16 am #

    Peace, friend.

  2. Momsue October 15, 2019 at 8:20 am #

    I have found, in my long life, that most often (not always, mind you) the dreading is worse than the doing.

    • Case October 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm #

      This is sage. It definitely hit me hard.

  3. DoubleDeed October 15, 2019 at 9:14 am #

    These words suddenly ring out after reading this post: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    And I’m absolutely sure your Bay Area team will welcome you back with open arms and provide you with the comfort and security you need.

    Dogspeed amigo.

    ~ Internet stalker

  4. Bianca October 15, 2019 at 9:34 am #

    your words reach so much further than you probably realize. sometimes when I’ve felt like I can’t keep my head above the water, one of your posts appears and I get to reading, and it makes a difference. I hope that you can keep your painting of Buddy. try to remember that we’re all flying around on a giant rock, just trying to do the best we can. and that’s ok.

  5. J October 15, 2019 at 9:54 am #

    from my perspective, you’ve always been the one who was “fully immersed” in life’s living and I’ve always admired that. I’ve often wished I could be as present and authentic as you are. I think dread is essential in countering entropy. Embrace it and use it to fuel action in the opposite direction from worries. You don’t need to “dream big” to have a big life. The photos from this journey tell a pretty wonderful story. you should be proud to be where you are- even if it doesn’t feel like the place you want to be. Everyone has good and bad qualities and finding a way to keep the two in balance is a constant struggle.

  6. JP October 15, 2019 at 11:18 am #

    May Stevil be happy. May Stevil be filled with ease. May Stevil let us know if that is one of those cool racks that swings out to the side so you can properly enjoy your tailgate.

    • Stevil October 15, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

      This one has the swing hitch, which I believe, (Joe can correct me if I’m wrong) is an aftermarket item one can buy and insert into a vehicle’s existing hitch receiver.

  7. Troy Boone October 15, 2019 at 2:22 pm #

    Hey Stevil,

    All I can say is, just try to be in the moment. It always appears darkest before the lights go out. What you are going thru is difficult, disorienting, and new ground. You will get thru it, just lean on your friends and the path will become clear. You may even come to find out, many of us… are going thru life chances as well.

    If you drive thru Santa Cruz on your return, please look me up and I’ll take you out for dinner and try to be a good listener. If you need a place to crash for the evening, my door is open as well. Heck, I will even take the day off and we can visit some old haunts. Just let me know, seriously.

    • Danny B. October 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm #


  8. Moose October 16, 2019 at 4:52 am #

    If you decide on So ‘Tah (Southern Utah) hit us up. That is where the Alliance is headquartered.

  9. Gripsgirl October 16, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    Well shit. Don’t get rid of Buddy painting. Here’s what u do…come back to Seattle (even tho it’s turning into a garbage dump)…come work at the airport (you’ll learn to hate people even more)….I’ll show u the ropes (it’ll be fun!)
    Chin up buttercup- I saw a crappy meme not long ago “ Sometimes it’s not just your heart, sometimes your brain breaks too” it kinda rings true but ur gonna be the strongest ever after awhile trust that!!
    Rock on mister Stevil

  10. Trina October 16, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

    One day at a time my friend. *hugz*

    Adventure cat!

  11. dolface October 21, 2019 at 9:10 am #

    For what it’s worth, I’m over here hearing you and rooting for you. You’re doing hard stuff in your head and your soul and I’m glad you’re giving yourself the time to do it.

  12. Jon Suzuki October 21, 2019 at 1:08 pm #

    You know you always have an open door here