We arrived in Denver, Colorado last night around 9. Called a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years and told him we were coming through. He offered his place and we obliged. Couldn’t have asked for more than the fish his roommates caught and cooked and a few pints of Belgium quadruple ale. The quadruple means a hell of a lot of malt he explained. It was sweet and we were thirsty. Sat around a fire pit in the back yard and reminisced about college in NY and what were we all doing now and finally fell asleep until late this morning. Met up for brunch and then climbed through the Red Rocks and walked through Boulder for a bit. Tonight is a roommate’s birthday party, and tomorrow Kate and I will head to Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. Kate is excited about the mountains and the hike, and I am itching to set up my little foldy stool and sell “American Woman” from the place where “America the Beautiful” was penned. It’s easy to let days go by and just take in everything this big place puts before us. The beer and the mountains and the food and the company is sweet sweet sweet, but I’m not going to make it if I don’t learn how to stay on some sort of schedule. It’s already the 10th day. Hard to believe. There are stories writing themselves in my skin from this trip, rivers running themselves through me and breaking dams I didn’t know were there, but I’m starting to realize the stories aren’t worth much if they don’t get written. There are all sorts of pay-the-bills jobs waiting for me in New York if I can’t figure out how to sustain myself on my words. It’s easy to forget about the grind of pen to paper, of making phone calls and following through with open venues when now is as inviting as it is. But now in New York will not be so kind. Meals won’t be so freely offered and my apartment in Harlem will not pay its own rent. So here’s to learning how to live. This is me raising my beer to following through now and cultivating good habits. There are mountains to be climbed and bills to be planned for.