Either the weight will get lighter, or my legs will grow stronger; it's the only way for things to be. Setting the load down is not an option. I've carried it this far, feeling it slowly accumulate mass with each new quarter of the map, with each new stage in the journey.
I've dragged friends and family and foes alike on this trip, and I've no out but up and over and through. It is my quest, my calling, my meal ticket.
It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was still moldering in that suburban coffee shop dreaming about the days that I am now living, afraid to admit that they might never come. It seems even more immediate that I stood on a rooftop amid the singular, alien, darkness of a blacked-out Manhattan, convinced that I had chosen all the wrong things, that my ambition was folly and that any weight I might take up would be only the weight of disappointment.
The load is heavy, but precious, and like a merchant on the silk road I weary not only under the weight but under the apprehensions of miscreants and ambitious comrades who would take it from me were they to see me footing falter.
And still, I keep walking.
Every day, China is closer.