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It's 4:30 AM I blink into the mirror, it's early, too early.  Shivering uncontrollably my nipples proturide through my thick hoodie, they are hard enough to cut glass.  It feels good to up when the rest of the world is sleeping. To have a purpose beyond being a drone and the daily grind of earning a few measly cents a day to buy a bit of freedom, a very little bit. Yes this is a good day.

I've worked hard but it hasn't come without a serious cost. I'm older now then I was the last time I felt free, my body is destroyed from a summer of extremely labor intensive work. My mind is filled with cobwebs from the monotony and as usual my meager saving is nowhere near where it should be by now, life is expensive out in these islands.  Still though, I've tucked away a small amount of freedom chips and I'll relish in every second of it but I'm not free yet, this journey is but a small necessary reprieve.

I've saved exactly enough to either buy a mail order bride and have a partner in mediocrity or buy a bike and live wild and free.  I hitched a ride to the ferry which will take me to a bus, a train and a cab and then back to my little bed in my new 8×10 cabin. Sunrise on the Salish was my first of many gifts today.  I spend ten minutes trying to make a broken coffee machine take my money, I laugh at myself and how hard we all work to earn money but even harder to give it way.

My tiny pack has half a bottle of water, a bag of peanuts and a spair pair, I travel light. The day will be spent making tight connections and chasing outlets to plug the little ambilical cord of my phone into so I can find all of the places I need to in a big unfamiliar city. I have less than 5 hours to get everything done, try and get some sleep and then back into travelers mode for the return trip.

If it looks like a picture is missing from this space you are right, I just haven't taken it yet.

None of this matters now, the sun is just peeking from behind Mt Baker, rays of golden light cast their fire like a straight rainbow, the universe is happy with me today. Staring out across the straights the ocean looks cold, inhospitable.  I'm working hard and completely unloading Sookie and buttoning her up. She will be wrapped up safe and secure as I have no plans of returning to these islands anytime soon. I'm taking a long break from winters, sailing and the sea all together. I need terra firma under my tired old dogs.

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
Then he bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light
And the night got deathly quiet
And his faced lost all expression
He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy.
You gotta learn to play it right.           ~The gambler