Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.
You'll have to click on this picture to completely appreciate it. In case you can't tell, it's a mug shot that was taken yesterday by the Quincy police department. I wasn't even trying to look shady, it must be the angle of the camera or something.
Yesterday I biked 96 miles from Havana to Quincy, IL. Being that Quincy is an actual "city", unlike most of the towns I've gone through, I was hoping for some hospitality from local churches. But the Catholic rectory was all but abandoned, and there was no one to be found at the other 4 churches. Then someone said to try the Salvation Army down the street. I introduced myself to the staff person, Brian, making it clear that I didn't want to take the spot of someone who needed it more than I. He welcomed me, saying he had plenty of open beds. But I had to get a background check, a transient card and a mug shot...hence the photo.
I met many new characters at the Salvation Army. My roommate was an 18 year-old kid named Charles. He was living with his 16 year-old girlfriend's family until her jealous sister accused him of sleeping with her cousin's friend. Charles warned me that he didn't sleep much because his mind went a mile a minute...and so did his mouth. He read me poems he had written about his lost love and showed me love letters he had received and showed. He also went through his whole sketch book with me. He says drawing hearts is his specialty...no Ligers though. Needless to say I didn't sleep much, especially with breakfast at 5:45am. As I was falling asleep I prayed part of the prayer of Camden for Charles, "Heal all that is broken in our lives".
Every guy I talked to was staying at the Salvation Army because they were drawn to Quincy by a woman and then something went wrong...divorce, she went to jail, she beat him up. So I decided I would stay clear of the women in Quincy.
Last night I also spent some time digging the Mississippi. I meditated on a bench as the sun set and took in the fact that the river is a physical connecter and divider of this country. It feels good to be on the west side of it now.
This morning I made my way through Hannibal, MO the hometown of Mark Twain. I was a bit dissappointed by it, as it's a major tourist trap.
I going to keep heading south on Rt. 19 and then head west along the Missouri River tommorrow. Keep the prayers coming...I can feel them.