From big to bigger


León, Mexico to Sante Fe district Mexico City, Mexico 

408 kilometers ridden. 

Even though she had quit, Montserrat had to go back to work to finish a project before they would pay her the wages she was owed. It made for a surreal half asleep parting when she came in to the guestroom to say goodbye. It was a sad parting as I knew I was not coming back in a few days, and that she likely would not be joining me for any part of my trip. For her, it was a return to thinking she would never see me again. 

I tried to sleep a bit more after she left but wasn't very successful in getting more than a few short dozes over the next two hours of lying in bed. I got up and checked my phone at near 10 o'clock and ended up video chatting with Cat a bit. I was testy with her, mostly I think due to excess emotions from my parting with Montserrat. The internet was spotty at best and we couldn't really talk about too much. I awoke and showered for the last time in the house in León before beginning to pack. 

Montserrat's parents invited me to take a break from packing and join them for a breakfast of grilled ham and cheese on both bread and tortillas. It was a pleasant but somber breakfast. It was clear that her parents were emotional about my departure as well. They even asked where I would be on Christmas in hopes that I could join them and the family, including Montserrat, at their home in Mexico City.

I prepared and loaded the bike in the courtyard before asking to take a photo with Montserrat's parents. We all took photos and I spent a few minutes booking my hotel for the night. I ended up booking the cheapest one in Sante Fe district that looked nice. I programmed the phone and headed out. 

I took toll roads again to save time and made my way into Queretaro where I was planning to go back and buy the wallet I had seen when out with Alex. I searched in my GPS to try and find a land mark I could navigate from but only managed to ride all over hell and back. I couldn’t even locate the aqueduct that would be a point of reference. After more than an hour I gave up and pointed the bike for Mexico City. 

The ride to the city was simple enough, if you discount it took me too long and I was forced to ride in crazy traffic after dark to get to my hotel. Lane splitting here was a scary affair with narrow streets and the need to enter and exit many different highway sections to and from surface streets to follow the directions.

It took a little doing to find the place I had booked and it turned out that the great deal hadn't included taxes so it was actually an 850 peso room for the night. Seeing the lower priced option on the board I asked what the difference was. It turns out the lower price was for the five hour stay. Once checked in and able to see the room it was clear I was in a high-end love hotel, likely used by rich men cheating on their wives. The room was huge and adorned for couples from head to toe. The giant walk in steam shower, king size bed set on a concrete pedestal, and porn on the TV confirmed my suspicions.

I made two trips to unload and secure the bike before retiring to the room. I even ended up ordering some really mediocre room service food just so I could stay in and try to decompress a bit on my own. My plans however were not supported by needs of my company to get some admin taken care of so Joe could cover my plowing clients, and Cat having a need to talk to me. The poor internet, and my computer being so crammed full of files slowing it down, made both tasks hard and I became short when Cat kept trying to reconnect the video messenger six consecutive times while I was attempting to correct the issues. 

I ended up staying up way to late and getting very little done in the process. Despite my best efforts and intentions, my planned night alone to decompress ended up being anything but relaxing or helpful in processing my emotions.

From Cat:

As Zack was once again preparing to leave Leon, there was a rush of emotions welling up inside me. I could tell he was having a hard time leaving Montserrat for a second time. Based on our conversations and interactions that day and the few prior, I knew there a lot emotion sitting underneath the surface for him.  This must have been difficult on the both of them and I was worried I might be making it worse by needing to talk with him so much.  I must admit though, selfishly, I was also feeling a little bit relieved. While I was slowly becoming more okay with the idea of Zack and Montserrat, I definitely was not at the point of comfort yet.

Over past couple weeks, I was noticing myself floating between being okay with everything and, at the drop of a hat, going back into those old habits of wondering if something that changed. And that fear of “what if” overwhelmed me at times. To reassure myself, I was needing to talk and check in with Zack much more often than usual. I was letting the fear control me and it ended up completely taking over the evening he left Leon. I was getting home from a derby event and we were trying to chat in the midst of him working on business stuff for his company as well as him trying to unwind from the long and emotional day. The internet was spotty as usual and our call had dropped. Instead of being patient and logical however, I tried calling him back multiple times in row. Looking back, I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been given everything else he was dealing with at the time. Once we finally connected, Zack was upset with me for how I had acted, and rightly so. We chatted for a little bit, but soon decided to call it an evening so he could get done what he needed to and  get some much needed sleep.


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