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  • Journey of Fear: An Introduction
    Date: October 15, 2015
    WOW. That is one egotistical photograph. 24-years-old. Clean shaven, dapper hair, tight-fitting shirt. Edgy and bold. That's actually a black bed-spread behind me. I remember hanging it from the track lighting in my bedroom, and then using a singular bulb as my photographic light source – hence the delightfully misleading Read On...
  • Life in the RV4
    Date: October 15, 2015
    In the weeks before embarking on my Journey of Fear, it became apparent to me that everybody has a different definition for the term necessities of life. What will you eat? Where will you sleep? How will you earn money? Who will you talk to when you're lonely? What if Read On...
  • Destination Unknown
    Date: October 17, 2015
    When I began this journey, I deliberately chose not to plan out my route. After all, that's not what this trip is about. I didn't want to know which roads to take, where I could avoid traffic, how to skimp on gas, or any of the many other common road Read On...
  • A Healthy Alternative to Suicide
    Date: October 22, 2015
    I can pinpoint the specific moment in which I decided to embark on this trip. I was walking Chookie (the family dog) through the graveyard that lies next door to my parents' home in Pittsburgh. As I looked at the gravestones that night, I can remember experiencing a very powerful, Read On...
  • The Transformation [Technical Details]
    Date: October 22, 2015
    Televisions, microwaves, and internet. I think that we can all agree that getting away from luxuries such as these every now and then would do us nothing but good. There was one luxury, however, that I was not prepared to leave behind when I began really thinking about this trip Read On...
  • Why Am I Doing This Again?
    Date: October 23, 2015
    Photomatt28 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND Mindsets can change quickly. After a month or so of earning money and working on the RV4, I began to come up with little excuses as to why I couldn't leave Pittsburgh just yet. I didn't have enough gas money to make it to Read On...
  • Fear: Defined
    Date: October 25, 2015
    I feel it necessary to pause for a moment to explain my definitions for the words fear and love – partly because you'll be seeing them frequently in this blog and should understand what I actually mean by them, and partly because my original post for today is far more Read On...
  • Fire Protection
    Date: October 26, 2015
    For the past four years, I've dated an amazing girl, though I use the term "dated" loosely. We met in college, and ever since then we've had some strange force pulling us towards one another. For those four years, she's given me her all, throwing her own emotional safety to Read On...
  • Safe Refuge in Ohio
    Date: October 27, 2015
    I had only intended to spend a few hours with That Girl in Columbus – instead, I spent a few days. We spoke about things on a level of intimacy that was unprecedented for me. I was digging deep to express my innermost hopes, desires and fears (this was, after Read On...
  • The Wheels Start Turning
    Date: October 28, 2015
    I wished I could have stayed in Columbus, more than anything else in fact. But I knew that I was being called to the road, to begin what I had initially set out to accomplish. I had more to learn. I couldn't stop smiling for the first few hundred miles Read On...
  • Playing in the Hoosier Mud
    Date: October 29, 2015
    It wasn't long into my Journey of Fear before I began to get a taste for adventure. It also wasn't long before I began to learn some of the deep lessons that I had set out on this trip to learn. The day began calm enough. I stopped at the Read On...
  • Seven Fears I Face
    Date: October 30, 2015
    You might be trying to figure out what exactly these fears are that I keep mentioning. Well, you're in good company. Because so am I. A large portion of this trip is dedicated to pinpointing what fears I have hidden beneath the surface. And from what I've found, you usually Read On...
  • Butts, Butts, Butts
    Date: November 1, 2015
    Oh whoops, typo.*Buts, Buts, Buts There we go. Well you're here already, might as well keep reading! (Welcome to Marketing 101 kids.) As time's gone on along my Journey, I've become aware of an interesting phenomenon within my own mind – a group of friends, if you will. I call Read On...
  • Metamorphosis
    Date: November 2, 2015
    Flash Forward to the Present Day I'm changing in some big ways. While the photos above – the first taken back in March 2nd, 2014, and the second just a few days ago – relate the physical changes that I've been going through over the last two years, they can Read On...
  • Happy Birthday!
    Date: November 7, 2015
    There's a kid out there who's hoping to do something that's infinitely more impressive than simply driving across the U.S. What he's attempting to do is to get on a plane, travel to some distant continent (I don't think he even cares which one) and simply go, learning about the Read On...
  • From the Darkness
    Date: November 12, 2015
    I fell into a dark period during my first year out of college – one that I can only characterize by the word terror. Dazed and Confuzed I think that many recent grads are a bit traumatized by the sudden jolt that being handed a diploma can induce. But for Read On...
  • The Consequence of Thought
    Date: November 13, 2015
    I feel the necessity to be honest about something – to open up about a secondary goal that I've had for this trip, and one that I've been keeping a secret. I realize now that, if I hope to truly relate to you everything that I've discovered along my Journey Read On...
  • The Consequence of Thought – Part Deux
    Date: November 14, 2015
    …continued I've experienced a profound increase in the amount of happiness in my life, due to my active decision to change the way that I think. But that's not the reason that I initially chose to do so – that was just a side-effect. No, my reason for changing my Read On...
  • Is it Coincidence
    Date: November 15, 2015
    Now that you know about the downward Cycle of Fear that I had to crawl out of whenever I moved back to Pittsburgh, as well as the Way I Believe Our Minds Work, I can explain to you the next stage of my trip. Hoosier Serendipity After spending a few Read On...
  • Anatomy of a Traveler
    Date: November 15, 2015
    "The only difference between a traveler and a homeless man is a destination." This is but one of many quotes that I took away from my stay at that Hoosier campsite, though most of them I can't repeat. The family that arrived in the van (we'll call them the Davidsons, Read On...
  • Seeing Beyond the Spoon
    Date: November 16, 2015
    While I was packing up to leave on my last morning in Hoosier National Forest, Mrs. Davidson approached me. She handed me a small collection of bright, multi-colored pieces of paper. It was a beautifully handwritten letter. In it, she provided words of encouragement for my journey that have meant Read On...
  • My Remaining Stay at Hoosier
    Date: November 17, 2015
    While I've already described to you the bulk of what I learned from my new friends the travelers, I went on to have a number of great experiences in the time that I was in Hoosier National Forest. This will serve as my disjointed diary of the most memorable events. Read On...
  • Balance Ablaze
    Date: November 18, 2015
    I'll admit, I was in a bit of a daze for the next 12 hours, as I drove further and further from Hoosier National Forest. I had taken in an overwhelming amount of information over the last three days, and was trying to condense it all down into one key Read On...
  • Loneliness Leads to Weakness
    Date: November 19, 2015
    I awoke to the sound of a truck backing a trailer up into the next campsite. Time to go. Even after the great experiences I'd had back in Hoosier National Forest, I wanted to try to spend some time alone, to see what I might learn from myself. I spoke Read On...
  • Word Magic – Thanksgiving
    Date: November 26, 2015
    Spoken words are nothing more than a collection of sound vibrations, interpreted by the brain into meaningful bits of information. And yet, when used correctly, they can hold certain powers over the human mind that border along the magical. Don't Believe Me? The next time you're in public, look for Read On...
  • Flash Forward…Home
    Date: November 29, 2015
    Just a brief skip forward to the present day: I'm back in Pittsburgh. 72 days after leaving my family's home, I walked through the front door at 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. I'm certain that my return on this holiday was by no mere coincidence, but that will be for Read On...
  • Tell Me More About “Reality”
    Date: December 4, 2015
    I haven't posted any blog articles recently – at least, not nearly as many as I'd hoped to after being home for this long – and I feel that you deserve an explanation. A Rough Readjustment Being home has been nothing shy of a struggle. In fact, it's forced me Read On...
  • Silence Isn’t Safe
    Date: December 16, 2015
    I woke up sometime around 7:00 a.m., after sleeping for about 10 hours. The air was cool in the Danville Conservation Area, and the world was covered in dew. My skylight was closed – I must've woken up and shut it sometime that night, once it started to get cold. Read On...
  • My Morning Affirmation
    Date: December 20, 2015
    After I finished meditating and got reacquainted with the world, I picked up my cushion and walked back to the RV4. Crawling inside, I started up the engine, turned the heater on, and then pulled open the rear storage compartment (the basement), where my AC inverter was mounted next to Read On...
  • The Perfect Moment
    Date: December 21, 2015
    After quietly eating breakfast and reflecting on my time at the Danville Conservation Area, I packed up the RV4, took down the window treatments, and cleaned up my campsite. Missouri had been nice, but it was time to go exploring. I wanted to continue my search – for whatever it Read On...
  • I’m Back!
    Date: February 9, 2016
    It's been a good while since I've last written. And I feel that you once again are owed an explanation for my absence. Don't worry, it's nothing negative this time. In fact, since I've returned to Pittsburgh, life has been consistently throwing me quite the opposite! Things have simply gotten Read On...
  • Sowing Negativity
    Date: February 16, 2016
    I was blessed to have experienced a moment of such unrivaled beauty and peace That Night by the side of Shawnee State Fishing Lake. My first night in Kansas was an incredible one. I had begun to see a glimpse of a new truth, that had previously been hidden from Read On...
  • Kansas is My Hell
    Date: February 19, 2016
    Truth be told, I "knew" what to expect from my time in Kansas, long before I'd even reached the place. Because who, in the history of mankind, has ever raved about their incredible experiences, driving across the state of Kansas? I've personally never heard anyone speaking about the wondrous views Read On...
  • The Missing, Kansas Lake
    Date: February 23, 2016
    I was facing a bit of an internal battle once I realized that the state fishing lake I had punched into my GPS was an hour off of the interstate and out of my way. A big part of me still wanted to get the hell out of Kansas as Read On...
  • Blood Moon, Strange Farmers
    Date: February 25, 2016
    After hearing the truck's engine revving somewhere behind me, I decided that I should probably turn around and remove myself from whomever's livestock pen this was. I was jostled around like a rag doll as the RV4 rolled over heaps of rocks, dried mud, and cow manure, but eventually I Read On...
  • Kansas, You Win
    Date: March 7, 2016
    "Everything alright?" I asked as I approached the pickup truck. My guard was up. The man who had pulled up next to where I was parked responded by asking me the same question. "Yeah," I replied. "I'm just taking a few pictures of the moon." "Oh. You probably shouldn't do Read On...
  • Kansas Farewell
    Date: March 22, 2016
    Again, I found myself roaring down those Kansas, country roads much faster than I should have been. What can I say, I'm a free spirit. I did take care to keep my eyes peeled for cattle guards this time. As I hauled it down one straight stretch of gravel, an Read On...
  • Now For My Next Trick: An Update
    Date: April 26, 2016
    It's been about a month since my last post. And, while I had promised you all that I wouldn't come up with any more excuses for absences like these, this time my excuse is just too damn good! Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a boat. On April 18th – my Read On...
  • A New Day
    Date: April 27, 2016
    I stood outside of the RV4 for a moment, soaking in the sunrise. It was 6:00 a.m. I had slept soundly that night, and my allergies were finally calming down from their fury the night before. Parked on the side of the path, I took a quick shower (when you Read On...
  • Disturbing Parallels
    Date: April 30, 2016
    I decided not to head directly into Denver, even though I-70 would have taken me straight to it. While I was interested in checking out the city, at that point I was far more excited in exploring the surrounding wilderness. And I was thrilled to have some alone time in Read On...
  • Peace of Darkness
    Date: May 1, 2016
    En route to San Isabel National Forest, I eventually again found myself on some dirt roads. And it felt damn good – it just felt right. Of course, it turned into one of the bumpiest rides of my life. I'm not sure if they were designed that way, or if Read On...
  • Resolutely Lax
    Date: May 3, 2016
    I opened my eyes. The air was cool. I peered up at the sunroof, through the roll of window-screen fabric that I'd laid overtop of it (to keep the pine needles and bugs out). It was light outside, though the sun hadn't yet risen up over the surrounding mountains. Crawling Read On...
  • Gut Feelings
    Date: May 25, 2016
    I was scaling the side of the mountain in leaps and bounds. And I mean that literally – like an excited puppy, I was pouncing from boulder to rock to tree trunk, swinging carelessly about as I went. My Resolution prior to embarking on the climb had, for some odd Read On...
  • A Conversation I Had With Myself
    Date: January 31, 2017
    For those of you who thought that living in a Toyota RAV4 for three months would be difficult, try living on a f#@&ing boat. I've been on board for about the past three months now. It's been eight or so since I last posted anything about my Journey of Fear. Read On...
  • 1.11.24.111
    Date: January 21, 2024
    I just glanced up at the top right corner of my screen – it’s January 11, 2024, 1:11 pm as I write this. That number always seems to crop up whenever I’m doing something seemingly important - 111. Call me crazy, but the last few years of my life have Read On...
  • My Current Life in 360º
    Date: January 22, 2024
    As it stands today, my home is a carcinogenic mass of trash and filth. So I figured that it’d be a wonderful idea to show it to you in 360º detail. Cause we’re at the end our rope, and brutal honesty is my catharsis. And, if I ever do get Read On...
  • Page 0
    Date: January 28, 2024
    Black & Birch (working title) By Benjamin D. D'Amico
  • Page 1
    Date: January 28, 2024
    The stillness of the moment would have taken a conscious soul aback, had any conscious soul been present to witness it. The curtains stood still, like fluted, stone columns bordering the open window. There were no crickets or cicadas outside, nor cars nor raccoons. This was the witching hour, and Read On...
  • Real Work
    Date: January 31, 2024
    I want to work. I want to fucking work. I want to work. I really want to work. I don’t want to drink alcohol, I don’t want to eat sugar, I don’t wanna waste my time on movies, games, or the internet. I want to work. I want my life Read On...
  • Page 2
    Date: February 5, 2024
    There was a pause. Whatever it was that lay hidden within the blackness of the hallway, was waiting for something – a sign, or a signal, or perhaps the perfect moment. The sound of an approaching car waxed and waned, slowly rolling past the open window, and then the brush Read On...
  • Page 3
    Date: February 6, 2024
    An eruption of nauseating noise gripped the quiet morning by the throat and shook it with wild rage. The beast’s eyes shot to the alarm clock on the nightstand, as it screeched in terrifying pulses, and then back at Benjamin’s sleeping – no, now painfully awake – face. Benjamin’s eyes Read On...
  • Page 4
    Date: February 7, 2024
    Benjamin caught and returned her glare as he sat up on the side of the bed. “I’m up.” He looked down at his hand as he rubbed it. A tidy row of little, dark gray spots lined both sides of it. He pulled up his shirt to observe his ribs. Read On...
  • Page 5
    Date: February 8, 2024
    Regaining his footing, Ben took the dangling towel from the fist. With a voice far manlier and more imposing than any that Ben could muster, the disembodied voice reiterated his own thoughts to him, “All ruined, you stupid! Now need go buy. Gah!” And with that, the fist again shot Read On...
  • Page 6
    Date: February 9, 2024
    He didn’t bother looking in the mirror. There’d be plenty of time to deal with that later. He simply brushed his teeth, picked up his shorts and t-shirt, and tightened the towel around his waist. Before opening the bathroom door, with his hand on the door knob, he inhaled deeply Read On...
  • Page 7
    Date: February 10, 2024
    He looked down at the spot where the door knob had struck the wall. Fortunately, the wall had already been dented in that very same place. In fact, sitting atop the dresser that stood next to it was a small tub of drywall spackle, a putty knife, and a small Read On...
  • Page 8
    Date: February 11, 2024
    All four closet doors flew open at once, to the sound of another shriek – this one of repulsion and terror. Benjamin covered himself with his hands, spun around, and crouched below the window sill. Down from the dark space of the closet ceiling, a giant, reddish-pink tentacle unfurled in Read On...
  • Page 9
    Date: February 12, 2024
    Proudly and deliberately, it placed the shirt – a pink button-down – folded nicely on top of the dresser. Now, it only had but to compile the rest of the outfit. It was completely oblivious to the ongoings across the room. Not even when Ben passed by to stand in Read On...
  • Page 10
    Date: February 24, 2024
    Quickly, without allowing further time for the beast to fight back, he pulled the jeans on and buttoned them. One tentacle was holding up an old pair of maroon dockers. No, these wouldn’t work, either. It grumbled, and in an act of concession, held up three different belts for Ben Read On...
  • Page 11
    Date: February 25, 2024
    Benjamin D’Amico didn’t want to start writing in his fancy notebook again. It had been months since his last foray into the depths of his soul, and some strange part of him suspected that the pages which had been written thus far were somehow perfect, and he didn’t want to Read On...
  • Page 12
    Date: February 26, 2024
    Ben looked down at the rear seat beneath him. The Thumper had vanished beneath his clenched fists. Quickly, he scurried back into his seat and pulled the lever to bring it to its upright position, and released the brake. A car a few rows back honked its horn. Ben sped Read On...
  • Page 13
    Date: April 18, 2024
    “Ben,” a woman’s voice from the neighboring room called out. He hurried forward, hastening his last few paces through the open doorway. Once through, he was met by three disheveled-looking individuals, all scurrying about the room. He glanced around at the three tables, each of which, he knew, did have Read On...
  • Page 14
    Date: April 19, 2024
    Benjamin set the heavy code book down onto the corner of the desk, and began typing in his password in the excavated keyboard that lay before him. "I need you to look at your Moritz measurements," said Maria from the other room, "We have an issue with one of the Read On...
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