There's a list of lessons he plans to touch on in the book. One major theme is vulnerability, he says.

"I thought it should come into contact with human struggles," he says.

He doesn't know where the book will take him, nor is he exactly sure where the trip will take him. His hopes, like his fears, regard the unknown.

"Like, I could die," he says, chuckling. "That sounds kind of funny. No, [but] I am afraid."

Back home, his brother will continue his job as a pharmacist. Should he indeed be away a full year, his sister will have completed her schooling to be a registered nurse.

"I think Cary is the kind of person that cannot just live a normal life and feel good about himself," his mother says. "There's a little void in Cary that I think has to be filled. He has to do something so outlandish and so outstanding, and then he'll be OK."

The bar is picking up its night crowd. His group will pour in soon for a going-away gathering featuring happy-hour prices.

"Being stationary is nice," he says. "But it makes me restless."

He's ready to get moving. He's ready to be sitting in the seat high above the crowds he hopes will emerge. He wants to look out at all the people watching him, to ride in the straight line that divides them.

"One Wheel,

Two Continents"

kickoff party

Today, 11a.m.-4p.m.

Dick's Last Resort, Power Plant, Inner Harbor

Information: 443-453-5961