Rest Stop in Lantana


“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.”  ~  Rollo May

“What sort of philosophers are we, who know absolutely nothing of the origin and destiny of cats?”  ~  Henry David Thoreau

The cat is fed and the man and the cat are also medicated. These are the first accomplishments of the day, a day that seemed drab at its inception. No problem there. As a depressive I am well used to that sort of thing; the murk, yes, the murk. There has been a lot of reminiscence going on in my thoughts this morning. Not sure why that is. Perhaps looking back for some explanation or other as to why this, the dark spell, continues. It’s a feedback loop really, and I know that. And it is chemicals. Bad chemicals. Imbalance. Is it really? Maybe it is just bad programming, or the simple fact of programming to begin with, stiff residue of culture in general, slathered on and detectable only by the glazed-over look of  .  .  .  now wait just a darned minute there dude. I suppose it is hardly proactive to get a running start on the day by using starting blocks of cynicism. I am most assuredly grateful that I caught myself in time. You may thank me, and I in turn will thank you. Starting blocks, back when I ran track in high school, were really a moot point. I was picture perfect going over hurdles, graceful, a natural, but I couldn’t run fast if my life depended on it. That’s what they told me. I’ve heard that countless times throughout my life as it progressed from there, not just about my running ability, but about my basic job skills as well. But on my bicycle? Few would have stood a chance. Wade and I were riding back from Key Largo to Islamorada one day. For some unfathomable reason I got the uncontrollable urge to sprint, so I did so. Wade’s bike was a custom made $3000 machine and mine was a $200 Schwinn. The simple joy of hearing the whirring and clicking sounds that high speed invokes from a bike overtook me and I went from fast to zoom. At our usual rest stop, at the convenience store at the north end of Tavernier, I pulled in and sat down on the pavement, leaning against the building, to wait for Wade. It was a long wait. When he showed up he took his usual place at my side, huffing admirably, and he turned and looked at me and said “I tried to catch up with you but I finally had to give up. Man you were hauling ass”. I rest my case. Endurance too. At the bar where I worked some of them big boys from the Volunteer Fire Department used to tease me about my age, which was 40. I’d just smirk and say “Let’s take a bike ride up to South Miami and back, in one day, and we’ll see who’s old”. No takers on that one. Actually that was a sweet ride. There were many small alligators to be seen along the 18 mile stretch, which had canals running parallel to the highway, formed of the empty space created when they dredged the muck up and out to create the raised bed for the road. It was the Everglades, don’tcha know. I even saw an otter one day!

Seems I am all over the space/time continuum this morning. There is a very good chance that this stems from the feeling of life in general, which has made me perceptually exhausted, and that perception is sunk down into my muscles and bones, and my mind is just going like ugh dude. Poor me, right? I’m thinking about going to get a professional haircut, today or tomorrow. That should make me look younger if nothing else. And I am not sure whether or not it is cool to be using the donated medical funds from the cat, but it will make me look much more employable. Don’t worry, I won’t tell them how slow I work. What would be the point of that? I probably sound bitter about the speed thing but it is one of the leftover things stuck in my craw from the animal shelter. One of staff actually let the purported speed thingy slip out into public. Again, what would be the point in that? Thoughtlessness I suppose. I’ll run with that theory. But not fast. Wink, wink.

Oh! There was one time when I just didn’t have adequate speed. I’d flown up to Orlando, from Miami, with my bike in the cargo bay. I knew the ride back home, about 320 miles by my reckoning, would be a joy. And it was. At one point, as I was passing through some town just south of West Palm Beach, I was waiting for a stoplight to turn green when a buff and beautiful young woman zoomed past me and right on through the red light. She passed much closer to me than was necessary. But a rider of that skill level had to do something like that on purpose. Why? I took it as a form of high speed flirtation and likely it was. I never saw that light turn green. Spontaneous something or other, hormones, beliefs, whatever, took me from standstill to high speed in just a few seconds. I saw her glance back over her shoulder several times, and each time I pumped it a little harder. Yeah, I was looking pretty buff myself, and maybe even beautiful. Who knows? So the chase was on. I had to adopt some of her rebel riding techniques; ignored stoplights, that sort of thing, all discourtesies to the automobile traffic which we left in the dust. This was an urban area. Traffic was tightly controlled, unless of course it was two crazed youngsters on bikes. We did not care about that. I kept pace, even gaining on her a few times; and she continued to periodically glance back. I was close enough that I could see her beaming smile, framed ‘just so’ by straight blond hair whipped back by self-created wind. What a tease! Then suddenly, after yet another tease of a glance, she hung a right, leaning hard and low into that turn, down a residential street, and she was gone, as if she had never been there at all. I looked at the bike computer, which I’d also had the good fortune of doing just as I launched forth from that red light. Eleven miles, and here I was in downtown Lantana, winded bigtime, ready for a rest stop, and wondering what the heck I would have done with her if I caught her. She simply out-rode me. Ma’am, I thee salute.

Almost sunrise time. I look forward to it. It’s a great show and it doesn’t ever move fast. I wonder where she is today.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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