In it, she graciously included this daily affirmation: You were a great addition to the group, positive, insightful and a good writer. I am hoping you return. Perhaps you should fish out those nine chapters you abandoned.
At 2:30, I drove over to Joe's, transferred my bike to his Tribute, and he drove us out to do the modified Modified Jordan Lake training route.
It turned out that not only had we done this route as a training ride for the AIDS Ride in June of 2003, but it was also part of the route we rode for the 55-mile Pedal for Pediatrics we did in October of 2003.
It's been a long time since I've done a 25-mile ride, and all kinds of thoughts and memories went through my mind while riding, some having to do with the ride, some with this ride, others with riding in general, and yet others with life. They included:
- What a beautiful day to be riding.
- Nature is interesting. It's been close to three years since I've ridden these roads, and things don't look discernibly different. The trees and the vegetation are still lavishly green, and just keep doing their thing, I suppose.
- That dilapidated building, there, it had a pit stop set up in front of during the Pediatrics ride; it doesn't look any worse for the wear.
- My left leg has a cramp in it.
- What a difference 3 years, and about 30 pounds, makes.
- Seeing Joe way up the road ahead of me, No, I'm not going to use the fact that he's 10 years younger than I am to justify why I'm this far behind him.
- Why won't that fucking gear change?
- That truck was going way over the speed limit, and pulling a boat no less.
- Lots of cars and trucks pulling boats and jet skis on this road today.
- This inseam is cutting into my left nut. Lift and separate.
- Goddamnit, change [gears] you bitch.
- Where is Route 124? Have we missed a turn?
- Two old ladies rocking on their porch answering our question: "Is there a Pea-something Road coming up soon? Pea Lake Road, Pea Dam Road?" Yes, it's Pea Ridge Road, and it's just ahead. You pass the railroad tracks, and it'll be the next right. Then Joe, as we passed away from them, "Thanks. It's close then?" And them, fading, Yes, real close. And, finally, me yelling, "Easy for you to say as you sit and rock."
- What were those categories in my Training Rides Journal again? I couldn't recall them, exactly: The Training Route, What I Learned, What Hurt, and How I Feel. My mind wandered back to those days after first committing to do the ride, contacting potential supporters, their great response, and the chronicling of my progress, which kept them all so engaged in my experience.
- God, I'm tired. Or is that just endorphins?
- I haven't been this weary from riding since those long, training ride days.
- It feels good.
- It'll feel better in about a half hour, when we're done.
We went to CiCi's Pizza for dinner, where hopefully we didn't replace every calorie that we'd burned off in the last two hours.
I lied down to take a two-hour nap before going out to Karaoke at Flex at 10:00, but never actually fell asleep, surprisingly.
I had to laugh when I first walked in to Flex tonight. It's "Drag Karaoke" on Sunday nights, but only the DJ/emcee dresses in drag, not the crowd.
Well, Alexis Perry, the drag queen host looked like she just couldn't be bothered tonight. She had on the absolute minimum that you could have on to be considered "in drag" -- she threw on a wig, a little foundation, and slapped in two hard, plastic falsies under a men's t-shirt. She had on men's shorts, too. I just started laughing out loud when I saw her. Her look just screamed: "I am so not into this tonight."
There were quite a few country songs sung tonight, which I, personally, enjoyed -- Paint Me A Birmingham and Neon Moon, among them.
I spoke briefly with (Six Feet Under) Rob, and met his friend Brian, who was a looker. He, Rob, filled me in on a lot of activity that went on last night, during "Flashlight Night," unbeknownst to me, and I would surmise, Chris (zinnian) and Daniel. Activity that Joe had actually confirmed earlier in the day as well.
My longest conversation there was probably about 20 minutes long, and to be more accurate, my part of the conversation was probably about two minutes of that saying, "Uh-huh," "Wow," "That's a huge commitment," "Good for both of you for doing that," and asking follow-up questions as Rusty told me about their two-week trail period having Walt's nephew from California staying with them.
If the stay goes well, they may be gaining custody of him in September. He's a nine-year old, currently bouncing between foster care and his father, who lives in a mobile home -- mobile in the sometimes-he-parks-in-the-Wal-Mart-parki
Progress, I suppose, that the state of North Carolina sees that a stable home run by two homosexual men -- one the boy's uncle -- who have been together for a gazillion years, both with an advanced degree and good jobs, might be a more nurturing environment for a child than a car parked, sometimes here, sometimes there, and driven by an unemployed, drug- and alcohol-abusing father.
Rusty left at about 11:30, and I left about ten minutes later.