Monday, May 12, 2014

Broken Spoken


I don't know if the broken spoke triggered my descent.  I think I was doing pretty good until that happened.  It obviously cut my ride short, though I was going for a longer than usual ride.

My afternoon was overcast.  I couldn't focus on stuff I was supposed to be doing.  I'd been overly productive before my lunch time ride, so when I finally could take no more and headed out for "field work" I felt like I'd had a full day.

The bike shop is on the way out so I stopped in to see what could be done about my spoke.  I know what's involved.  You put in a new spoke and then you need to true the wheel.  I could do this except I do not have a truing stand.

"I can try to get to it," the bike mechanic sighed, not even concealing his exasperation.  I need a quick turnaround because the Mohican is three weeks away.  That, and I'll be gone all the end of next week to the KAPA conference.  At General Butler.

I should have bought a spoke right then.  Or three.  Jeff can true a wheel.  Heck, he might even have a truing stand.  I didn't.  I left the city for my own private cycling dystopia.

On the long drive home my mood began to decompose.  By the time I got home it was downright rotten.  I changed from my business casual uniform to running clothes , but I knew I wasn't going to run.  I wanted to run or ride even, but I was back in the fatherland just in time for the big yellow school buses to take over the roads.  My antisocialism keeps me off the roads during peak times.

The air was warm.  I was sweating in my khakis as I drove the last mile home.  Then I changed clothes.  Then I plopped down on the couch proclaiming my subconscious intention to do absolutely nothing ever again.

"Is everything okay?" Mandy asked when she got home.  It wasn't really, but what could I say but yes?  At the time I wasn't 100% cognizant of my decayed mood.  The instant she asked me the question I was aware that I might not be okay.

I wish I had the presence of mind to track my moods.  Things had been going okay for a while.  I'm not sure when I took the dive.  The big picture has been growing.  It's complex.  It's...big.

I'm loving my job, but it's been breaching my floodwalls with pained regularity.  I'm where I want to be and sometimes I'm surprised at how far I've gotten, but I'm also scared of getting into heavier waters.

We don't have a store of financial resources to draw on.  Too many mundane obligations drag is down.  Too much is uncertain (at least in my mind) and I'm unable to prioritize anything.  We need to do so much to our house, but everything we need to do involves money we don't have.  There's so much to do on any given day-- gardening, mowing, fixing this and fixing that--I can't find a place to jump in.

My family (my dad's family) have been less than subtly hinting that they're not happy with the state of our lawn.  I could care less.  Our family history is full of asinine encounters and pointless tensions.  But if they're going to make an issue of my tall grass then I'm going to retaliate in the passive-aggressive defiance I'm best at.

From the family's county road a couple of wheelbarrow loads of gravel washed into our yard.  Neither the county, nor anyone who benefits from the road offered to clean out the gravel from our grass and where it had buried our water meter.

I shoveled it all in the road where it can't wash back in.

My uncle drove his small tractor into our yard and parked it while he got his mail from the common mailbox the other day.  He's the punk troublemaker in the family.  After I shoveled the gravel back into the road (actually on the shoulder) I put in a couple of landscaping ties with stakes to hold them in place to keep the gravel/my uncle out of the yard.  I was waiting for someone on Chainringville Road to stop and complain. 

A carload of chain-smoking gap-toothed trailer princesses glared at me as they turned in and utilized the road I was in the process of DIY maintaining.  I think they stood on the porch and griped so I would overhear, but I might be wrong.  They may have just been talking loudly on their cellphones in their gruff voices.  Lovely, lovely voices.

I needed to pull a spoke to take with me tomorrow, but I don't really have it in me to do much of anything.  Eating took all the mental energy I could muster.  I didn't want to watch TV.  I want to go to bed and sleep for a week.  I want oblivion.

I wrote the preceding paragraphs a few days ago.  It's time to wrap it all up, and I've got a much more positive story to tell that picks up where this one leaves off, so we'll leave it at that.

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