I had just pulled into my carport from having an amazing trip with Sadie. In fact, the 5 some hour drive back in the pouring rain from a tropical storm that hit had no phase on me. I was alone in my thoughts – actually flying. I floated all the way back from where I was. Sadie had been crashed on the back seat of the truck until we drove by Avondale lake and then she stood up in the seat and looked out the window. I was jamming to this song not a care in the world.

When we drove up I saw a note sticking out of my door and my stomach dropped. Was it from my stupid neighbor complaining that it had been so quiet because I’d been gone? Was it the police [that I had checking my property twice a day while I was gone – why I pay really high property taxes] saying I’d been broken into and to call as soon as possible? Was it Lee? Oh please don’t let it be mutha-f*cking Lee. I got out with Sadie trailing and pulled it out of the door. It was from this girl – who, I might add I haven’t heard from in 8 years. It said:

Lanie,

Just wanted to tell you that I am very sorry for how things ended with us. I know that the years have passed and it really may not matter to you, but I wronged you terribly and you never deserved to be treated the way you were from me. You were always kind, loving and gentle to me and I will always remember that. I hope life it great for you. I think of you often and wish you the best in life.

Becky

All I could think was “What a M-F*cking parallel. I had been thinking about marriage and for the first time in years think I can actually see that happening again and here I get a note from the woman whom I almost married. How freaking weird is that?”

I grabbed my lighter off the bench in the carport and lit the note on fire. Despite finding it in my heart to forgive her for that time I still don’t want her in my life –

– I have bigger fish to fry.

Yeah, some people think I’m all powerful, can influence people. Some think I can move mountains and they’re bitter about it. Maybe I can – with what’s in my heart right now. I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life and no one is going to change that – no ex’s coming up from the past, no ex friends saying shit about me, no one accusing me of something I haven’t done – no.one. I’m bulletproof. I’m invincible right now. And, Becky, the person who got me back with God again – I realize now that she was just the enabler to be with God again – who, btw, I’ve credited for everything that’s good right now. Thank you, God.

And, yeah – to answer your question, Becky, life is great for me. F*cking great!

More on that later.

heartbeat

It’s Monday and I have the blah’s. I, again, worked over the weekend and it was so difficult. I started the weekend out sick and then I was just tired. I don’t know why I do this to myself but I do but I’m hoping to turn over a new leaf soon. Remember that whole slowing down post? Yeah, I’m going to slow down…….soon.

Friday [early] I’m loading the truck and Sadie and I are getting out of town. I need to breathe again. I need to feel my pulse again, my heartbeat. I’m so tired of holding it all in – I want to free it.

PS: And, after this trip – I’m signing up for guitar lessons.

weddings everywhere

The other day when I was walking Sadie down by the lake I saw there was a commitment ceremony going on – between two women, even. I thought it was great that my little neighborhood hosted a same sex marriage. Just then my phone rang and it was Ronnie calling. She told me that her and her girl were getting married in New York. I could hear the excitement in her voice as she told me about it.

Yesterday, as I was walking Sadie down by the lake again, I was listening to this song.

 

I thought about it possibly being a song played at the beginning of the ceremony as people sat there waiting for both the brides to arrive. I imagined myself walking the trail on one side of the lake and seeing my bride across the lake walking on the opposite side. We would meet in the middle where the ceremony began.

As we walked in on opposite sides towards each other we’re mouthing the words of the last course to each other.

“So take care what you ask of me, ‘cause I can’t say no.”

Today, I got a frantic text from Bird saying she’s calling an emergency meeting at Taco Mac that very minute and to come on. I texted back – “can’t still at work.”

“Come straight here after.”

“Have to let the dog out.”

“Then let her out and common.”

“I have pool and I’m broke.”

“I’m buying. I have an announcement to make.”

“Is everything ok with Janice?”

“Things are great – we’re getting married.”

“I’ll be there.”

Weddings, weddings, weddings -happening and on the brain lately. Guess I’ll play that song again. It’s ok to dream even though it eludes me.

slow my roll

“I can’t believe you rode in this fog this morning.” Michelle said as I was dropping my gear on the floor of my cubicle at work.

“It’s wasn’t like this when I left the house.” As I pulled off my riding pants and kicked them into the corner. “This base is like a bog of fog.”

I was sweating in the carport trying to start the Triumph. No go – think it’s either the coil or the battery (which, I can’t figure why since I just put a new on in it). I had to switch everything to the Ducati. Normally, I roll the bikes down to the street before I start them not wanting to wake my neighbor but after she walked up and yelled at me in my carport because I was talking on the phone too loud I fired the Ducati right up, revving it.

Take that, b*tch.

I didn’t stop sweating until I hit the highway. I had on my air flow jacket and the cool air hit me as I merged onto the connector. I hit the HOV lane and punched it. Now this I can’t do on my Triumph. The Duc is meant to race. Up the connector past downtown, then Midtown and under 17th bridge. This is my favorite section of road on the way to work on the bike. Out of one town to another – Cobb. I past Cobb Energy Center and see the upcoming concerts flash on the board. Turning onto Windy Hill I ride it all the way to S. Atlanta road where I turn off to go to the base.

It was then I hit fog. The temperature dropped several degrees. I was cold now. The face shield on my helmet fogged up and I had to raise it to see. I turned onto the road to the gate – it’s very curvy. I remember my track school days – I shift my weight and lean left, then right and roll up to the gate. They see my i.d. in the sleeve of my vest and motion me on – this time without a lecture to slow down. I always get the slow down lecture when I’m on this bike.

Slow down. Slow my roll?

Why the f*ck should I slow down? Huh? Tell me why when two of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer the last few months. I have a constant reminder of my mother dying of it. And, I want to be a good support – I do. But, I just can’t sit there and listen to the talk of lymph nodes, biopsy, mastectomy, chemo, radiation, metastasizing. I just want to go hide and crawl in a hole. I don’t want to be reminded of these things. It was all I could do to sit there and listen to Bird talk about it (yeah, on Mother’s day) – I think the date and circumstances were lost on her. Sometimes I wonder if I am too good of a friend, or not. She wanted advice on how to deal with it. I wanted to shake my head and say, “There’s no good way to deal with it.” Looking back I find the question ridiculous.

My way is to ride, ride away fast sometimes. I’ve always just lived in the moment, one day at a time. Never thinking of the future until –

Slow my roll? Maybe. Someone very special may just get me to do that. Slow me down.

“Yeah, baby I’m here.” I text.

rain, crashes, bad news, ex’s – gosh, you name it

I had a class from hell this past weekend. It wasn’t them per sae – everyone rode really well. It was just the constant rain yesterday – off and on all day. I had water sloshing in my boots and wet hair. The class was delayed several times because it was raining so hard we couldn’t see – let alone ride without hydroplaning. We had taken a break and went back out and right as we’re starting another exercise one of my students crashed badly. I won’t go into the details but even I was a bit shocked over the severity of the crash. In all the years I’ve been doing this there have only been a handful of crashes that caused me to almost panic. This was one of them.  I was dialing 911 as I hurried over to her. When I got to her she was crying and in a lot of pain. She had broken her shin in two places and we thought her wrist was broken, too. After the paramedics came and took her away I was left with a freaked out class. It was all I could do to keep their spirits up. We finally got to the skill evaluation and it started to pour again and we had to take another break. Once we got out there to run the test one of my riders had an anxiety attack and I had to take him off the motorcycle and talk with him.

“G, you can do this. Just take a deep breath. You’ve been doing fine all day.”

We finally got through it and as I dragged myself into my truck and turned up the heat (I’d been wet and shivering all day and couldn’t wait to get in a hot shower) my phone rang. It was Bird. We had talked about getting together for a beer later that day but I wanted to bag it. I picked up and said, “Hey, what’s up?”

“Janice (the good doctor) has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I just need someone to talk to can you meet out for a beer or a few beers.”

My stomach dropped. “I’m so sorry, Bird. Sure I’m on the way home now and  I’ll hop in the shower and meet you at the pub on the corner in an hour.”

Sadie met me at the door as I walked in. I had been trying to train her to be out of her kennel during the day. I looked around and she had torn up an entire Beer Connoisseur magazine and ate the corners of my end table. There were magazine shreds and wood shavings everywhere. I groaned.

“This day is a nightmare.” And as I swept up and vacuumed I said to Sadie, “This is not what I had in mind to do when I got home, Sadie.

After cleaning up and letting her run around the back yard for a bit I got into the shower and turned it up as hot as I could stand it. My shoulder was hurting from picking up bikes and there was numbness in my arm. I let the water hit it for a good 10 minutes. I got out and felt better. I pulled on jeans and a long sleeve T from a store in Tybee. It made me smile thinking about that place. I needed to smile and I needed my strong game face to cheer Bird up and calm her down. Rarely is that girl shaken. She’s been through so much.

Two pitchers later she said, “You know – I don’t know why we ever broke up.”

“You always say that when we’re drinking together. It’s like suddenly you’re my grandmother with dementia saying, ‘You got some woman living with you, honey?”

That got a necessary laugh out of her.

“But really, why did we?”

“Well, Bird – if you must know it was because of those little flowered soaps you had in the bathroom of that apartment you had by the Kroger.” (I make up a different story every time and she plays along.)

“Nooo”

“Yes! They freaked my sh*t out – and, that Winnie the Pooh shower curtain.”

“I thought you liked that.”

“No, I was running like Forest Gump after seeing that.”

We both cracked up after that. It was so nice to finally laugh.