Monday, May 23, 2011
It Gets Harder
Too much has happened for me to pick up the thread and tell the story of my travels. I think it is best if I detach this blog from time and space and just pick things up from my last ride, which was yesterday. New Orleans, Miami, and many stops in between, and I wrote some truly beautiful stuff in my mind and swore I would remember it for these pages, but it is all gone. Remembering stuff gets harder.
The temp was up over 90 when I got to Mystery's house. His baby girl was guarding the door, chewing on one of his old loafers and looking up at me, waiting for some nugget of wiseness. "It all gets tougher than this kid, so pace yourself" I told her. Mystery and me, we both started in with the poor mouth routine. My corns hurt, oh the sciatica, it would be nice to just spin for a bit, and all that palaveric nonsense. We hit the Miccosukee Greenway rolling about 20 mph. My nostrils filled with the scent of his blood and the protective nictitating membrane covered my eyes. I took King and Kong off their leashes.
Leaning deep into a dusty left-turn I washed it out and slid across the gravel-pocked trail like I was playing that game with the leather hand-baskets that takes all day. Mystery came to a stop and watched me untangle from the bike. He asked if I was all right and as I rolled to my hands and knees I told him, "It gets harder every time" and he nodded.
We rode the rest of the greenway in a quiet fury, puncturing each other in soft flanks with shiv and shank, smiling and occasionally exchanging pleasant non sequiturs like, "Lovely pace" and "Nice day for a ride." I raised the heel of my boot and tried to line it up with his chin, but he bobbed and weaved just out of my range. "How's work" he asked. "It's getting harder" I said. "The road is a lonely place and a man can't be too careful."
Everything gets harder, and that's why you have to get stronger.