Back when I was younger and omniscient, the idea of being tied to professional obligations on the weekends was abhorrent. That's when all the cool things were happening; the big-name bands, the important parties. Even if I was never one of the cool kids, I may have wanted a small scavenger's piece of that action.
What a fool I used to be...
Older now, perhaps not as wise as I was during my youthful omniscience, I have come to embrace the divinity of the free weekday. If nothing else, my misanthropy digs it; less mutherfuckingmonkeys. These days, the very idea of a weekend free equates to a marrying, a burying, or sheer lunacy, because who would do that shit willingly?
I should qualify that once, long ago, Sabina, in wanting to be accepting of my solitary tendencies, told me if I ever needed me time to let her know. This was refreshing from previous relationships where I had to sometimes say something along the lines of; I'm disappearing for a bit, don't try to fucking find me. That stated, I look forward to Tuesday. That's my day. The only company I have, if I so desire, are the quadrupeds we share the house with. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.
Let me tell you about one...
It was dawn when the hounds let me know going outside might be a nice idea, so half-asleep, barely conscious, I opened the front door. It was five minutes of bardo between awake and dreamtime before I stumbled back to bed for another few hours, rising shortly after Sabina. It was then I fed the hounds and brewed us coffee whilst examining breakfast prospects. Sabina had an early brunch at the Tibetan place before her obligations, so a frittata was right out. It would just have to be some eggs and grains.
My own agenda included a quick bit of mowing, then a ride up to the trail heads for lower parking of Grizzly and the fourteeners as well as the BLT, five miles up valley. There was really no reason to do this other than the exercise and the fact Sabina and I had been on walkabout a couple of days before. Part of me began to reconsider the whole affair.
"You don't have to prove anything to anyone but yourself," Sabina said when I confessed my second thoughts. Words of encouragement.
I have mentioned it was the more athletic and popular castes that comprised the bulk of the si lai nan jen who so fucked with me growing up. That's why I have taken umbrage to being accused of being athletic, and why I maintain, sometimes quite vehemently, that I've not a competitive bone in my body. Those were aspects of those I hated.
So it begs the question; why do this to myself? Why ride five miles uphill, some of which is steep grade? Am I trying to prove something?
Not long ago, I told Miguel Loco that in living to one-hundred twenty-at the least-I needed to make myself impervious to such trivialities as pain and exhaustion. I suppose it's as good a rationalization as any. It's not very likely I'll ever encounter one of those si lai nan jen who called me wimpy way back when to tell them what I can do in the name of endurance, and I got over the idea of retribution toward those cats a very long time ago.
There comes a point when stopping, even to catch a breath or have some water, means defeat. Whether it's on walkabout or riding my bicycle, I get to that point where the place I'm trying to reach is just a little further. Hang in there, you'll make it. I promise myself water and a few minutes of rest when I get there.
When I reached the trail heads, part of me contemplated going up the BLT a bit. The grade is not as steep, and it's only five miles to road that leads to Loveland Pass. With a big swig of water I resolved the day I would do that was not the one I was in the middle of. Instead, I decided on riding seven miles down valley to treat myself to something at the Buzz. The two miles back uphill after the fact would be gravy.
It was early afternoon when I got home, with a belly full of beef hot dog and a sense of accomplishment. I've sometimes doubted my physical strength. However, between my walkabouts and the riding I've been doing since summer kicked in, I'm fairly confident in my stamina. Perhaps that's arrogant of me, but I have a hard time feeling bad about it.
Amid warm mountain sunlight patchworked by towering cottonball thunderheads, I headed out back with the hounds, Edward Abbey's One Life at a Time, Please and a mug of gunpowder tea. It was relaxing, which I felt I deserved after my ride. Deep into an essay, I heard a commotion next door.
We all looked up to behold something large and mahogany; a moose. It was fantastic and Northern Exposure all at once. In our Sahel, our funky little mountain town is sometimes referred to as the Colorado version of that show. However, I had three herd dogs in my presence. Chevy is so arthritic he cannot move fast anymore, which is sad, but Milarepa is young and spazzy, bordering upon feral at times, and Whistler, the eldest, embodies the concept of active senior. Quickly, I got everyone inside, by which time the moose was chewing on aspen leaves near our folly.
For the next few hours, this was big doings. Yes, there's a moose down on Rue Maji. A cow, probably a two year old. Yes, it's behind the House of Owls and Bats. Apparently, Grey asked if he could call her Simone. No shit. Oh, she's run across street for the river and the willows? Well, that's cool. It's neat to see one around.
The excitement of a small mountain town. In a past life, I dealt with big city excitement, and a sampling of the local wildlife being out back of my house is a far less traumatic proposition. So it goes.
I am a sucker for sunsets, but maybe I just suck. The one I beheld, the sky turning shades of gold, flame, and pastel whilst a thunderstorm raged up Guanella, toward the ruins of Waldorf, was spectacular. Whilst working on a dinner of chickpea, chorizo, and chicken paella, I would step out to watch the fading daylight. I remembered back to a certain sunset back in the greater metroplex in which the twilight reflected majestically across the face of an all-glass monolith. That particular sunset reminded me after years of forgetting, how much I enjoyed watching the day slough its skin into night. I've not allowed myself to forget since.
Folk music was blaring when Sabina got home. I attempted to explain that, if you think about it, cats like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan were edgy and aware and punk rock long before punk rock was even a musical twinkle in Joe Strummer's eye. Just like old blues like Robert Johnson and Son House, or reggae like Peter Tosh or the sainted Bob Marley. She just shook her head, something about of course I'd come up with a tangent like that. Queer.
After dinner and the cleaning of dishes, Sabina fixed us dessert. I fought to stay conscious on the couch. We talked about a roadtrip to Leadville the next day. Maybe even Tibetan for lunch. Our next big adventure. I caught myself excited about the prospect. After all, I could used the rest.