Things-I-Used-To-Do

By | June 16, 2011

A good bike ride not only clears your head and moves your blood around, but it can put you into the best of trances. The bike acts like a perpetual meditation machine.

I used to go quiet; a very unnatural state of existence for me, but not unpleasant just damn hard to achieve on my own. Rain, wind and car horns become background noise. My outer shell performs lifesaving moves that have become second nature over the years. When I come back to Earth I either think I have “the next great thing,” or a bunch of broken thoughts that make me happy, or at least engaged. Either way the bike helps tap into something.

That’s where I came up with my “Things-I-Used-To-Do” list.

Today my list had gone missing somewhere between the garage and my rain jacket so I was flying blind, trying to conjure a virtual version of it on a screen inside my head. As I squinted my mind’s eye to get a better look, my list kept morphing into something else: a few favorite food items from the actual list, a scene from “The Big Lebowski”, the one where “The Dude” gets hit with the coffee mug by “that reactionary police officer up in Malibu.” So I let go of my list and kept pedaling in the direction of the first place I needed to be that day. I could remember that, at least.

Somewhere during the first climb the trance set in and a new list formed.

My “Things-I-Used-To-Do” List

1. I used to play the trumpet morning and night. Seriously, I was my junior high school’s bugle player. Rain or shine, I had to pedal to school before the bell to play the morning reveille and the afternoon dismissal. And when our vice principal had a breakdown and was carted out in an ambulance, I resisted the urge to play taps. One the last day of school I did blow a couple bars of “Hit The Road Jack.” Dean Abel chased after me but I had my bike waiting in the wings.

2. I used to sit on roofs with my best friends, watch planes fly over and stars come out, and sneak a beer up there that Jim or Norwood would knock over after two sips. Someone would jump, not climb down

for it.

3. I used to race anyone on two wheels mostly without them knowing it. Sometimes they’d take up the charge. Now I act like it’s an affront to my civility if someone blows by me. What the hell happened to me?

4. I used to get my hands dirty helping others. Now I send in a check and get a membership card. Dirty feels better.

5. I used to taste each piece of candy. I can’t remember what I ate yesterday.

6. I used to wear Hawaiian shirts because I liked them. I looked bad in them, still do, but I didn’t care.

7. I used to sit at the bottom of the pool until it was almost too late. I need to find a pool.

8. I used to own no electronics. Wait, I gotta take this…

9. I used to order three scoops. Not three scoops of nonfat, taste-free Froyo, but the real stuff.

10. I used to laugh at people who said they were tired too often.

11. I used to never check the weather.

12. I used to ride with no destination.

With each item added to the list, I pumped the pedals harder.

At the end of the ride, my extensive “Things-I-Used-To-Do” list should have made me a barrel of regret and melancholy. But no, it woke me up. All of it made me smile, some of it I’m going to do again, soon. Whomever you race home next, promise me you’ll invite them up to the roof, to laugh under the stars again, eating real ice cream. I’ll be in the Hawaiian shirt.

Source: http://www.bicyclepaper.com/

 

 


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1 Comment

Jimmy on June 25, 2011 at 7:47 am.

Cheers pal. I do appreciate the writing.

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