Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sympathy Pains

My best friend, whom we call Vegas Stacey (she doesn't know this and I will let you believe it is for her scandalous nature instead of geographical location) called me today to tell me about her first bike riding adventure. In the past three weeks both of decided it was vital to our existences to have a mountain bike. And we both bought one on impulse, knowing little to nothing about the sport. Points on her end for having a husband to teach her.

He forgot to mention the effects of riding in Vegas heat with the sun beating you into the asphalt. The way she told it, she rode her bike around the neighborhood a nice easy 20-minute trip with a brutal hill at the end. In my mind I imagined her pushing, pulling and not really pedaling that last half of the hill. I wasn't far off but didn't expect the next tidbit.

Her ride made her physically ill. This amazes me and sends me into a fit of maniacal giggles. Yes, this is why she calls me. To brighten my day with the release of endorphins. I couldn't ask for a better prescription. It's funnier to me because the last we rode a bike together I had the mono. It knocked me out for a summer. And instead of lying low I hiked Timponogous at 3 a.m. with Stacey. It turned out to be one of our less brilliant ideas as I started hallucinating 10 minutes in.

So we compromised with our outdoor adventures. If she wanted to run for miles and miles I would ride a bike beside her. All we needed was a bike. My friend Brian lived in our complex and had a midget bmx-ish bike, minus the bmx and add some years and lack of rotation. I remember gasping for air and wishing for the burning in my thighs to stop, or for my legs to disappear in general.

Even on the bike I couldn't keep up. Stacey got a little frustrated and switched me. Remember that I still have the mono and I am kicking her ass. Riding the bike she can't keep up with my sicky-shuffle. Great bike.

Stacey's telling me that the only reason she didn't actually throw-up is she couldn't open the door fast enough and thought it improper to expel over the flowers. My sides hurt from laughing and I've got a man with curious eyes staring at me. I assure her that she isn't really as out-of-shape as this story leads her to believe. After a moment of silence in which I picture her rolling her eyes at me I confess to hyperventilating on my first ride. You can understand why she calls me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It’s Not Me, It’s You…

Taking the high-road is not always my choice of travel. Especially if it involves a clueless boy dragging me around to restaurants, movies, sporting events or even the random finger-painting adventure. After each such night I’ve closed my door, sighed and rolled my eyes horrified at my own abrasiveness and at their ability to ignore the obvious—a lack of chemistry.

But maybe it’s not their fault maybe it’s possibly to feel a strong one-way connection. With that thought I can forgive the ignorance. I’ve had my share of passing hotties that were soul mates in denial. That was the comforting theory until Saturday.

Playing in a doubles volleyball match I started the morning with a bang. By that I mean shot dead as in the original tournament with its soft sand, pool access, bbq and rocking music was cancelled. A few of the teams withdrew at the last minute leaving the rest of us to shuffle our way down the valley to another tournament without perks. Not even a crummy brown T-shirt because we were late registration. Only the diehards and fools would continue with this day.

Fools we were as we stepped onto the grass court for our first game. We actually had reasonable expectations of passing, serving, setting and hitting the ball over the net. What’s worse is we actually failed those expectations. After the third point an unimaginable truth nailed me in the chest, we had no chemistry. We couldn’t pass to each other, we didn’t know where the other was on the court. We collided, stole balls, and watched others drop. We set too far out, too far off the net and too far to the other side. It was every bad date I’ve endured rolled in one punctuated by our accumulating losses.

Towards the end of the day, after we’d conferred and coached and strategized my partner looked at me and confirmed my horrors. It wasn’t me, and it wasn’t her, it was the lack of US.

“We don’t have chemistry,” she bluntly whispered. “We can’t find a rhythm and we’re dying on the court.”

It hurt a little, and I didn’t want to acknowledge it but I knew she was right because I’d thought the exact thing hours before.

The tournament was a bust but we left resolved to work on our chemistry, to play more and develop rhythm.

Her direct remark confirmed another suspicion, that the lack of chemistry is felt by both parties. Every bad date knows that the butterflies aren’t flying, but some of the hopeful romantics blindly believe that time with beauty will eventually evoke sparks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Life on Two Heels

"Sorry to interrupt your walk!"

Walk?! Walk?!! OK, by that time my small getting-back-into-life trail run had turned into an epic adventure disguised as a leisurely meadow stroll. I'd planned on a mostly downhill jaunt, a reprieve for my lungs complete with fresh mountain air. I'd expected to feel more Sound Of Music as I ran through the meadows and maybe even Twilightish while dodging trees.

It did feel like that for the first mile, and then my not-so-common sense turned on. Something didn't feel right and it was just the pressure growing in my bladder. This was a feeling of you've gone the wrong way. Normally I would've stopped right then and there but I'd been told specifically to stick to the Mid-Mountain trail until I hooked up with Holly's. And so I did.

Another reason I brushed off the oh-so-wrong feeling, apart from the cluttered mind wrestling with life altering decisions, was the phrase 'you remember going all the way down with me.' And I did. I could picture it clearly. There we were in snow gear strapped into a board, he charging the mountain and me trying to dodge suspicious looking mounds. I'd gone that same direction when getting off the lift, and of course it looked different. There were trees and flowers instead of icicles.

At about mile 3 I no longer denied the icky feeling. Besides I could see the resort clearly from my perch and if continued on this path I'd soon be in Park City. Not good. Plus I realized that I'd been remembering the wrong mountain. So I turned around and stumbled back to the lodge and on to the correct path. Once there the run became less about running and more about spotting deer as the bounced in front of me. I don't know if it was the shock of seeing an exhausted looking ruffian in their home or if it was the stench emitting from my body, but they stared me down. I want to tell you that I ran on but I accepted the challenge and stared right back. OK I couldn't really run because the lungs were shutting down, noted by the sharp pain in my chest. Maybe they could sense that and the stare was one of horror and concern. I choose to believe that.

After the deer things were pretty tame. A couple fuzzy bees mistook me for a flower (oblivious to my stench I suppose) and tried to stick me. Or maybe they were gently pulling me along, realizing that dehydration was creeping in. They did usher me right to a stream and although I didn't drink from it the thought played in my mind like a Christmas memory.

I finally reached Holly's Trail with a group of mountain bikers behind me. I stepped off the trail to let them pass. They declined explaining that they had to wait for everyone in the group. I nodded as if that were the most natural thing and took off down the trail. My excitement at finally finding Holly's and the general pull of gravity picked up my pace. I did feel a little vampirish or at least more human now that my legs found something more than the slow crawl. And it lasted for nearly half the mountain at which point I fell to sub-human. The bikers caught up to me and zoomed by on two wheels. I cursed my blistered feet and erratic breathing.

The last of the group passed me, and in true Snow White fashion I stooped to complain to the last of my woodland creature friends, a furry caterpillar.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Emerald Sights

There I stood contemplating between healthy and unhealthy food choices. And by unhealthy I refer to foods that will cause serious intestinal issues later. Somewhere between the realization that I only wanted bread because I can’t eat it and craving for all things dairy I received the text from a mysterious number. Did I say mysterious? I meant ominous; asking me on an all day date at the DMV.

Hard to refuse an offer like that. Even harder to ignore the dread that accompanied it. A dread that was quickly followed by a hot stinging wetness in my eyes. Wouldn’t it be nice if the mistakes from your past never came back to haunt you?

As it is I knew that I would spend a pleasant afternoon bickering with an old friend, refraining from the serious shoe throwing he deserves. Actually the only reason he’s not getting the spiked-heel beating of his life is that I currently like all my shoes and don’t want to risk the stains. Blood doesn’t wash out well.

My struggle to breathe normally increased and the dairy aisle won. I ran to the checkout line with rice pudding in hand, mentally counting the minutes I had before a complete breakdown. The importance of this is to remember that my eyes were already watering. The effect this has is for my eyes to pop in a brilliance of color, an exaggeration of cartoon proportions. You can understand why I wouldn’t want to burst into tears in public, people should be charged to see such a sight.

The cashier looked at me intently. At this moment a casual bystander would never know what emotion threatened to spill over. Clearly he did not and continued to stare at me. At this moment I became incredibly self-conscious and began to close my wallet to flee the uncomfortable place. And then he says, “You have the most intensely green eyes I’ve ever seen.”

Hmmm. Note to self. Eyes change color according to mood. Anger provokes green flecks to surface. I know understand why the Kenyan and I spent an agonizing hour arguing about the color of my eyes. My apologies to him for not knowing that his annoyance had caused my eye color to change.

I blinked a few times at the cashier before slowly nodding a thanks and rushing to the nearest mirror. Confusion Blue eyes stared back at me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Seventh Month

It's nearly one in the morning on the second day of July. I've been done with my assistant teacher job for exactly six days. I've been going out of my mind for five days.

A perk of time demanding responsibilities is that I can blame the long nights and early mornings on other people. They expect me to stay until midnight. They expect me to show up at 6 a.m. What no one expects me to do is disassmeble my room at one in the morning.

Disassemble is wrong for I never put this room together. In the two years I've lived here there remain five boxes unpacked. I litter the floor, chair and bed with clothing. And anything I couldn't throw with the clothes I placed on the floor along the wall. Scared yet?

Tonight for some reason I was. I tore apart what I had moved things from one pile to another, mixing them in some attempt at categorizing and eventually dumping what I could into a large box. And things that I couldn't stand to look at I stuffed in a plastic bag destined for the dumpster.

It wasn't enough and I realized this task needs some time and attention, not a tornado in the form of a mentally unstable 26-year-old girl. I only hope that I won't wake up in a few hours confused, stumbling to the bathroom. Yes, all great ideas impulsively take place in the middle of the night. Why do you ask?