The Fly in the Ointment

I’m in yet another narrow cylinder with wings with a bunch of other schmucks wearing masks (most of the time). Rows 27-29, you bastards had better be vaxxed, boosted and germ-free.

I’m on my way to Tucson to soak up some sunshine with a couple of women I barely know, but who seem nice and appear to have their shit together. I think it will be good for me to get outside of Portland for a week, to go back to the desert where it might feel like I can think again. I’ve had such a hard time thinking since I moved. I love it there, but it feels so closed in, so busy, and so tense. Maybe a week in wide open space will give my head the freedom to breathe enough that it can start functioning again.

I also need to get away from the tunnel vision and the (sometimes) unhealthy routine I’ve embraced. I need space from questionable decision making, and time to re-set my intentions.

I signed up for a BMX national in Phoenix this coming weekend, and I’ve felt trepidation about it ever since. Now that I’m speeding away from Portland in a COVID-ridden death canister and am reflecting a little, I think I know why.

This will be the first National I’ve raced without M. He’s always been responsible for all things bike-related in my life, and now that I’m doing it all on my own, it feels weird. Now that I think about it, for the same reason riding bikes with other people feels like betrayal, especially with men. I didn’t notice that before, but I think it explains some of my reluctance to join in when asked. Well, that and my poor bike handling skills.

It just occurred to me that M might be there. It is Phoenix, after all, which is only a hop away from Albuquerque, and it’s a National we’ve done together in the past. Shit. I really don’t want to see him. I mean, I think he’d be easy enough to avoid spending time with at a big race like that, but it’s not THAT big. It would be pretty inevitable that I’d run into him at some point. Maybe I just won’t go. I’ll have to think about that a bit more. GodDAMNit all to hell.

Well, let’s see how the week goes. I may need a break from my vacation. I can also ride at Tucson’s BMX tracks and jump park instead. There are options.

I definitely want to run a lot this week. Like, beyond my 20 miles per week. I’d like to get a couple of really long ones in, maybe Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, and then again on Sunday or Monday. I have to remember to check a couple of things when this disease tube touches down, including whether there are any good shows in Tucson this week, and what I pre-signed for at USABMX for the National. I can’t remember if I signed up for cruiser or 20”, and since I only brought my 20”, I’ll have to see if they can switch me over if I signed up for cruiser. I should also see if I can find a bike shop to check my bike when I put it back together and make sure I tightened all the bolts right.

You know, because I don’t have an M anymore.

And there you have it, Ghost. My lack of a bike partner is the fly in the ointment, or rather it’s more like the scorpion in the salve. The wasp in the balm. I’ve said before that I know I made the right decision in ending that relationship, but the part that hurts the most is the loss of my friendship with him. It’s the hiccup in my life to which I return over and over again to try to find some remedy, only to be stung by memories. I keep revisiting the same pain, expecting it not to hurt each time. Similarly, I’m revisiting old bad habits and reaching for the same things in a partner that have not served me well in the past.

They say the definition of madness is to do the same thing again and again, expecting different results. If that’s the case, then I’m currently deeply mad and I fear for my sanity in the future.

I keep swinging my hand through a swarm of bees, ‘cause I

I want honey on my table.

I keep swinging my hand through a swarm of bees

Can’t understand why they’re stinging me

But I’ll do what I want, I’ll do what I please

I’ll do it again ‘til I got what I need

And this time, I’ll get it right

Gonna be this time, get it right.

– Thrice, Black Honey

“I keep swinging my hand through a swarm of bees because I

I want honey on my table

But I never get it right

No, I never get it right

I keep swinging my hand through a swarm of bees

I can’t understand why they’re stinging me

But I’ll do what I want

I’ll do what I please

I’ll do it again ’til I’ve got what I need”

THRICE – Black Honey

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