“Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
Moments. Sometimes a blur, hardly observed. Other times, a distinct event to be savored, no matter how mundane it first appears to be.
Fasting for a doctor’s appointment. I hate this. It seems to throw my entire day “out of kilter”. Maybe there are times that’s not a bad thing.
Up at an 0-dark-stupid hour for a workout. Pondering if chewing up and swallowing K-CUPS full of dark roast would count as fasting. In the end, I behaved. Well, as much as I ever do anyway.
Survived the workout…despite “Death by Assault Bike” (NOT making that up!). Of course they say, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.” In this case it’s quite literally true. Thanks Travis! (I think)
A shower…and (Since. I. Had. No. Coffee.) some adrenaline fueled commuting through the cityscape. I will say people trying to kill me just so they can make their turn is almost as stimulating as a good latte.
And no. It’s NOT okay to kill the biker. Even if you signaled first. Also flipping him off because you almost killed him is in bad form. You should at least buy him a latte. Only then should you flip him off.
In the elevator in the medical building, there’s a chick drinking coffee and munching donuts while pondering what button to push. There are only three, and apparently bending and butt wiggles explicitly in my direction are required to properly ponder such things. I wonder if she realizes how much danger those actions put her in at that very moment. She was, after all, in the elevator with a high-order predator. And I was hungry for what she was displaying…
I can only imagine the headlines:
“BIKER MENACE SNAGS DONUTS, SNARFS COFFEE! VICTIM TRAUMATIZED!”
“I mean,” said the bulbous butted and big breasted blonde bimbette, “I had on my sexy short dress and thong and even wiggled my butt twice and he was an ANIMAL! He ignored me! All he wanted was the coffee! Donuts flew everywhere! It’s downright insulting! It wasn’t even Starbucks!”
I could smell the coffee. But it wasn’t a latte and probably had caramel in it too. It’s quite possibly only this that saved her and I restrained myself with only a snarl or two.
At her floor she turned to me, shook her front half just in case I wasn’t a butt guy (appreciated but unnecessary…every guy’s a butt guy!), smiled prettily, and passed me a slip with her phone number on it.
I had checked in by email the day before. And on their website that night. And by phone app this morning…and they still had to ask me who I was and make me sign in.
“I survived ‘Death by assault bike’, says I, “do I actually need a physical?”
“Yes,” says the humorless gal at the checkin as she double checks her computer, “It’s been a year since your last one.”
I tried again, “But. Death by assault bike!”
Without so much as a facial twitch she holds out the clipboard, “Sign here.”
Shortly I was poked in places one should never be poked and then stabbed full of holes by otherwise pleasant and professional folks. It’s in these moments I wonder why this is SO expensive. Seriously…how many places do YOU go to and pay around $100/minute so they can stab you full of holes? Shouldn’t they be paying me?
Also, “Here, fill this…” says the nurse as she hands me the smallest specimen cup I’ve ever seen.
I held it up to the light and raised an eyebrow. “How many times?”
I’m sure they hear it all and it probably gets old but she chuckled anyway and pointed to the restroom. “Just once. Leave the rest in there.”
Oh…and who’d have guessed. EKG’s hurt! Well…the aftermath anyway. All those little sticky pads…all that hair. *SHHHNAAACKKKK* “OW!” (x about 12).
It still boggles my mind that I inevitably say, “Thank you!” as I check out of this place. I mean, Texans are polite and all but we normally don’t tend to thank folks for stabbing us full of holes and ripping out swaths of our chest hair.
Ah well. I guess one should always be polite to the people you are paying to give you ouchies.
Of course it’s just possible I need to ponder my paradigm.
Next I proceeded to pilot the big motorcycle at what would probably be dubbed an unsafe speed to my favorite breakfast place…for brunch actually.
This had become a priority since “brunch” means I’ve missed “breakfast” in order to get poked with pointy objects. These things tend to make me grumpy. Food was an order or the NEXT news headline could be something about “Cannibal Bikers”…except of course, that’s been done.
By Keanu Reeves no less.
No…I’ve not seen it. Texans don’t have a lot of rules we care to observe, but I’m pretty sure, “Don’t eat people” is pretty high on the list.
Even if we are bikers. Even if the people are cute blondes.
I fingered the slip I’d absently stuck in my jacket pocket and wondered if the bulbous butted blonde still had any donuts.
Where were we? Ah yes, breakfast (or brunch) out. Mmmmm…an omelette. And at least 5 cups of coffee. That’s the ticket. And I splurged and had a pancake. I needed the carbs and doubted that the blonde would take kindly to me calling her and asking for donuts anyway.
Ah yes. The place. It’s a good place. They don’t even worry about this cannibal biker. I guess they know I’m from Texas. Or perhaps it’s because I don’t look like Keanu Reeves.
Good food. Pleasant and efficient service. Good coffee and plenty of it. I must say though that as a keen and enthusiastic observer of humanity in all its glory I enjoy eating out as much for the people-watching as I do the food.
A lone biker…eating…often attracts, well, interesting things. On the occasions where we’re ignored, observation of interesting things takes center stage.
Dinner AND a show…as it were. Even at brunch.
Witness: Two elderly oriental gentlemen at a booth together, neither of which can hear very well and between the two of them can only manage very basic and broken English, trying to order a large, choice-filled breakfast from an earnest waitress that is Greek, and speaks only basic English herself. An undoubtedly unique blend of Greek, English, Japanese, and “southern” (much hand gesturing) got the job done.
It was a lesson in teamwork…and they all stayed civil, patient, and best of all, sane. They also smiled a lot, which the world needs more of.
And yes, what I’m sure everybody thought was a mistake was not. The one dude did actually want 12 slices of bacon…and ONLY 12 slices of bacon. The other dude…all 95 pounds of him (if sopping wet) demolished an omelette, hash browns, ham steak, sausage, rye toast (pronounced by everybody involved as “why tist”), a short stack of pancakes AND a bowl of oatmeal.
I blinked at the order as it was delivered and bet myself that not only would these very slight fellas polish it off, but also that they were going to order pie for dessert afterwards. I won. Pecan for one and some kind of chocolate/peanut butter thing that probably masses as many calories as a small neutron star for the other. That order was accomplished by a trip to the dessert case, smiling broadly, and pointing. “Oooooooooo!”
Pie for dessert. At breakfast. Or brunch. America. Fuck yeah!
Meanwhile, the lone guy at the table across from me spent the entire time on the phone…arranging his “dates” for the next TEN days. I use “dates” in the context you might encounter it when some woman in fishnet hose approaches out of the night and says, “You lookin’ for a date?”
Date Dude was efficient…making calls, negotiating prices and details, and entering everything into his calendar app. Once “Thursday” was set I hear, “No, I don’t want you two days in a row. I’m going for variety this month.”
“Oh, okay, that’ll work. Bring your friend Friday and that’s a deal. Any chance you’ve got a third for Saturday?…Excellent.”
I usually only observe unless folks interact with me, but our eyes had met a couple times and I’m sure my eyebrows were floating a couple inches over the top of my head. I had to say something.
Me: “Ambitious plans.”
Him: *laughs* “Reps to failure.”
That got a laugh out of me even as I realized I may not have understood the reference a few months ago. A fitness thing. Do the thing [lift, exercise, run, etc] until you can’t do any more…’reps to failure’.
Him: *waves his phone vaguely in my direction* “You want some numbers? These are great gals!”
Me: *holds up my left hand, thumb rubbing the base of my ring finger…where my wedding band WOULD be if I hadn’t crimped it on there in some machine or other a dozen years ago* “No thanks. Dedicated provider.”
Him: “Doesn’t that get boring?”
Me: *shaking my head no and laughing whilst thinking about my cute little short gal* “Oh good heavens no. I don’t think that’s possible!”
Him: “Quite a lady huh?”
Me: *dryly* “You have no idea…”
I dropped my tip on the table and grabbed the bill. On the way by Date Dude’s table I dropped the slip with the phone number Beautious Butted Coffee Gal had bequeathed me on his table. “Probably a good lead.”
At the checkout I handed the lady my card and had nodded toward the lone cop at the other end of the place. “Put his on my bill.” He’d been eyeing me with that, “I’ve got ya…you just don’t know it yet” stare the entire time I was in there. “Tell him it’s from the cannibal biker.”
She didn’t even blink. “Sure thing hon.” That quintessential southern phrase is distinctly sexy when said in a heavy Greek accent.
Headed downtown, just outside of rush-hour is a treat on the Valk. Light traffic, all of it MOVING out and no revenuers…on a few trillion dollars worth of multi-lane freeways and high-speed overpasses yields one HELL of a ride.
20 miles. 16 minutes. Including the side roads and traffic lights. Only a couple people tried to kill me. Nobody bought me a latte.
Patty Smyth’s Never Enough rocking out my very good headphones for the last 4ish minutes of it.
I met a man who would be king
He had a dream to see forever
It was a promise in the dark
It was a promise we made together
I was a girl who would be queen
I didn’t know the cost of freedom
It was a secret he would share
It was a word we both could believe in
Some kind of hero
Catch me again I’m falling
‘Cause I can hear you calling
And it’s never enough, it’s never enough, it’s never enough…
Thinking of my cute little short gal, I sighed as I shut the big bike down and headed into work.
It’s a different series of moments every day. Some better than others but I never seem to know at that moment…which ones they are.
…and tomorrow I’ll do it again.
Gotta love it.
I’ll see you on the road.