I wear a pair of clear wraparound glasses* to keep the wind out of my eyes, and they do a decent job, but a little air gets through from time to time and causes me to tear up a bit. It’s generally not a problem at that time of day, as I’m pretty much all cried out from sobbing into my pillow all night, alone in my too-big bed, wishing that I slept in a twin, so that the vast emptiness of all that unoccupied mattress wasn’t there, mocking me, emphasizing with relentless brutality just how alone, how goddamned alone I really am.
Anyway, I was coming around a corner this morning, and sure enough, my eyes watered up just a bit, but today, for atmospheric reasons unknown, the moisture caused my glasses to instantly and completely steam up, rendering me quite blind. “Oh sweet jeebus,” I thought. “I’m-a gonna DIE!” The panic was short lived, however, and something rather strange happened. I didn’t die. I didn’t even crash. What I DID do was say to myself “You know what, Dead Acorn? You make this ride
So there I was, riding along the greenbelt, blind as a cyclist with fogged up glasses, when I realized that the only reason I was able to do it without crashing was through simple rote memory, that this was no miracle, this was me just doing the same damn thing I always do, that the rut I was in was so deep that it would be all but impossible to not make this ride blind. And my destination? Work! The same work where I wind up every day! “Fuck!” I said, out loud this time. “This is the stupidest fucking metaphor for life EVER!”
I hesitated but for a moment, then turned sharply to my right. The icy waters of the Boise river shocked me at first, but I kept pedaling, and made it nearly halfway across before I fell, then got up and carried my bike to the far bank. From there, I rode north again, up 36th and past Quail Hollow. “No … rut … is … gonna … hold … me …” I was gasping, in between maniacal giggles. I was alternating between elation at being freed from the shackles of monotonous routine and apprehension at what the future might hold, knowing that nothing would ever really be the same. At the top, I turned left, and followed some dirt single-track over to the next road, the adrenalin coursing through my body making me feel more alive than I ever had before. I headed south, riding faster, ever faster, and finally made my way to …
* They're actually shop safety glasses purchased from Tates Rents. I’m all set for the Table Saw to Table Rock Biathalon.