Monday, December 30, 2013


Two nights prior, I played music with a Grammy winner and a mutli platinum producer. I also played with my long time bass player. No one outside this city knows him, but he could play with anyone. The music is deceptively difficult. Little subtleties that hardly anyone would notice, but they all add levels of texture, that would otherwise diminish the songs. I should be over the moon, but really, I just want it to be over. I live in mortal fear of missing the next syncopated claymore. All ends well. I actually play the only tasteful drum feature of my life. A raised eye brow from the Grammy winner, a knowing smile from the bass man, and a nod of acknowledgement from the Maestro....better than applause or money. Still, all I can think about is getting to the bar.

"Irish handcuffs please. Thanks. Again. Thanks."

 Finally, a breath taken at room temperature and not from the open door of a furnace. 

Saturday; four hours sleep, lunch with my girl, nap, stationary trainer torture, movie, bed. 

Sunday: Tuning drums for a session with the Maestro. All the while twitching like a worm on a hook. The bike is on the car. Munson is surely prefect, gripping, damp clay and white under belly. I escape two hours later than promised. Something with the files and the pre-amps, and a ringing noise in the snare I couldn't eliminate, while maintaining the pitch the Maestro wanted. 

Scramble out of clothes, forget glasses, triple check the car doors. Hammer into paper cup way to fast, way to anxious, and way too pissed off. A thought occurs that, the current meth like state of mind, could lead to a few PR's on Strava. I am full cry in the big ring, railing a corner when I see him. Jeans, flat pedals, no lid, holding his phone attached to his ear buds. Off I go into the thicket to the left of the trail. Thank god it is full of thorns. He says; "Duuude". I ride away from him. Two corners later I run into a couple of riders I know, faces full of teeth, having the ride of a life time. They force me over a berm and yell my name as they blaze by. Instant Karma. Not stoked. I am less than a half mile into the ride. 

I finish the lap and it is getting colder by the minute, but also dark and the lot at the trail head is nearly empty. I try to hit the reset button. This time there will be no traffic. I will hammer out a clockwise lap in total solitude. I can feel my center coming back. The sky is an airbrushed license plate from 1985. I cross the power line to a long set of curving climbs. Still in the big ring, still have legs. Just before coming down the to cross the power line for the last leg of the lap, I see him. His bike is upside down and he is looking at his front wheel like he found a piece of alien technology. He has no tire irons. To my surprise, I don't either. I get the stiff tire off with a screwdriver from my multi tool. I put his tube in and its bad too. I try for ten more minutes to get the tire off, so I can put my spare tube in, but it will not budge. He mumbles something about how he could have walked to the car by now. I hand him his wheel, and ride off.

"Some days you can't do good."
He says. I wish him luck.

I fumble back to the car, in the dark, with no lights. It's the first time in years that the ride was not the cure. It was like running on a trampoline. 

Tour de Felasco looms on the horizon. I should be over the moon, but really I just want it to be over. 



Ms. Moon said...

Good writing, brother.
It's hard times in the atmosphere right now.

Magnum said...

I hope to find you out there one day. I'll be the one without tubes or legs, but happy to get passed.

Grumpy Old Man said...

I may miss the subtle parts of the music but I know what I like. You make the songs jump a little. I enjoyed Friday night.