Back In the Saddle
Yeah, I'm back at work and what a strange trip it is. Having gradually realized (as I am wont to do) that my life was suffering from some kind of self-induced entropy; and further realizing that the end was near (in whatever convoluted and agonizing form it chose to take) I called an old colleague/competitor and basically begged for a job. The begging part was easy: my stalwart son Beauregard (recently returned from California) had already landed work with my old friend Jack Jackson and so, upon hearing that his former foe (me) was destitute and living in a trailer and spending his days wandering aimlessly around on a bicycle and bragging about it online, JJ (after he stopped laughing) called and said “Saddle up, son, we got a lot to do.”
So I did and here I am now, respectable once again and regretting it. But Mammon must be served, it is the deal we got once some smart-ass hunter figured out how to plant seeds and pen up cattle. Ever since then we have had, as a species, an abundance of everything. If it were up to me we would all be hunter-gatherers still, but no: it is the future and we gotta work for pieces of dirty green paper that god knows who has touched them and what they did without washing their hands before they handed them to me along with a receipt.
Even that ain't exactly true. I hardly handle Benjamins or Georges or Andrews; I am so respectable now that I have a plastic card that takes the place of the paper and all I do is swipe it (more times a day than I like to admit) punch in some numbers and the smiling person behind the counter says “Thank you” and hands me a receipt (did she wash her hands recently?) and I take my beer and my tequila and mosey back out to the bike. It is all...well...
The Once and Future Thing
I don't like it. I don't mind work; in fact I like it. But something is wrong. It smells funny. After a long, long period of inactivity (during which I was plenty active) here I am trading the precious moments of life I have left for a chance to spin the very wheels that are trampling our hearts and souls and also killing our planet. We're doing it wrong, folks, and we all know it. That's the big fucking lie we all live with. We are all so busy being busy that we don't even know who we are or where we are; spinning and spinning and spinning...
Or not. I'm not trained in this kind of thing, this deep (for me) thinking. But I wouldn't be me if I didn't at least try to say what I'm feeling. It smells funny but I'll do it, this working, I'll do it and like it. But I know better. I know what it is like to be without ambition or desire and to wander aimlessly about on my bicycle. But even THAT simple machine and pastime requires care and parts and so, somehow, I must do whatever it takes...including a lot of whining.
The Voice abandoned me the day the work started, too. Nobody to talk to now but my co-workers who all seem to find me odd, somehow; too old and what's with the bicycle thing? They are all about big trucks and mileage and other things I don't understand. I think they learn a lot of what they know about by watching television, which I refuse to do. I love them though, mostly; and it is important to remember that I was once a member of their tribe. But a thing happened to me. A thing happened and I caught a glimpse of the truth and I know it now and never again will I be a member; there is no tribe now for me and I will always be grateful for my transmutation and yet: lonely, also.
Paleo Tim Joe
But loneliness is the hunter-gatherer's curse; it is the salvation and the curse of the heart of the hunter and I'll take it. Besides, the other morning at pre-dawn I was out in the vast parking lot of the motel where the crew is bivouacked doing VERY fast laps on Little Miss Dangerous, leaning into the curves on some new tires (I have a job) and pedaling through the turns hard and quick; I know that bicycle, that Schwinn, and she knows me. I know just how hard I can push through a turn and not get a pedal strike, I know exactly how to pause my pedals when the lean is too much and I know just how to get the attention of a droopy-sleepy construction crew departing their rooms for another day; coffees in hand and yawns and stretches and what the hell was that! whizzing by...
That, boys, was the Trailer Park Cyclist: riding old steel and a hunter-gatherer, Paleo-fed and alone; hungry all the time, a seeker of knowledge and the King of Beers. Watch out! Here he comes again!
Yer pal, tj
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Stopover
August 28, 2013