James got hit by a car this morning somewhere in LA, nothing too serious, his ankle was sore, he said. A guy that saw it happen owns a bike shop and gave his bike a complete overhaul, took it apart, tuned it up, cleaned everything and gave it back to him as a new bike, pretty much. We talked about our gear, our trips, (he’s been riding East to West from Florida) he told me about one of his bags getting robbed from him at gun point, al his money and credit cars. I gave him some food and some money before we parted ways, I would’ve wanted someone to take pity on me too.
I’ve had worse mornings but, it was a complete shock to be kicked out of McDonalds. I’m 90% sure it was because I looked like a homeless guy who was loitering outside earlier but, at the same time, could we have really looked that much alike? Or did she just assume I’d be hanging out all morning after ordering only a small orange juice? Who knows, it shouldn’t bother me, McDonald’s is garbage anyways. But, here I am after a fast and beautiful bike ride back North along the beach, listening to Vince Guaraldi in Hallie’s living room with her roommate, Alice, and Jack. Plants are everywhere, Alice makes floral arrangements. Plants make you feel not so alone. I remember the one pot of English Ivy I had on my shelf under my lofted bed in my room in Peabody; that seems like a lifetime ago, 10,000 miles away.
Hallie and I took Ozzy (dog) for a walk when I first showed up. We talked of her’s and her mother’s book in-progress that deals with the reality of a parents death, how do you deal with that? What are the objective and subjective steps to navigate through this inevitable part of life? I think my mom needs to read it, if only it was ready. She asked me all the questions everyone asks me about my trip (and she knew it, too but, I never mind talking about it!). She also asked me other questions that no one else really asks like, what have you learned about yourself? I explained my sincere trust in the universe but, failed to elaborate on much else. “If you could ride your bike next to yourself you’d know everything,” my friend Matt said this to my friend Colin. What a thought, what an image. What is there to know? Must I know what there is to know before I can know? Maybe it’s one of those things you can’t really put into words, maybe not as gracefully until you’re older, maybe what you know about yourself can only be illustrated through examples, through stories where your character is tested.
I was made at the woman in McDonalds this morning, mad that she couldn’t give me an answer for why she was kicking me out, who complained and what did they say. Everyone has a right to refuse someone something. Everyone has a right to stand up to their rights but, was I going to do that for orange juice that I didn’t even want? I was just trying to be nice while I used the bathroom to change and fill up my water bottles. She hurt my ego, judged me on my appearance and it hurt me, bothered me to know someone can look less presentable and be denied orange juice. I might be misunderstood who I was, what I was doing. I wanted to yell, my blood pressure went up but, life went on and I’m here amongst friends now, everything is perfect, I feel good and happy, I’m warm and fed. Every thing has its resolve, life will go on. And then one day it won’t so why even get upset? Choose your battles, the orange juice at McDonalds is pretty shitty anyways.
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