Friday, March 6, 2015

White Boarding, DC

Son is fine.
Presentation is shaping up.
Snow will definitely fall.
Rode bike to work.

With the above written on the whiteboard outside my cubicle, my neighbor suggested, I could avoid the repetition of these answers to the several who come asking. "See whiteboard," I could say.

They could stand silently reading, nod, and then either leave, or I could ask them the questions I always ask them, and they could answer by referring me to their own whiteboards. I could follow them to their cube, stand outside their cubicle silently reading, nod, then all our questions of each other would be answered.

We could walk around either (a) silently nodding or (b) writing things on whiteboards.

Absurd, right?

So it would seem. Except I am writing on my white board now and you, if there are any of you, are reading it.  I'm not faulting you; in fact, I think it's a step up from Facebook's status updates or even Tweets.

Last night, wrote William Burroughs, I woke up with someone squeezing my hand. It was my other hand.

The come down is near post-tramatic: one day it's full-blown summertime, 12 hours of riding basically clothed in nothing but sunscreen and a paint spash, grabbing drinks on a patio afterwards, and the feeling of Luciferi-like fitness; the next it's March with 8 inches of snow and layers of knobby ice underneath, the world in permafrost and you well aware of your age and weakening and wondering if, as Seamus Heaney wrote, "there is no next time 'round."

Most of the blogs have died. It used to be a thing, like

But it was something more than streams of punchlines, which, somehow, is the bulk of the written word today. That and attempts at marketing, for buying things or politics or religions.

It's hard to even remember the questions and formalities that used to make up impromptu, and, yes, sometimes repetitious face-to-face conversation. We don't have to risk the non-routine.

Hell, we don't even have to ride the non-routine. Half the rides I see on Strava take place on an uninhabited Pacific Island. Last week Taylor Phinney rode with a teammate there and even "liked" the image my teammate posted to Instagram of it.

As a matter of fact, I did ride my bike to work today, a day after 4-8 inches of snow fell on DC, and with streets spackled with ice. I bunny hopped two icy mounds nearly the height of 'cross barriers. I shouted profanity at drivers who pushed me into non-existent bike lanes.

See, now you don't have to ask. Not that you were asking.

I'm not sure why I rode today. I could have easily taken the Metro. I decided this morning to do it. I mounted the bike, rode three pedal strokes and promptly collapsed on the ice. Well, certainly the main streets will be clear, I thought. They weren't.

I should have turned around when I saw the first accident occur on 11th and Rhode Island.

When the cars nearly ran me down, I guess, because they were like, "this man deserves to die for being such an idiot," I should have stopped and gone home. Instead I shook my fist and shouted "GO BACK TO GLEN BURNIE!" And felt good.

When I accelerated through the ice mound on 7th and F and again on Pennsylvania and 3rd, I probably shouldn't have. It was insane, flying through the air and frightening pedestrians and my rim getting wacked all to hell when I landed.

I wish I could've seen the tracks. Thin lines on the whitish board of the city. All I needed to say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, wild ride. Especially the ending. We love the adrenaline, and the snow brings it out. I bet that's why you rode.