Saturday, October 18, 2008

Life out at the Lazy K....

Things are, of course, never dull out here. Granted, although we are certainly not in the league of the Lazy K Dude ranch of Montana, (the original dude ranch seen at your right) but in our own small way we keep up our levels of duderino-ness, although eschewing White Russians and bowling, for the most part (if only to preserve my marriage). It's my own small way of making a difference to people's lives here in East Anglia.

I've been sitting around in a mild panic not quite composing a new series of settings for the kick-off of the next series of Riprap gigs. Suddenly the days consist of a series of minor crisis: the dog and I have a series of crippling problems about the right kind of mechanical pencil, whether I've already had too much coffee, where's my favorite eraser, should I make bread? Would I be better off sitting at the piano and going through all the scores I have out of the library for a hoped-for flash of inspiration (or at least just something to steal), or should I just sit down and get on with it? The phone rings, and I'm greeted by a pre-recorded foghorn blast announcing I have just won the 6th holiday this fortnight. The John Cale/La Monte Young Dream Syndicate drone CD is proving strangely irritating (I suppose you just had to be there, man: NYC '65). Perhaps I should just put on the kettle?

The day started out in a promising fashion: a short sitting, empty the wonderdog as the sun came up, doing Wu Dang Long Form while the dog ran around me barking every time I attempt to 'sweep lotus leg', (something he finds wildly exciting, strangely). Make coffee, nuke oatmeal, eat.

That's it then - I will have to go and sit in my room and actually do something. A couple of hours later, there's this stubborn passage that, after much fidgeting about, will probably serve as a basis to Malcolm's poem Singing Bowl. Now it's time to start the kettle again. The dog and I eye up the truculent cheap-ass Screwfix chainsaw, in lieu of doing anything. This of course leads to 15 minutes of cleaning plugs, yanking and swearing before I finally get the thing to start for the first time in months. While I stand around like a maniac cursing and revving the nuts off the little bastard as punishment, I realize the whole last part of this sorry episode has been quietly watched by a Polish painter who had come by to give us an estimate, and is now clearly having second thoughts about working for this particular household.

So, an attempt to regain mental balance is necessary, and of course this entails two wheeled conveyances. I pull my road iron (as opposed to the fixie) off the rack and start to effect a few minor repairs with a view to having a quick, brain-clearing hour circuit before lunch and more work. Pull pedals off, start to replace and the phone rings; back to the bike again, and the postie shows up waiting for a signature. Return to wrenching, phone rings and I've won another holiday. Damn... run into house to tog up in embarrassing roadie gear and get out before anything else happens.

Barn locked, bike out, I clip in and start to spin down the road in a low gear. Legs always hurt for the first couple of miles, for no explicable reason, but it feels good to be out, as always. A few hundred yards down the road I shift up, and stand out of the saddle to pump it a bit and get it up to cruising cadence.

Bang... I'm on the deck, flat on my back, winded, with the bike on top of me, like a starfish spread in the middle of the road. It was as if I stepped into a manhole : straight down, no warning. Lying there dazed, I realized I had heard that funny roadie sound, which was made by me, of a large, hollow whump of a leather bag being tossed and slid along the tarmac, followed by a sudden silence punctuated by birdsong and the quietly clicking rear wheel as it slowly stopped. This was going to hurt in a minute, I knew... road rash, bruises, general next-day-soreness. As I struggled to unclip, I could hear a car coming around the corner......great, just great.

I had forgotten to tighten up one of my pedals.

things just get better.



Anonymous said...

good to see you back kbop

Anonymous said...

I have told you that all that exercise is going to kill you!


kbop said...

That's it... I'm outed as a body fascist; but I'm only trying to put off that rush to perdition - as Jonathan Edwards in 1741 would have it, my fate looks like this:

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night"

you can see this is serious stuff, so a little exercise, and my reddish grape nerve medicine are the only things that keep me going and delays my inevitable date with the yawning abyss.


Andrew James Brown said...

I, a fellow winded starfish flat on his back waiting for the hurt to begin as another pedal falls off his slowly deteriorating bicycle of life, salute you. As some wise geezer once said, these things shall pass, if, that is, you get off the road before that car comes round the corner . . .

Honorclare said...

advice from another crashed and winded individual; broken yet not crushed; it's not inevitable, the yawning abyss. There is hope after life; it stands there waiting for you to accept it.