Its Complicated…

I prefer the company of people who are a little bit ‘kookums’ – I’m not talking boiling the rabbit because the love tryst didn’t work out type crazy. No, I mean the complicated type of person who is rough around the edges.  Maybe this person has some ‘issues’ (really though, who doesn’t?!). This individual sees the world differently than most. To me being a little bit ‘off’ adds flavor to life.

As I’ve grown older Ive come to realize that I’m drawn to people who dress differently, think differently and act differently. Perhaps this is a product of the way in which I grew up. With a few notable exceptions, mine was your average vanilla suburban upbringing. I grew up in the outskirts of Los Gatos, the epitome of Middle Class Suburbia. Freshly manicured lawns, 2.5 kids, nosey neighbors, all the usual suspects. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not complaining. I was lucky. I had a doting mother who saw to it that I never went without.

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Back In The Day…

I’m very lucky.

I’ve been to many interesting places. I’ve seen and done things that many people will never be able to do. A sublime example: Moab, Utah. What a surreal and incredible (no it does not lack credibility) place to visit.

A mountain bikers paradise to be sure. Slick rock, Poison Spider Mesa, Porcupine Ridge (picture above) and the infamous Portal Trail. Really though, that last trail isn’t nearly as scary as some would have you believe. Those unlucky few who fell to their ultimate demise did so on a very minuscule portion of the trail. Yes it was narrow, yes it was ‘technical’ – But I think the magazines and locals over state the inherent danger of the trail.

Riding was my life. I ate, drank and slept mountain bikes. There was literally nothing I would rather have done than ride. Biking was like a drug; something that pumped endorphins through my veins like crack through an addict.

I’m thankful for the times I had in the saddle. Now if I could just grow back my cartilage…

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Fear

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation…

I’m not entirely sure when the expression first came into my consciousness. But it certainly summarizes one of my greatest fears. I look around at the world and wonder just how many people live in ‘quiet desperation’ – How many have simply given up… Mr. Thoreau, unfortunately I think your  observation is correct. I certainly see it in some friends I’ve known since my youth.

But Not me.

I am going to fight “it” until I’m pushing up daisy’s. Oh I have my ways.

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Mother

I remember it like it was yesterday.

We were on our way to the store to buy something or other. Not sure what it was but I recall we were on our way to Oakridge mall. At some point on the way the car, well actually the driver,  swerved into the other lane. A seemingly small incursion into the opposing direction of traffic. Nothing to worry about right? Perhaps she was simply inattentive for a split second – We all have had our moments where we took our eyes off the road and it was no big deal, no consequence to endure.

We arrived at our destination. A large sprawling mall in San Jose. Typical stuff here; large expanses of asphalt parking surrounding a non-descript box. The quasi-public mall that is the bane of current progressive planning – but that is a whole other story. I can vaguely recall the expression on the gentleman’s face as he clearly feared being run over. Was he simply not seen? Deep down inside I knew that it wasn’t quite that simple. For once again the car had veered out of its proper domain.

I look back now. Its been some 30+ years and I realize the unpleasant truth of the situation; The driver of the car was drunk.

My mother was driving post imbibing, but I was to young to know what the ramifications of drinking alcohol entailed. But I would soon learn what happens when one drinks too much.

When I was 13 she passed away. She was “only” 44 years old.

It was like a weird dream. One day she said she needed to go the doctors because she wasnt feeling particularly well. Next thing I knew she was gone. The end didn’t come too quickly though. It took a few weeks for her liver to eventually fail. I can recall the doctors saying it was touch and go.

I hate that expression.

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