Archive for May, 2011

Slow puncture

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

London, people, lots of.  Want to escape but I’m trapped in a metal tube, jerking along in a blaze of stark strip-lighting.  Country mouse, nay dormouse .   Stink of hot bodies, beer breath, most looking like they’ve already downed a nights worth.  I feel alien here.  Something’s changed since this was part of the daily grind.  A lot has changed and it’s not just the passing of time.

Go through the motions of the evening.  The company’s good.  A friends birthday, his friends making an effort, do my best but I’m floundering.  Surreptitiously glance at my watch, long for quiet, pillow, book.

Rewind a week.  Lying in a tent listening to the rain beat down on it’s not necessarily waterproof flanks. Pitched at 12.30am in a downpour, towels sacrificed to sop up the flood.  No bike this time but another wet field in a long list of fields,  perhaps one too many.   Most recently they’ve been inhospitable.  Wonder if it’s the endless repetition of being soaked through and ferrying home a car full of sodden kit or is it that I’ve got old, that I’m too tired, too broken?

I saw friends in that last muddy field; they were in all honesty my main reason for being there.  I’d gone sans bike ostensibly to do other things but those long, not seen friends were the main draw.  I’d gone prepared as always and with no expectation of seeing the sun.   I could see  folk having fun, that it was probably special but I couldn’t get there.  Unhappy, tired, sick well differently so, getting dizzy getting out of bed in a tent you can’t stand up in is unusual even for this bag of bones.

Fed up, very. Questioning things that I’ve always looked forward to, always enjoyed no matter what the weather gods threw.  Reminisced cheerfully under dripping shelters about the days when a gazebo acted as sun block rather than a way of keeping dry. Opened another beer, stayed up too late encased in wellies, waterproofs and occasionally a sleeping bag.  Chatting, having fun with people I love,  doing the thing I love, or was that ‘loved’.

Maybe I just need a ride, maybe that will re-set my mind which has defaulted to ‘give up’. There’s the rub, until I can shake this bug which encased my lungs in barbed wire and filled my legs with lead the bike lies redundant, unloved in it’s corner by the fire, with a flat tire and a coating of dust.  Yes dust.  It’s only been a few weeks but my mind feels like lungs underwater and  I’m looking at the list of things entered and curling into a ball of disinterest and dread.