Sunday, August 21, 2011



It was a corporate cycling EVENT, not for a particular charity. That was my bad. There were three different groups, ‘the pro’s’ who rode the big 45-mile ride that ended near Ft. Calhoun (where I rode one day on a goof), the ‘open class’ group which our little foursome were a part of, and we went out to a cemetery (which I had to wonder if that was a co-winky dink or for convenience of service, if you feel me..!) and back which was a 25-mile ride. Then there was the ‘fun bunch’ that went out 5 miles and came back in to town. You could tell that group by the amount of kids and families that were in the crowd.

The whole experience was refreshing. I ended up catching back up to Di, because after a fast start out, I fell back to find Jen and Nebraska, who were going at their own pace. Getting the A-Ok from Nebraska, I sped up and caught Di, who I had spoke to before the ride and she spoke of keeping fit and what not, though biking wasn’t really her thing. We rode together to the turnaround point and she then gave me the word to ride at my own pace, which was understandable. I really don’t like being crowded and there was enough congestion without trying to stay with another rider. Besides, she may have had her eye on someone, so her riding may not have been the only ‘style’ I could have been cramping!

Got into my groove on the way back and the efficiency of the Omaha Police Department has to be noted as well. They provided traffic guards for the entire ride, which I thought was way cool. It was a little frustrating as some of the ‘pro’s’ who were straggling in from the big ride began to zoom by. I could not keep pace because of the difference in equipment. My bike is designed for trail use and asking it for that level of performance was not going to happen. Anywho, rode in a pretty decent time (est. 1hr 45mins) and rode on through the finish line where Nebraska expected me to stop and mingle with our team, and went home.


When I was in the service, this cocky young E-5 who wrestled at Indiana used to like to do the slap-box thing to me. Note I did not say ‘with me’, because I was not a willing participant in the activity! See, I never, NEVER, kid around with any kind of martial contact at all!! Even as an adult and dealing with small children, if they hit me, they get ‘hit’ back. How else are they going to get the message that there are some things that they won’t get giggles and ‘aw’s’ from people??
But like with my roomie in G’boro, the challenge of pushing around a big ol’ cat that boxed was too big a target to resist. They would take their skills as wrestlers and grapple me down to the ground… because if I could keep them at arm’s length and on my feet, the playing would reach a different conclusion than me twisted up in some kind of hold!

With their background and achievement in athletics, every then and now an ‘egg’ would get broken but hey, it came with the territory!! Anywho, I was working at the Doubletree Hotel and cats would like to ‘play’, trying to goad me into doing a little slap fighting. One time I went on and went along with one of the other servers and ‘an egg got broken’ and he got caught with a shot and took a knee.

A cook (who incidentally had the BIGGEST crush on Tee Jay..!) who was watching the to-do in the kitchen, announced to anyone who was in earshot, “I tried to tell y’all, Mark failed, ‘ plays well with others’ in kindergarten!” I liked that line and have kept it around to explain why I prefer to do things by myself and not in a group.


There is this ‘keep it real’ attitude that exists within social structures of all kinds that implies that no matter the environment one finds oneself, there is a certain codified list of behaviors or mores that remain immutable. It is related to the ‘stop snitchin’ ideal and the ‘tax on the rich is socialism’ attitudes that many of us are familiar with! For me on an individual level, my ‘keeping it real’ meant remembering that no matter what people thought of me that I was still, at least on the inside.

I guess this is part of my psychopathy. See, I don’t ‘let’ people gas me up as I had trouble winning compliments from my own family. When I mention my boxing rival and how he was ‘a friend of the family’, there is a lot of ‘extras’ that comes with that relationship, as well as the one my peeps had with my ex-wife that they both represent more than a singularity but a continuum. And what keeps the suffix –pathic from being attached owes itself to more 8th grade, Regan-era speak. “Trust, then verify.”

No, it isn’t enough for someone to simply say they have a thing for me or have an intermediary tell me they are attracted to a brother. This policy has not led me astray (and I have disregarded it only once, and yes, it was regarding the woman who would become my ex-wife) and if you want to know why a smarty-pants brother like me is still single, unlike Patti Stagner, I have at least been in the biggest game at the big dance (yup, bitch about it my marriage but it still counts as an appearance..!). Not only do I have that on my resume, but I have had two women accept engagement proposals from me… soo, it is not like I am some old codger ranting and raving out his patoot!!

Because of the late bloom to my flower, I won’t cop to being scarred but left with certain awareness, a kenning, when it comes to people. I had to endure enough ‘Carrie at the prom’ deals that as an adult, it has never been just about me being attracted to someone. And since I am able to compartmentalize my emotions, I can separate my feelings from ‘how you treat me’ and ‘how I treat you’ without feeling guilty. When I was PMS’ing over having to walk my sister down the aisle, it was because the one compartment was so filled with detritus and offal, that it was difficult for me to remain ‘the man that I KNOW and love’ and make sure that I look out for me.

Putting this to practice, the girl from the coffee shop who showed an obvious interest and then drew a boundary could show up at my door, tassels on her knockers, rarin’ to go and would STILL get turned away. She would not have been the first one that I have turned away like that (but jeez, I have hopes she will be the last..!), on the basis of unaddressed contradiction.

What that is… I will expound (or ramble on drunkenly) later. Peace, mon bon homies..!


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The bike ride sounds fun, glad you did OK.

Toon said...

At least the cycling event didn't happen two weeks ago when the temps were in the 100s. There would have been some biking souls harvested!

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, I rode my bike in a LiveStrong charity event about 4 years ago. i rode a trail bike and only did 7 miles. It kicked my butt (and there weren't many hills at all!) I guess a bicycle is not my thing.
Sounds like you had a good time.

V said...

The " if they hit me, they get ‘hit’ back." part made me laugh so much.
lol :D

indie.electronic.alternative. said...

hahaha- tassels. glad you like the song!

FrankandMary said...

You would turn her down tassled & everything...unassailable integrity. ~Mary