There are days when I go on a ride and it feels like a solitary event. Those rides are fulfilling for their isolation and alone time.
I also love riding on days like today. Not because it is probably the hottest day of the year so far, not because we got a late start and not because I didn’t get any photos but because all the riders on the road today seemed to share a bubble of unmitigated enjoyment.
It is as if every biker on the road is savoring the day in the same way. I feel connected to other riders. We wave at each other, even across a brush filled highway divide, unusually enthusiastically as if we know that the other is thinking, “How awesome is this?!”
Today is one of those days.
Humans are the only animals that have emotional conflict. Other animals eat, fuck, and fight when they need to. I’m not saying that other animals don’t feel – anyone who has been around a cat or dog has seen a happy tail-waggling dog, a frightened puppy, or an utterly pleased and purry kitty. But my kitty cat doesn’t spend sleepless nights brooding over some mishap from the day before. We weak humans, however, waste hours of our lives weighing the positives and negatives of relationships, work, or ruminating over some philosophical question…
Why do we do this to ourselves? It is masochistic – why would we do it if we didn’t derive some kind of pleasure from the misery we put ourselves through?
For many years, I couldn’t remember if his birthday was May 4th or May 5th so I would call him on May 4th and feel it out. I mean, I couldn’t ask! Eventually, I figured it out.
He would have been 64 today.
So, Happy Birthday, pop. I miss you greatly. You died just before your 59th birthday. This is the sixth year I haven’t been able to do the birthday dance with you.
We used to sing together. Sort of. He had a terrible voice and knew it. So we would caterwaul together. He especially liked to destroy, er, sing Beatles songs and this was one of our favorites to sing together.
Here’s a song for you, dad.