Heat, seizures. Electrons.

August 27, 2010

A heat wave.

The day after I got my bike back from the tune up I headed out to check out this salvage yard parts place in Burbank. Since Monday we are in the middle of a heat wave. Everyone tells me how nice it was (before I got here.. Ha!)

On my way to Burbank the brakes seized up again. Just coming off the freeway, Bwwwwaahhhh… Stuck. I managed to get the bike up on the sidewalk and out of the way.

even the camera took a picture that looks melted by the heat... the suzuki on the sidewalk.

It’s over a 100 degrees. I actually don’t really care to know how much over 100. I just know that I am not feeling too good. My heart is pounding, my fingers tingling, I’m dizzy. I don’t really want to leave the bike alone while I wait for help from the Cycle Depot guys. People always tell you how terrible LA is with theft and all… “don’t leave anything” so I crouched down under the only shade there was under a short palm tree and some flowers. about 50 feet from the bike.

I got up to go get something on the bike and I fell right back down three steps away. I almost passed out. I feel panicked. Not good.

Brian from Cycle Depot showed up with some tools, he did what I had done in Salt Lake: he took out the brake pads from the caliper. I have to get to the motorcycle parts place but I am just fried. I do feel literally fried. I ‘m thinking it’s the beginning of heat stroke. Brian says : you don’t look so good. I said “ I’m shot, feels like I am going to pass out. So he went and got me water and Gatorade. A block away there is a McDonald and he took my bike there, as I was in no shape to ride, and I walked there slowly drinking the Gatorade.

Wow, this happened fast. I guess, sleeping in the tent under the hot sun started the dehydration process, then riding with helmet, jacket and long pants, finished it.

The Gatorade worked wonders. I felt my body reviving. Brian was my savior today.

We sat and chatted there for a good 20 minutes. A guy sitting next to us could not help himself and intervene in our motorcycle conversation.

“Motorcycles, yeah, I used to ride them all the time, they are dangerous, it’s full of idiots out there… they don’t see you. I decided not to ride them anymore.” Brian and I were just talking about how much we love to ride. The guy did this a few times, re-iterating the cons of motorcycle riding. I finally said : “ Well it’s a choice and we still have the freedom to make that choice or not.”

Choices. What you do. How you react. What you think. How you decide to handle things.

To try to prevent duress at any cost means that you’ll be only thinking of avoiding life.

That was Wednesday.

By Wednesday night I had spent $400 on the bike.

And by this point in time I’m tired. My body is reverberating heat, fatigue. I am anxious. Stressed. All this money. It highlights the fact that I don’t want to stop.

Tujunga sunset

I don’t want money to make me fear and back off but it’s hard cold reality stares at me, unavoidable and it forces me to stare back . I can’t reel. Can’t falter. Must move forward.

“Calme, droit et en avant”
Calmness, rectitude and forward motion : the basic tenets of riding horses. This is what I must strive to be, do, have.

By Thursday night the bike’s bill is up to a thousand dollars : new tires, chain, sprockets, and … yeah… brakes again. We also realized that the tail light and brake light do not work. So now I have to buy turn signals because if they remove the ones that are on there now to access the tail piece, they will crumble, they are that old and cracked. Another expense.

It’s got to be done. No doubt about it. It’s my life at stake. I know it.

I spend the day at the bike shop. These guys are pretty cool. There is a whole world going on there. Their world. they work hard.

6 PM. I was supposed to go rehearse with Forrest at 3 PM, Forrest Robinson is a very, very gifted percussionist who wants to share the music with me. What a gift. I called him around 4… still working on the bike…

By the time I get there, it’s almost 7. But somehow it just works. He is great. He catches on my quirky music stuff without lifting an eyebrow. The grooves are great and I feel ever so lucky. We got a good set of 10 songs ready for the show. Awesome. My spirits are lifted. It all makes sense.

Last night was short, antsy and very hot, I am tired. Gotta get some rest. I got on the freeway but somehow missed the exit and found myself heading south towards the lights of LA on the 2. They appeared in the distance. Mesmerized by the light show, the speed, the cooled air. With those new tires, chain, sprockets, tune up… the bike is flying. I am smiling. Oh yeah. the beauty. the whimsy of a missed exit. Life. I turn around, zip back up speeding along a Porsche back to my missed exit, God that feels good.

I am a bike junkie. I need my shot of adrenaline and gasoline induced high and endless miles as often as I can. I let out a “Whoo hoo!” it feels so good. Don’t worry about the money. It’s only money. This is worth everything. The music was worth everything. The feeling of just being here. So alive is worth everything.

The night was cooler and so was the morning. Last night we sprayed ant stuff (read poison…) around the tent last night and I slept ant free. Yeah.

Friday AM.

Already. Show tomorrow. Travel insurance expires today. Got that handled. Got a radio interview with Winnipeg for Leoffenders’ video release. We started and there was too much noise for them so I had to let them go without me. Oh well… The bike is at the shop hopefully for the last visit for a while. Brake work and that tail light repair. I just caught up with emails and messages. Gotta write and do laundry. Then maybe another rehearsal later today if everything and everyone lines up.

A junction is coming.

A friend in Vancouver emailed to say that someone would buy my 94 Skylark up there…. George’s car…

That is a big one… Selling the car means a whole lot more than just selling the car. It means another letting go, a shedding, a moving on… a big one. A really big one. Will think on it a little more, but in all honesty, it’s already all thought out.

Last night I was discussing with Duane about the possibilities. About the vision. About the nature of all this life and choices and open roads. About being human and choosing to be either a creator of your own reality or a consumer of otherness.

The junction. The junction is about that choice. How deep, how true, how brave can I be?

I find that oddly, this crazy decision I made to follow the call : “Go South” to do it without plans has brought me closer to my own truth than anything else I’ve ever endeavored to achieve. And oddly, I find that I have never been so much “in the right place at the right time” than I ever have been. Intensely purposeful in a completely unplanned way. A bit of a paradox.

Yesterday friend David wrote something to me that brought me to tears :

“Getting to where you are at on your magnificent journey at this time of year as summer comes to a close and ‘that weather’ begins to return might push you to consider endings.  Consider rather cycles that come around and around.  Seasons set the rhythm of our souls.  When I used to walk to work I was in touch with the seasons.  It is harder now.  You have been living them.  Maybe my dear Savage is actually like and electron, if you stop its motion, it ceases to be one!  It ceases to be.  I think you are beginning to articulate what is the bliss for your heart in your reflections.  Always finid time to reflect.”

An electron.

Maybe that is the “speck” I was talking about when I was flying through the long stretches of New Mexico.

Lets electronize some more then.


2 Responses to “Heat, seizures. Electrons.”

  1. Alan Says:

    Heat wave expires this weekend, welcome to CA !

  2. Erika Says:

    Ditto 🙂 I could not agree more.

    The seasons are constant, whether we know it or not they guide our life, our own cycles of beginnings, middles and endings. David is right….to walk to the rhythm of the seasons is indeed a good thing, yet often difficult as we must undertake the mundane, the boredom that comes with the ordinary, quotidian activity of everydayness.

    That is perhaps the Art of Living and I don’t know who has mastered that one.

    Best that it not be mastered since we need to keep going forward (adelante) to remain alive and vital and present to our visions and goals.


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