I have a hot date with the laundry (having already taken out the trash and tidied up).
Consider this your guide to the bike races.
Seriously, do not tune out. I can tell you’re reaching for the remote.
It’s really a guide to everything that was going on inside my head during the bike races, as I was up there today, sitting beneath the whispering pines for a long time.
This week marked another moment in life when I thought: I think I just accidentally caused my own death. Besides riding my bike as fast as possible, traffic be damned, I’ve done some stupid shit. I went repelling down the side of a Victorian-era viaduct when I was 12, some ragtag outfit was standing around one summer day and I was wandering aimlessly around the countryside with nothing better to do than to jump off the viaduct. The rope may not have been very well secured. I fell down the first 20 feet in a free fall. My knees broke the fall for my face, which was good because I was going at quite a clip and being super-hot was not my given talent. “She has a face only a mother could love…” my mother used to say.
That was then.
On Thursday, the day after the upper GI, the 4 biopsied areas were so painful as to keep me up and upright all night. I called the exchange around 730 the next morning, the doc prescribed a viscous lidocaine gel solution. With a Mylanta chaser.
The pharmacist pulled me aside when I got to Target.
“We’ve never mixed this before, so….”
“So, you did it and you’re really pleased with the results?”
“Yeah, I guess…”
He handed me a 24 oz bottle of the stuff. And a syringe.
“What am I supposed to do with all this?”
He turned the label towards him. “Swallow 15 milliliters 3 times a day for pain.”
When I got home, I noticed the syringe only went up to 10ml. I cautiously measured out 10ml and read all of the precautions.
Has been proven to cause death in children under the age of 3. I proceeded to edge the syringe down to where my tonsils used to reside. The pharmacist insisted I would know when I reached the spot when I gagged. ???
I decided I would only squeeze a quarter of the syringe’s contents – as a test, and in case it would later be proven to cause death in people much older than 3 years old.
The instant I pressed the plunger I realized I was going to panic at the numbness in my throat. Good thing I didn’t have to wait that long to go from calm to completely freaked the fuck out.
Sensing I could pass out if I were able to panic myself into a frenzy, I found my way to the sofa where I reclined, slightly, my head back, breathing slowly and deeply.
People who survive stuff do not panic, I thought. I stayed in zen breath of the wild state while I googled “how long does it take Lidocaine to wear off.” About an hour. I turned on Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone needs a medical drama at a time like that. Meredith Grey both drowned and was revived in the episode. (can we call it a spoiler 10 years after the first showing?)
It was a good distraction. The hour passed, the feeling returned, I did not die, dramatically or otherwise. Life is good.
I was thinking about memories as I stared up at the pines and the sky. After everything else leaves, only the memory remains. It is what we carry like a stone, buried.
Every one of the bike races was thrilling. 6 hours in, I went for a long bike ride of my own and then returned to watch the women’s pro races. The sight of the pack pacing up the hill, gears threaded and cranking, clicks and rattles of chains and air blowing as they whizzed by. It has been humid and thick since sunrise. On my 300-somethingth fastest 3-5mile run today, I snapped a nice pic of the first hill.