It’s been almost a year since my electric bike got stolen, but I still haven’t replaced it. Forking out the dinero for a new one was never the issue. As much as I loved riding that thing around, I opted to buy a smaller and lighter folding bike I could store on my boat, without worry that some opportunist douchebag with sticky fingers was perpetually hiding in the bushes.
Another motivation to shun the powered bike had to do with ramping up my level of fitness. Since I’ve been riding my non-electrified, 30-speed machine around, I’ve definitely noticed an increase in leg-strength and lung capacity. There’s no real way to get around the hilly areas where I live, so I suck it up peddle hard, pushing personal boundaries every day.
At the beginning, I miserably begrudged not having the ease and speed my electric goddess provided to boot around. But I learned to quickly dismiss those feelings, reacquainting myself once again with enjoying whatever journey I was on. Pedalling through the woods on my path back and forth to my sailboat has reminded me to slow down and appreciate the moment.
I could have bought a car for convenience, but I didn’t. I could have bought another electric bike to get me where I wanted to go faster, but I didn’t. And even though I do have a new bicycle, I find myself walking around now more than ever. Not because I’m afraid of pedalling up big hills, but because I’ve missed far too much scenery and oddball shit while constantly rushing from point A to point B.
As I was biking back from the grocery store today at a slow and lazy pace, I passed two kids who were playing in their front yard. One was holding a rake, and the other a shovel. They were laughing themselves silly, and I’m pretty sure garden work had nothing to do with their folly. They were lost in their imaginations, with nary a thought about owning a car, getting a job, or what the next pressing thing on their daily agenda was.
That scene brought me back to simpler days — days where waking up and having fun were the only things that mattered. Imagination was king. If I was in church, I’d be having light-sabre duels with Darth Vader on top of the massive chandelier. If I was riding the school bus, I’d picture myself following beside on a motorcycle, jumping the fruit stands and parked cars like a maniacal Evil Knievel. Whatever drudgery or routine was presented before me, I always found a happy place in my mind to explore crazy fantasies. Being a kid rocked!
I just got back from the beach, and recalled a goofy thing I shared with my buddy the other day — sailing is utilitarian. It’s like camping — I don’t have a hard-on for sleeping in a tent, I just want to use it as a means to live freely and simply.
But I realized the error of my sentiment as I sat watching a small triangle float on the horizon while the sun went down today — I want to be doing what they’re doing! Sailing isn’t akin to owning a car or a bike or trekking through the woods. It’s a reckless adventure into the unknown, facing fear head-on, knowing Mother Nature could kick your ass at any given moment.
So what the fuck am I doing? I live on my boat, yet I spend more time writing than sailing. Shame on me. I don’t need a contrived destination to inspire me, all I need is the thrill of wandering. That’s the shit I love. New ports be damned, all I need to do is raise my rag to appreciate the magic of the moment at hand.
So now I have to look at the mess around me again. Sailing on a whim doesn’t work when you’ve got shit everywhere. How did I let my personal world get so cluttered? An hour to clean up, but in twenty minutes I’ve trashed the place again. What the fuck does that say about the nature of my mind?
Probably something I don’t want to admit — I’m scattered. Disorganized, sloppy, and cluttered. I haven’t even come close to simplifying my life as much as I’ve led myself to believe. There’s shit everywhere, and I probably don’t need 90 percent of it.
But that realization isn’t grounds for self-admonishment, its inspiration to pare things down even further. What was that line from Fight Club I quoted in a previous post?
The things you own end up owning you.
It brings me back to walking again. Even though I had a 45-pound pack on my back trekking through Central America, I felt liberated. If I could get that pack down to, oh I don’t know, let’s say, zero fucking pounds, who knows what adventures would await?
Would that make me a “bum?” Quite possibly. Or would that provide me with a freedom and opportunity I haven’t yet had the balls to explore — knowing no safety net existed for survival. No guarantees on comfort, security, or a blow job at the end of the day.
Perhaps that’s where true freedom lies.
If that idea doesn’t work out, I still know where to find a good shopping cart. And I love talking to myself out loud, while wearing gloves with the finger ends cut out. As a bum, I’d probably put those other homeless motherfuckers to shame with my insane verbal ramblings.
Kinda like this written shit I’m engaged in right now.
Hmm. There’s a good chance this writing has run away badly on me.
Probably something to do with my scatterbrain issue.
The delete button is here somewhere.
I just can’t find it at the moment…