Sunday, January 30, 2005

68.94 Miles

Part of a much longer dream...

I’m at my folk's house (but it’s not their waking world house). Things have been very stressful since Dad passed away and this visit isn’t going well. I snap at Mom about something and feel bad about it. She says it’s OK and I say, “I need to get out of here for a while.”

I decide to take their car and drive in to town. It’s a big, dark copper color Lincoln town car with a gray leather interior. I’m backing it out of a wide, three car, tudor style garage - like an old fashioned carriage house - with three arched garage doors. I can’t find the door opener button on the dashboard. Two of the doors are shut and the only one that’s open is blocked by my sister’s car - which ticks me off. I think, “Why on earth would she block the only open door?”

I somehow get the car out of the garage - don’t remember how - and I’m driving along a wooded lane with my friend Rick C. I can’t remember how he ended up in the car. We’re driving up a long hill on a hazy morning... not foggy, just hazy, spring sunlight. It’s a two lane parkway with a wide median... one lane for traffic going up, one lane for traffic coming down. We get about halfway up the hill and find a turnoff where you can turn around to come back down. I pull off to turn around and tell Rick that I’ll ride my bike from here - try to get in a nice bike ride. Somehow, my bike’s in the trunk, I'm wearing my helmet and bike togs, and Rick is gone. I’m going to meet him later at a bar downtown.

Riding down the hill is nice at first - it’s always more fun to coast down a long hill than to climb one. The road is smooth and newly paved in black asphalt. It’s slightly wet and shiny, like after a recent rain. But the road isn't slick and I’m peddling strong and fast. I round a curve to the right - banking deeply into a small town. Suddenly, the road is full of pedestrians and I slow down quickly to navigate around them. It’s like some sort of street fair or something.

Some guy on a bike has peddled up behind me, talking on his cell phone. I’m becoming annoyed with the crowd... it’s like people are completely blind to where they are and who’s around them. They’re oblivious to me and each other, wandering along, getting in the way. I’m especially annoyed with the guy on the cell phone. I tell him I do not want to hear his chatter. “Why are you talking on the phone while you ride?” I slow down and let him pass me.

As I leave the little town, the road opens up again and I’m able to enjoy the ride. I’m nearly at the bottom of the hill. I round another curve and find a covered gatehouse. I ride in. It’s old, wooden - like a covered bridge with heavy beams - and it smells nice, like cedar. There’s a small blue and yellow neon sign that says “Louisville Cycle Club.” On the other side of the gatehouse is a sort of open air shopping mall... lots of shops and other buildings connected to each other, rambling up the side of the hill.

My phone rings. It’s Rick. He tells me he’s in the old section of town, at the bar where we’re going to meet. “How’s your bike ride?”

“Pretty good,” I reply. I look down at my bike computer (a little odometer and clock, like the one on my waking world bike). I say, “I managed to get in about 70 miles... 68.94 miles. Where are you?”

“I’m up in the second tier.”

“OK, I’ll see you soon.”

I ride a little way back up the hill, along sidewalks in this mall, and into the lobby of a hospital. It’s a shortcut to the bar. I get a little lost riding in the plain beige corridors and ask a nurse for directions to an elevator. She points around a corner, where I find two elevators with glass walls looking out of the building. They’re impossibly fancy and modern, black leather airliner seats lining the glass walls. The other walls are red. The first elevator is full, so I ride into the second one.

My bike has disappeared and I sit in one of the black leather airline seats. There are a few other people in the elevator, including Rick. We start to descend and I say, “I HATE elevators. They scare me.” The elevator drops fast and I hold on tight. At the ground floor, the elevator makes a sharp, stomach wrenching turn and is suddenly moving horizontally along a curved pair of red metal tracks - like railroad tracks, but bigger. It occurs to me that this is more like a theme park ride than an elevator.

We get to the end of the ride and are deposited on an empty city street near a bus stop. The bar is only a few blocks away, but Rick wanders off with some girl he picked up in the elevator. She giggles a lot and I get the feeling that she's probably rather stupid. She has sandy blonde hair and wears a yellow and gray striped tube top.

I suddenly remember that I left the car up at the turnoff. I’ll need to ride back up the hill to retrieve it. I wonder where my bike is.


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