stranded. may 3rd.

yesterday was a FANTASTIC day.

i biked to work in the morning, again, in perfect spring weather.

i worked with the girls for a while, catching up on everything. i offered to go to the bank with all seven deposits, since i had my bike and needed to go to the post office anyway.

i'd made the cookies the night before, and dropped a few in the mail to a couple people in florida. i had made some crafts for nina's kids maybe three weeks ago, and promised to mail them tomorrow every day since. it felt so great to finally get them off my hands. and a couple other things, too.

and brownies' birthday is coming up soon, so i dropped a little something in the mail for her as well. i'm so awful with pre-planning birthday mailings, so i am kindof impressed that i used my brain and figured that one out.

and i mailed my mom's mothers day card, because i won't get to see her after all. i wrote in her card, trying not to get all sentimental, knowing that she will cry on the other end of the line, as hard reading my card as i cry when i read hers.

i biked back to work, trying not to look for joey on the path. but i did a couple times. then focused on looking down, to break a bad old habit of looking for the person i want to see.

work was nearly over by the time i got back, but i knew that trying to work from home yesterday would have resulted in too many beers and cigarettes, and not nearly enough work. so i stayed after close, and didn't go home until i had finished everything for end of month, which was well ahead of schedule and something that felt fantastic to accomplish.

and i biked home.

and then it was time to turn right back around on my bike and head in the direction of alice.

because my other friend lauren was only in town for one more day, i'd double booked myself. i thought i'd see lauren first, for happy hour in the city around 5. and that i'd hang with alice second. but alice ended up being ready at 330, so i went to her first, and lauren ended up needing some wind down time and wanted to meet up at 7 instead, so it worked out almost perfectly.

i'd already biked about 45 minutes to that point, and left for the bar where alice was hanging out. and i got two thirds of the way there, and heard the tell tale 'pfft'.

and said aloud, 'oh. no no nonono...'

i got off my bike, and looked for the source of the sound. a roofing nail was sticking halfway out of my tire. and it was hitting both my rim and my fender, making a lot of racket before i was able to bail off my bike.

poor breezy. and like a retarded stab wound victim, i yanked the nail out of the tire. and she bled out. well, passed gas. i mean...

so i told alice i had a flat and was on foot, would be there in about 15. and tried to think about where to get it fixed so that i could still make it to lauren by 7. she'd decided against center city, and for west phila, so i had a 50 block trip instead of a 5 that could have been walked.

you know, it's fine. miss breezy has only had ONE flat tire in the nearly three years i've owned her. and it was in the fall. so two flats in three years is totally okay by me. i just hated being between places, with no alternative way to get there. and alice said we'd get a new tube, so i tried to not be angry about it.

i got to the bar, and seeing alice, and catching up with alice, was so fantastic. i honestly can't remember the last time i actually saw her. it was right after christmas, i guess. it's been too long. but as we always do, we pick up where we leave off. and so much always happens between the times we see each other that it's like a race to talk the fastest so everything gets squeezed in.

and we did a bangup job. i had two beers, and had a nice little afternoon buzz going by the time we decided to leave, in an effort for alice to teach me how to fix my own flat (because i am utterly clueless). but when we got to the bike shop, i just handed over my bike for the dude to fix the tire. my time with alice was running out, and it was more fun to smoke outside while he worked than to take like eight times as long and get filthy and maybe not be able to fix it.

and then we were off to her place, to hang out for a little bit longer. and then i had to leave.

being with alice was really good for me, for a few reasons. i got to tell her the difference between friends that you hang out with at a bar, and then real friends. i got to tell her that i love her and care about her and that i'm there for her. because we don't usually talk like that so often, and also tend to flake on hanging out more often than not, i guess i wanted to let her know that i'm around if she needs a friend. we had a lot of fun, and i'm hoping that there's much less time between the time we waited to hang out the next time around.

so i left alice's and biked all the way west, back across the bridge, the same way i go to work in the morning. and i was taking my time for the second half of the ride, to cool down. i need to figure out how many miles i biked yesterday. going so far makes me want to track it...

and i got to that bar about fifteen minutes late. i'd allowed 30 to ride there, and i guess it took 45. sigh.

i walked in, expected lauren to be with at least three other people, maybe at a table with like eight other people. and i walked in and she was coming toward me with arms outstretched. such a wonderful welcome.

lauren is one of the coolest, sweetest, smartest, and most determined people i have ever met. what's funny is that is the same age as aubree, with so many similarities between the two of them that she was like my stand in little sister when she lived here and worked with me.

lauren and her girlfriend got this crazy idea last summer to move to austin from philadelphia. via BICYCLES. it took two months. and they fucking DID IT!

all of this after lauren had a very close call a couple years ago. she was biking here, in the city, and got hit by a guy who turned left in front of her. she was knocked unconscious, and woke up in the hospital with no front teeth and her jaw wired shut. for six weeks. she really almost died. it was horrible. and the reason she's here this week is to try to recoup the money from the jackass who hit her. well, really, his insurance company. but whatever.

so she flies out tomorrow, and this was my chance to see her. and she was there alone, waiting for me.

we had almost two hours of talking catching up to do. it was fantastic. her life in austin is so exciting. the first half was her telling me about the lawsuit. we both said that legal proceedings are super fascinating, and we both feel that we missed our calling to be lawyers in this life.

she was so wound up, because of the douchebaggery of the idiot who hit her, and i guess in the end, i have faith that the jury will see that he has four different stories and four different explanations.

the bottom line is, even if he had the arrow, he should have yielded to her. i can't imagine her not winning the case. my fingers are crossed, regardless.

so after all that catching up on life and boys (for me) and ever and the house, and on life and her girlfriend and her job and her new life in texas, i was heading home. i'd had two littler beers with her there. and ate a huge dinner - i cleared my plate. again. i was feeling a little silly, but not too silly to bike. and i don't like riding at night, not at all, but had no choice because it was already after 830.

because i had to wake up for suck store at 545 this morning, i already was leaving 30 minutes after i'd wanted to. but just like alice, i didn't want to leave when i did. i felt like i could have spent hours more there talking with each of them.

but lauren headed back to her group of old roommates, and i jumped on breezy, and headed home.

i got about ten blocks, and then hit a really steep downhill that leads to an old bridge. i had basically gone the wrong way. and instead of backtracking two blocks and biking away from the direction of my house, to the bridge i always take (new safe and clean), i continued the downhill route, to the old scary dirty bridge, that is a more direct route to the house.

and just as i was passing the store that i work at with pam and kim, something felt very wrong.

i was bouncing too much. the ride wasn't smooth. and because of the hill i was on, slowing down was quite a thing to try to do. but i did, at the bottom of the hill. and bailed off my bike to see what was going on.

and fuck me sideways, i had another flat.

i could NOT believe it.

i couldn't believe it, because i had paid to fix it only four hours before. i couldn't believe that i could get two flats in one day. i couldn't believe it because i had put myself in a much more precarious situation by going the alternative route. i couldn't believe it, because i had JUST started biking home, i was nowhere near being close to home. i couldn't believe it, because i had to wake up stupid early, and was already getting home later than i wanted to.

if i still lived in my apartment, i would have been home in about 20 minutes from there, on foot. but because i live at the house now, i thought it would take 45 from there. it took just over an hour.

nina talked to me for over half an hour, while i walked my bike through some pretty sketch sections of south phila. and i saw and attempted to hail two cabs. neither stopped for me. probably because i was in sketch sections of south phila. it was fucked. and there was no bus to be seen.

it was just so typical. and once i got to the north end of my street, and started walking south about 20 blocks to my house, all i could think about was the walk of shame home post-joey. which is NOT what i wanted to be thinking about in that state of mine. and how, just like that morning, i finally crossed paths with a cab that would have picked me up. and that i was three blocks from my house when that happened. why fucking bother?

by the time i got home, i had a blister on the top of my foot that had rubbed itself so much it popped. and i got to my stoop and sat down to finish my last cigarette of the night.

despite an amazing night out with two super awesome friends, and despite having a phone full of people i could have called, but none of which have cars to throw my bike in the trunk of, i felt completely alone. and thanks to the hormones coursing my body, i felt completely sorry for myself. and in thinking about who would be the person to come and get me before this week, and before the last year. i thought about kit and i thought about ever.

i walked home from kit's once, when ever was home and too lazy to come and get me. i was so mad i didn't speak to him for the rest of the night. i hadn't seen a cab then, either, and because he had gotten stoned and started eating ice cream and watching the office, he couldn't pry himself off the couch to come and get me. that night it was much later, about 11 or midnight, walking through the same shitty neighborhood.

it just felt really pathetic. that i didn't have a single person to call who was close enough to me, with a car. and i walked and thought about matthew. how, if he (or anyone else for that matter) was my boyfriend, i'd have an instant go-to for a hero. he (whoever 'he' is) would be my hero, and drop everything to come and save me.

and then realized, 'ohhhhh.... riiiiiight... this is why having a tiny roster of two fuck buddies is less desirable than having a committed boyfriend-style relationship.'

and then thought about that for a while.

i don't know. it was this kitchen sink of pity party thing. for over an hour, while i walked home.

my day had been mostly awesome. and then super awesome. and then the fucking WORST.

but i made it home. and right after i did, i got into bed. and it started pouring rain. and i had to laugh, because, wouldn't it have just been perfect if the bottom fell out when i was almost home? can't you just see me, pushing my flat tired bicycle in the rain, dripping wet and freezing cold? it would have been poetic. i'm really grateful that didn't happen.

and i got into bed, sweaty and sad, worn out. and i had a decent thirty second cryfest. and passed out.

i should feel great today. i was so beat that i fell asleep once i had quieted myself down a little. i was asleep just after 11, which i can't say for any one night in the last three weeks, to the best of my knowledge.

but i was so congested this morning, i couldn't even do my whole neti pot, because it wouldn't flow. after stopping for the third time, i just gave up. and i took one of my medicines, the 12 hour one that i missed last night. but i couldn't take my steroid nose spray or the other 24 hour medicine because it was 645 am, and i had to wait two more hours to take it. and i guess i forgot it on my bed in my rush out this morning, because it didn't come to work with me. and now i'm stuck for the next three hours without a way to breathe easier and feel better.

sigh. again.

but don't worry, friends. i'm not feeling sorry for myself anymore. last night felt like the loneliest saddest shit to go through. but today when i woke up, i felt totally different about it. it's no one's fault but my own that i didn't have someone to come and get me. it's no one's fault but my own that i don't know how to fix my own tire, or carry a spare in my bag. i know a lot of people who do. and it's no one's fault but my own that i chose to bike between happy hours. it's no one's fault but my own that i continuously choose to lead a solitary existence, where i rely on myself for the most part - i've become a commitment-phobe. i have friends, but i try not to lean on them too much. and most of the time, i'm too stubborn and proud to ask for help when i really need it.

and most of the time, being self reliant works for me. not asking favors works for me. but last night, it backfired. i'm just glad that i made it home safely, and without incident, mostly.

and this weekend, i'll get my bike fixed properly, by my trusted shop. with aubree in tow.

one. more. day. i'm so excited. i think she's starting to get excited, too. but she has left a lot to the last minute (that's how she rolls), and is also probably super stressed at the same time.

i've been thinking about trying to put something little together this weekend. like a meet n greet little tiny party at the house. but half the people i would invite couldn't make it anyway. i don't know. part of me wants to plan something. and part of me just wants to get people out somewhere so i don't have to clean before and after. and part of me wants to let her call all the shots, and not try to pull anything off right away.

i don't know what to do, or if i should even try. it's so super last minute, like kit's party idea, i don't think i should mess with it, because that stressed me out, trying to pull it together so quickly with no planning.

meh. i don't know.

we'll see... she might have an entirely different set of ideas about how to spend her weekend, and i don't want her to feel weird either.

maybe i'll wait a week. feel it out. see what happens. and plan ahead so everyone can come and say hi.

back to it, here at suck store... two hours until medicine and rest at home.

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