Weird day today. Some mid day annoyance – where annoyance is a very mild way of putting it -, which almost ruined my day. Then some unexpected difference on my near daily bike trip. But let me back up first to create some context.
Since rebounding from my last episode of major depression, I have made it sort of my daily routine to do a lap of some 18.5 miles (30 km) on my crosscountry bike. I force myself to do this pretty much every evening, unless there is pouring rain or an otherwise conflicting agenda. When I hadn’t managed to get my behind in gear, I sometimes even rode in darkness with my head light on. My route takes me to a larger lake in my immediate vicinity and along its East bank to the next little town and back home. I usually stop about half way through in a place that is largely hidden from plain eyesight and sits right on the water. Most times, I get to have it to myself and it’s a perfect place and moment to unwind, meditate, reflect or simply take the beauty of the scenery in, while listening to the soft gargling of little wavelets, the leaves in the wind, some occasional cries from water fowl and the splashes from jumping fish. It is a little different this time of the year, as there are summer holidays in many parts of the country and quite a number of tourists and visitors flock to the area. So my regular trail was unusually crowded and a middle aged couple joined me in my “power spot” later on. Also, someone played the accordion on his private boat in a small distance offshore, which created a different atmosphere than usual. But all good. Actually – pretty nice. But see for yourself.
About 30 ft. from this spot, there is a little heap of stones, which I usually wade to on bare feet. (I’d go swimming, too, but have to take it easy with that since some bad infection a few weeks ago that had me hospitalized). Initially, I was a little concerned with leaving my stuff unguarded, but decided I wouldn’t let take distrust over again and did my little stone pile visiting ritual :). After a while I returned to shore and sat there for a while, basking in the light of the setting sun. So were them, the couple, seated some 15 ft. away from me. I wasn’t eavesdropping, but at some point, I couldn’t overhear the lady expressing some dissatisfaction with something her partner must have said. When they caught sight of me, her facial expression suddenly changed, as if she wanted to make light of it in some way. I smiled back, attempting to look innocent as if I hadn’t witnessed her little outburst that went s.th. like “20 years or longer and you’ve never managed to [inaudible]! It’s always the same with you!” They held helmets in their hands and were dressed in motorbike gear. I nodded as they got ready to leave and sought their way back through the underbush and onto the main trail. I kept wondering for a while, what age they might have been, what jobs they might have and whether they were tourists or from around here. But in all honesty, I had forgotten about them when I myself headed on a little while later. But not for long…
I found the small, retreated path, which goes right through underbush, with twigs and leaves hanging into the way, and leads up to the main route taking me into the little town. I usually manoeuver with one hand on the handle bar, holding away branches and twigs with the other arm while I go uphill. It’s a bit of a struggle every time – especially at night and in near pitch-black darkness! -, so I make it more worthwhile to me by phantasizing about being a wilderness adventurer cutting away through foliage with a machete to make himself a path. LOL! So, I’m always relieved and exhale deeply when turning onto the main street while getting ready to reward myself with the lengthy downhill slope at fairly high speed. I was firmly focussed on the bike and the road this time as a lot of cars passed by. Just when I took the curve into the remaining stretch of the way before getting into town, I noticed a motorbike in the corner of my eye. I turned my head and sure enough! There was the dude from earlier on, sitting on his parked vintage motorcycle with a rather discouraged look on his face. All of this happened in a split second, but I was able to see it all. The expected passenger however was missing and he had both helmets in his hands (I remembered them cleary as one was black, the other one white, and they were kind of retro looking). I dismissed any further contemplation by thinking “Piss stop” :). But then – there she was! Walking on the side of the fairly well frequented road, with firm strides, her purse dangling from her back. She must have put at least half a mile of distance between herself and the man on the bike and she didn’t seem busy looking for a safe place to quickly relieve herself. “They broke up”, was my initial impulse. How crazy for me to witness something as significant as this from the corner of my eye! With my next thought, I told myself I was reading too much into this little scene. On the other hand – what was he doing parking his bike like that with no apparent effort to follow her, guard her, get her back or if it was indeed about looking for a place to take care of some pressing business, walk alongside her? Hm. Strange. But soon, something different would capture my attention, which helped to quit thinking about them, although I will admit that the thought and bewilderment about “They just broke up!” would be on my mind for a little while.
I crossed the city limits at last and headed further downhill. To the left, there’s the police station – lo and behold, I had to escape from them a few days ago, as they had previously stopped me complaining about the lights on my bike. I got away with a warning. But the second time around, they might have pulled me over, so I escaped on a little trail in the underbush before they closed in on me, tehe 🙂 This time, it was still broad daylight, so I let my mind drift off while enjoying the speed. A little ways before coming past the police station, there is a deserted property, which I had passed by many times. Although it’s shielded from the main road by some high trees and rich foliage, you get to catch a glimpse of the old villa on an unkempt property of about half an acre. The villa itsself though speaks of faded charme and an elegant lifestyle of its prior owners. It’s a shame, actually, that noone has shown any interest to buy the place and go about restoring the building. I spotted a little gap in the fence and… trespassed in.
However, all doors and windows were covered with sheets of wood and it was too dark already to go in from some broken in windows and doors in the basement. So I went around the building one time, taking a good look from outside, while paying attention to some prickly thorn bushes and wild roses, and fancying what the interior architecture – or rather: Its remains – might look like. Scenes of pompous soirées flashed before my eyes, like we see in some movies, with wealthy and elegant hosts and sojourners, the scent of canapés mixing with the flavor of wine and the arome of fine cigars, while a classical pianist sits at a C-sized grand piano reciting the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Haendel. I could almost hear the chatter, the clinking of champagne flutes and the tinkling of the piano… Before it turned even darker or someone spotted me, I headed back onto the main street.
There she was again! The girl with the determined strides, making her way away from her old life and heading towards the unknown! So now I was sure, they had either broken up or at least gotten into a major fight. She had never caught sight of me or if she had, she was carefully concealing it. What a weird experience that I should be the witness of their breakup!
I got to have another moment of peace, when sitting on one of the piers a few minutes later, absorbing the intense light of a sunset that was nothing short of liquid gold!
And now I’m back home, hit with the news of a relative’s passing and taking my mind off by writing this odd blog… Crazy day in a way.