I was stalling, trying to take my time because I just wanted to be alone. I managed to get through work without having to say too much, be too social, just kind of be there and do the job. It was pretty easy to do this when I had a “real” job, the one with the cubical and the demanding boss. There I could I wear my headphones, be alone and do my work. Its a bit harder now that I work with ten people, in a place where its normal to talk and joke at length.
Being alone would be easy on the commute. Theo was probably stuck with a customer on the phone. Ian, Andrew and Nathan all drove so they were out. That left Hammerfest, and I figured she was going to meet her partner at the gym. No such luck, she waiting, or had the time to wait. I considered telling her to go without me, but hesitated and then decided that I was turning off early and could handle ten minutes talking with someone.
So we rode and talked about our boss who refuses to stay home, even while feeling and sounding like he’s on the verge of death. Then at the top of NE 77th I said my goodbyes and turned left and headed toward Rocky Butte. Russell had given me a set of intervals to do, which I didn’t want to do. Not because I was tired, or coming down with whatever is ailing my Boss. I just didn’t want to do them. It gets like this sometimes, and after years of training my-self to stay unhappy its easy for me to say “fuck it” and avoid the very thing I know will make me feel better.
A lot of things were weighting on me, but the simplest and easiest culprit explanation has to do with a cat. He would run down from the his spot on the porch and out into the street at the sound of my freehub. He knew with certainty that the sound of the Campy pawls was me coming home to feed him. He hasn’t run out to greet me in over a week in a half. We’ve seen not hide, nor hair of him.
The cool, calm knowledge based part of me knows this feeling is slightly ridiculous. He being, as a co-worker put it; “just a cat”. The reality of it is that his missing has changed things in the house. He was gift, from me to The Lady for the Valentine’s Day before last. His $25 dollar price tag was about all I could afford at that time. Which brought on a comment (that hurt a bit more than I care to admit) from a friend of The Lady’s. “Wow, big spender Bob”. Still, he was furry and friendly with strange quirks and is probably the best gift I’ve ever given.
NE Fremont ends at NE 92, becomes Rocky Butte way, or bible some thing or other way, since it runs on land owned by the City Bible church. I did these same intervals here last week. Then I was in a jersey, arm warmers and riding with bare legs. Today I’ve added leg warmers and jacket. Its been raining all day, so spent my day preparing to do these intervals in the rain. But for right now its not raining and I’m about to get a distraction from a missing cat. I hit the lap button once I pass over the first speed bump and hammer into the pedals. Four minutes, V02 to the top, then back down to do it all over again, and again, and again. The rain finally starts to fall on the last interval.
Twenty minutes and some sprints later I’m on my way home, and trying to peal a banana with gloves on. I take the usual route down into Sellwood via 13th before turning down SE Umatilla then left on 11th toward home. I go slow, really slow. Scanning the street I’ve scanned uncountable times in the last week in half. Two weeks ago Doug packed my failing freehub so full of grease that it is now silent. I cover the last block, still rolling slow then up onto the sidewalk, stopping in front of our house. No one is there to greet me.