Since I last posted in here, I am the proud owner of a new Schwinn Meridian, identical to the stolen cherry red one–except that it’s blue. A friend in Beechwold put it together Saturday, and I christened it with a ride back to Olde North/Baja Clintonville on Sunday afternoon. So, I can say I’m back in business and back on three wheels.
The Beach Boys say that “good good timing (ah ah) you need good timing.” This is true, especially in the matter of the stolen bike. If it had to happen, this was the best time. The bike vanished Thursday night-Friday morning, and I faced a busy week, beginning with Pride Weekend. I would also be working at the Columbus State bookstore from Saturday morning until the following Saturday. Had it happened any other weekend, I think I would have plunged into a rather deep depression, which would have affected my ability to do any type of work, take care of myself, or do anything proactive as far as trying to retrieve the bike or put the word out to friends and bike stores.
“Work is the best antidote to sorrow,” Sherlock Holmes said to Dr. Watson in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Between Pride and the bookstore job, I was able to keep myself busy and not have time to ruminate on the loss of the trike.
I am not sure how much of a correlation there is between my bipolar disorder and the problems I am having with sleep. My psychiatrist/sleep doctor increased my lithium intake to 950 mg per day. (He had wanted to increase it even more, but I was worried about the dyskinesia coming back.) The first night with the CPAP was so bad that I was not physically or mentally up to working at the bookstore on Saturday morning, and I slept without it. (This was not a smart thing to do, since my sleep doctor has told me that I’m running the risk of having a stroke in my sleep if I continue to sleep without the CPAP.) I didn’t get to bed until nearly dawn, but I was up by 2 in the afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening at Goodale Park and the Pride Festival.
FedEx Ground delivered my new trike in the middle of the week. I had them send it to a friend’s house, because if my thief happens to live in this neighborhood, I didn’t want to put him in what the Catholics call “an occasion of sin” if he were to see the box on my front porch. Between bookstore work and ComFest, I did not expect to be riding the bike for several days. Again, there were pleasant distractions to keep me from dwelling on the fact that I still did not have three wheels beneath me.
I hate to speak ill of the departed, but the blue trike (Trike 2.0 is its temporary name) handles a bit better than the red one. I noticed this when I took it on its maiden voyage from Beechwold back home (just under four miles). I noticed that it was much easier to go up inclines than on the red one. Hills still aren’t fun, they just aren’t as much of a chore. I still would add gears or a motor to this trike were I to ride it in Cincinnati or San Francisco. I have had Trike 2.0 for less than a week, but now I realize that the red one handled like a tank. I have already established a familiarity with it. There was an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series when Scotty stopped what he was doing and had a very strange look on his face. He told Spock, “Mr. Spock, the ship feels wrong.” Spock totally does not understand this. Scotty says, “All instrumentation reads correctly, but the feel is wrong.” Mr. Scott, of course, is proven right.
When I came home from Beechwold Sunday afternoon, I just had to buzz my neighbors down the block and show off the new cycle. One of my neighbors, who had hosted the backyard movie the night of the harvest moon, said, “Just look at that smile!” Despite being kept busy by the bookstore and the State job, I had been badly depressed by the loss of the red trike, so I think it was a relief for my neighbors to see that I had perked up and was plugging myself back into life again. I am sure I was not very pleasant company during the trike-less week.
I have not abandoned the search for the red trike–if/when it turns up, I’m giving it to Susie. One person I know will make a conscientious search for it. He’s a young guy (early 20s) who also rides a trike. He doesn’t ride a Schwinn Meridian, but a model which he converted to five speeds. (I was at a downtown bus stop one night earlier this month, and he was riding by. He and I talked about trikes and compared notes about them.) Since he’s a trike rider, he will have a sixth sense for them. It’s like if you own a Karmann Ghia or a Mustang. It doesn’t take long before you’re instantly able to spot every model like it that’s on the road. And Schwinn Meridian trikes aren’t exactly in demand.
My major ComFest purchase this year was a new (old) manual typewriter, a Royal Skylark. I bought it from One Man’s Treasure, a business in Millersport. The owner always has a booth at ComFest, and I’ve jealously eyed his wares every ComFest. This year, I plunked down $35 and bought this portable typewriter on Saturday. On Friday night, he had a Remington Travel Riter for sale, and I almost bought that, except for the fact that the ribbon was just about shot. I proudly took the Skylark home on the bus, put it in my study, and then headed back to ComFest, where I stayed until it closed for the night at 10 p.m.
|The Royal Skylark in its new moorings. One way to solve the erratic Wi-Fi availability in my study.
Steph and Susie are in New York this weekend. They took Amtrak from Florida to Newark, and will be there until early next week. Susie was determined to go to BronyCon, a convention for devotees of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s taking place in Secaucus, N.J., but New York is still quite accessible by commuter train. Steph is chaperoning her and spending the weekend with all these apprentice furries. I publicly declare here that she has atoned a thousandfold for any sins of omission or commission, by what she has done and things left undone.
There is nothing on my “to do” list this weekend except for Nite Owl Theater at Studio 35 on Saturday night. As a way of christening the typewriter, I have been mentally composing (and making a few stray notes here and there in pen and paper) a poem about apnea. It’s partially inspired by James Dickey’s poem “Diabetes,” which appears in his collection Drowning with Others. Diabetic friends of mine say it describes the condition and the symptoms very accurately. This is fascinating, especially since I learned later on that James Dickey never had diabetes.
The temperature today made it to 101 degrees F. At the moment, it’s 10:42 p.m., and the temperature stands at 94 degrees. (I almost wish I had one of those old blue Mail Pouch thermometers.) The house has central heating, but no central air. Currently, I’m sitting on the front porch with the laptop on my porch rail, my shirt unbuttoned, typing away.
I am tempted to sleep out here tonight, but I don’t feel like going out to Giant Eagle to buy the OFF! or citronella oil necessary to keep the many insects from having a banquet.