As I pulled onto Armitage I was passed at a light by a bike-wanker. He shot through oncoming traffic amid honks and squealing tires. I thought by the time the light had changed he'd be long gone but no, he wasn't riding fast, he just couldn't be bothered to stop or respect the other traffic on the streets. And so OK I'm really not competitive, but just by going at my normal (admittedly driven) pace, I passed him. So at the next light he shot out into the oncoming lane and whizzed through another red. I was thinking "He's doing that because I passed him, but I'm not going to be drawn into this reckless game."
But he was matching my route. So through no agency of my own, he stayed twenty feet in front of me all the way to Boystown. I just slowed down, stayed right behind him, because otherwise I'd just pass him every block, to have him pass me at each intersection where he would stop traffic and alarm drivers shooting out in front of them as they accelerated into crossings.
We finally parted ways at Halsted & Belmont. But as I was locking up in front of the Coffee & Tea Exchange, removing my helmet and walking in to get my coffee I saw him go noodling up Broadway. The lesson here is this: it doesn't matter how many skull & crossbones stickers you have on your brand-new Chrome messenger bag, or how much colored electrical tape you put on your frame-- I will smoke you. Me and my dorky helmet and my 1957 Phillips and my enormous thigh muscles will destroy you.
Good thing I'm not competitive.
The rest of Saturday was mellow: lay on the couch reading Elizabeth George, covered in cats, had a chocolate shake, bought groceries including a six pack of beer (an increasingly rare buy for me) and only had one, played guitar for a while, played the uke a little longer, watched Brian Williams mock himself on SNL, then watched Nature and Nova and American Masters and switched my clocks, and toddled off to bed at 4, or 5 am.
Sunday-- Lay in bed, again becatted head to toe, reading the Reader. No dogs, no bikes, no shopping today-- I've laid in enough supplies to get me through until Monday without me having to put on pants even once. My bachelor's brunch thus far has included (but is not limited to) black angus steak, my second pot of coffee, Dutch apple pie, herb-wrapped Brie & olives, mixed nuts and a banana, banana omlette, banana sandwiches, banana casseroles, mashed banana molded in the shape of a British lion rampant, blended with eggs into batter for French toast, squeezed out a pastry nozzle across the creamy reaches of a banana blancmange-- wait, no, that was that other bachelors' brunch.
Today's big plan is to enjoy some television-- I can leap from channel to channel on a Sunday like ice chunks in a flowing river and never dip my toes into paid programming. (High on the list today is "The Patty Duke Show", which isn't always good but has a theme song that lives in my head all week, plus I like scanning Patty/Cathy for Samwise-like facial expressions). And if I can make it through "The Flying Nun" without passing out, there's the Sunday Night Gallery/Twilight Zone bloc. The only thing that could make the day's viewing better is if my new TV girlfriend was on. I'm still close to Tina, but we've been growing apart, and we just never had the chemistry that Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and I have.
Anyhow, I think that overall I've done a great job of not getting any actual writing done this weekend. If I can only keep this up, I'll be in a perfect position to crap out 45,000 panicky last-minute words November 28-30.
*Stuff happened on Friday, but it's not anything I can really write about rationally. So let's all just pretend it never happened.