Thursday, April 24, 2008

Get On Your Bikes. RIDE. (redux)

So, tonight was the first time I took an emotional bike ride (not a figurative ride, a real one provoked by emotions) in a while. And it was odd.

Normally I love bike rides, and I think they can cure almost any bad mood. But after so many bad moods and so many bike rides. . .well, now all my old paths just remind me of all those old times.

In fact, a bike ride is a pretty fitting metaphor for life, I've found. What with the constant pedaling, the highs and lows, the uphill struggles, and the flat tires, there are a lot of parallels to be drawn to everyday life. This is fairly evident, I suppose, in the phrase "shifting gears" and the fact that every possible ounce of metaphorical value has been strip-mined out of it, forever banishing it to languish with other cliches like "crossing the Rubicon" or the immortal "live and learn."

I would ride this particular bike path last semester when I thought of my ex-girlfriend and wanted to stop thinking about her. The path starts with a terrific downhill race, fast enough to outpace any worries. Then a mostly flat road next to an immense field, devoid of concrete and full of potential. Then a bridge with a nice stream running under and past it (how's that for heavy-handed symbolism?) before you come back to campus and hope that no one spies you dismount your bike and notes your sweaty backside.

It is a nice path, no lie. But I started to think that I run far too much. I have hurt people and tried to pretend that I don't notice. I am ashamed, and I am embarrassed. And so I run, so no one can look me in the eyes.

These problems I have are no different than the ones I had. They have not changed. I entered college with the same fear of love and the same pessimism toward God that I hold dear today. I left High School anxious to leave behind my self-doubt and self-pity and just my-freaking-self.

I'm still running, but not from the right things.

. . .

Oh, well.

Live and learn.

Irony of the Day #2

Well, my term paper is finished, as is my book presentation.

I stayed up until 4 working on them, and went to bed. When I woke, I was surprisingly awake, and felt pretty good. After going to work from 3-5, I decided to take a quick nap, thinking that it would help me get through my four-hour shift starting at 7.

I woke up at 10:30.

I set one alarm (my untrustworthy phone one) and accidentally left my phone on silent.

So I woke up at 10:30.

It didn't take long for me to realize that sleeping cost me about $25, making this the most expensive nap I ever took.

And now for the delicious irony: I am too angry to go back to sleep.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Irony of the Day #1

My friend Erin Joy came up to me at work, pleased that it is Earth Day. To celebrate, she told me, someone had set up an area where you can decorate your own t-shirt. . .with cans of spray paint.

. . .to celebrate Earth Day.

Later today, I hear that styrofoam packing peanuts and uncut soda can rings will be passed out, so be sure to get some. Or bring your own.


Bring your own pollutant?

. . .no?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Round of Lasts.

There aren't good words to describe what is in my heart right now. I had been planning on writing a scathing trilogy of harsh commentary on religious things, but I have no right.

I went to a dinner theater in Little Rock tonight with my dear friend Bethany Cannon for Chi Kappa Rho's spring formal. We had a lovely time and enjoyed some wonderful company.

After, though, I realized that this is the second-to-last formal that I'll go to. This in and of itself is not so terrible, but I started thinking that it is about time for several lasts. I have little time left, and much to do.

As we drove, buildings took me to the first time I ever saw them on the way to a Broomball function in Freshman year. The river reminded me of walking the waterfront with Erin Archer and Brittany Hunt and a revolving door of other fun friends, and how we almost never stopped laughing when we were together. We took the road I drove several times the day that I found out my grandfather passed away. I remember deliberately trying to get lost, then later going to Office Depot to see if buying pens would make me feel better. We drove by the movie theater where I saw Napoleon Dynamite three years ago. I went twice and got lost both times. That movie theater has DDR, which I used to be good at.

But we also drove on pretty roads, ones that I had never seen before. Somehow they made me pray for more time. More time to explore and be free temporarily and then return to safe, safe Harding with the few responsibilities and even fewer expectations. Soon I will be expected to be a man. I wanted more time, just like how I wanted more time to be with the people I care about tonight. But when driving, it is a simple matter to just slow down, so I suddenly have more time to spend with them. With life, does it ever slow down?

I've got nerves, my friends.


Friday, April 4, 2008

This is How it Goes.

Okay, I'm going to tell you what I'm going to do, and then I'm going to do it.

I will share with you two anecdotes, the first semi-humorous and the second harrowing. In each I will share a problem and how that problem ended up well. Then I will turn the whole thing into a chapel talk.

First: I toasted a tortilla yesterday to munch on while doing work. It had no holes or tears, and thus when heated the inside air expanded the entire tortilla puffed up like a Whoopee cushion. In order to let the air out so that the tortilla would not harden into a big crispy balloon, I bit an edge. The air came out, and burned my lip. After several minutes under the faucet, it hurt less, but only because my lip was numb. I am still in the process of regaining sensation.

How it ended up well: now I can tell ladies the story and ask them to kiss it and make it feel better.

Second: I took a CLEP test today, after half-hearted studying and little rest. Upon starting the test, I learned that if I failed I would not be able to retake the test for six months, effectively removing my ability to graduate in a month.

How it ended up well: I passed.

How it becomes a chapel talk: And isn't that a bit like Jesus? [Insert random yet well-known inspirational verse, nothing challenging]

[Reiterate self-centered stories here, with slight word change to tie in the religious part]

[End with no challenge, and no change]

I am frustrated in my heart today.