Friday, September 24, 2010


Of an evening featuring last looks at people I may never see again—or at least, not for a while—I got to examine a place I’ve never spied before on a Thursday night ride and enjoy one last glimpse of summer in spite of fall having arrived half a day earlier, as we rambled south to the beach with Beach in its name and then discovered a short, sweet trail through the woods past the park with Beer in its handle, before following the power line trail up the side of the ridge and finally bombing down the freeway adjacent off-ramp to arrive at last at the practically natural environment for the faces I’ll have to hold in my mind’s eye from now on—for some months anyway, if not for all time.

Usually, I’m already too disoriented by 7:30 at Westlake Center to provide leadership or direction, but a long-running meeting at school meant I arrived with my faculties more or less intact so I got to feel first like the Angry Hippy with the contrarian suggestion—really, more of a demand—for the route, then like Lee Williams himself (sans bag) as I uncharacteristically headed the pack to our supply stop, and even channeled a bit of Joeball in offering up an unfamiliar destination complete with water and wooded pathway, (albeit no fire).

It was all birthdays and bon voyages at the sing-along and even though I shoulda known better than to assay a number I’ve triumphed with before, others performed soundtracks so infectious that feet couldn’t stop moving, a much-preferred outcome from a bourbon and beer consumption perspective anyway.

Eventually, it was time to say goodbye and I think, in my haste to climb towards home rather than pedal for a nightcap, I never ended up giving my regards to any of the incipient emigrants, which I’m glad about, actually, since now I can deny that they’ve ever gone until we meet again.


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