Friday, August 17, 2012


I sort of regret not riding the bmx bike off the ramp into the lake, but I’m certain that I’d regret a broken neck had I done it and failed even more, so I’ll be content with the memory of having been there and observed those flying wheels and bodies, enjoying the vicarious thrill of momentary weightlessness before two-wheeled splashdown on a perfect summer night for doing so.

P.J. Diddy celebrated his 35th birthday by turning 15 all over again and taking the sort of chances that as a teenager don’t even seem like chances but at a certain age struck me, (at least after a couple beers and in the twilight on a bike with no brakes), as falling just outside the boundary of acceptable risk—an assessment which I realize marks me squarely as over-the-hill, but that’s okay, discretion, as they say, being the better part of valor in some cases.

Besides, it’s not as if the evening needed improving on from my standpoint anyway: shirtsleeve riding all night and a long swim during which I had a fish-eye view of the riders as they went air and then water born, some getting rad, others holding on for dear life, all, in any case, to be commended for their courage and/or mocked for their recklessness accordingly.

The birthday boy himself managed to see stars on at least two of his jumps, one of which inspired Wonder Woman to leap into the lake after him in case rescue efforts were necessary, but fortunately, some precautions had been taken; the lifejacket did its job and no one sank to the bottom like a stone.

See?  As we live longer, we do learn some things—like how to live longer, for instance. 

And if that means going at it more gently, it doesn’t mean we’re not still seeking thrills same as ever, it just means we’re finding them more easily: like right there in front of our eyes.


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