Day 48. The Cow Poke Day

Cheerios right outside my door. The breakfast nook is there and people are quietly pottering about with their sticky mini-muffins and 2% milk. I sit and scoop the yellow wheels from the white pool and gaze into my coffee. Bagel. Jam from a silver-topped packet. Cream cheese. Orange juice. “Where are you headed?” The woman is sitting with her husband at the next table, eating her flakes and examining my curious attire. I tell her. “Oh, that sounds wonderful.” She begins to share the story about her own bike tour. When she was in her twenties. Through Colorado. “Though I …

Day 47. The Grintonium™ Day

In the cool morning air, the girl draws deeply on her cigarette. A lung absorbing beat, then a smoky, tired sigh as she exhales directly into my face. It’s an accidental discourtesy and she catches herself immediately. I blink with it, as she waves her hand between our faces to shepherd it away. “I’m so sorry,” she says, with the wrinkle of brow that holds the proof of her apology. Then, in a moment of apparent self-loathing, adds, “I’m so unhealthy. Not like you.” So quick to put herself down, I think. She doesn’t know what she’s capable of. She …

Day 46, The Ticker Tape Day

I’ve experienced the arctic chill of a cold look. The pyroclastic shiver of cold, hard cash sliding between the seams of my jeans pockets. I’ve heard tell of folks with cold, dead hearts, frozen to all including the docile faces of puppies. But lemme tell you this. There ain’t nothin’ colder in this world than chamois cream applied to the nethers at 30 something degrees Fahrenheit. Now that. That is too much information. The little girly squeal in that moment. The face all clenched and wincey. But this is the mountains girl, and in the mountains you’ve to be all …

Day 45, The Skeletal Day

The donut is stale. I eat it anyway. After last night’s too-lazy-to-schelp-out-for-food state, I can’t help but stuff it in my willing gob and masticate the shit out of it. My lips are no doubt dusted by its powdery spell. My brain, numbed by the action of blindly chewing. Picking up a plastic spoon I shovel in, with slow, methodical patience, Cheerio payloads and ignore the milk dribbling down my chin. The bowl is made from foam. The table, laminate. I watch with half-baked interest, the weather report flashing on a TV, set heavy and high in the corner of …

Day 44, The Gristle Grind Day

Meat tearing and re-tearing. The gnaw and groan of muscle and gristle as it fights against the protesting crank. The uphill. Actual uphill – not the slow, lazy yawn of Kansas to this very point – works against the motion like an irritating grain of sand in an oyster. No pearls in these legs. No hidden treasures to be ripped from femur bones. And yet, and yet. Why? Why do my legs hurt? I’ve just had two glorious days of doing nothing but eating, and drinking, and lying around on the couch while pretending to be an aunt to three …

Day 41, The Read the Signs Day

I don’t believe in signs. STOP signs, sure. They’re not wired to lie, set – as they are – in intersectional domination at the corner of ‘oh crapsticks!’, and ‘this is gonna hurt’. Hand on Santa’s grab bag, I believe in STOP signs. No, I’m talking about those mumbo-jumbo signs that futures are cooked up over and fancy stories about equine giddyuppers, of which there are four, are hatched about. Signs of things to come. Events yet to occur. Hints at our destiny and coy, creepy winks to our unknown futures. “She shoulda seen the signs,” they’ll say, looking back …