Friday, October 25, 2002

The mist rose from the ground and for a moment, place wasn't. Gertrude Stein said 'there is no here, here' but this moment was the antithesis to that. 'here is everywhere, here'. And for that one moment, as the lights bounced off of that rising mist, and the trails of cars streamed in and out of the parking lot, things were right. very right.

'saying i love you makes me think it through and grab the words, check them in my head, make sure they mean what I think they mean. They reinforce. They tell me what I need to here. I. Love. You. I don't love anyone else, I mean I do. I love my mom. I love my sister. I'm even pretty sure that I love my Aunt Grace, though she's a bit off.'

'shh. i know'

they continued to walk and his finger stroked the keys in his pocket, wrapping the lariat around his fingers in preperation of unlocking the car door. For whatever reason, instead of unlocking his door (which unlocks all of the doors in the car) he prolonged the moment and unlocked the door for her. She stepped in and he did a little dance. Just a couple of steps, but enough to express his feelings. Reaching his door, he saw that it was already being opened for him.

'that's not the way it works!'

She giggled at this, and he entered. His attempt at chivalry foiled in a way. There were still bits of rain coming down and the streams coming down the windshield made the light from parking cars dance and leap magically across the window.

the car started, music was chosen (very carefully, of course) and slowly he started to back out, stopping two times for cars darting down the parking aisles.

'wonder what Gina is up to. Is it ok to call? I mean, when does our date end?'

'no, it's fine! I wonder if her hair extensions worked out ok.'

'really only one way to find out. hmm, her cell phone keeps ringing. better try the house.'

'there you are! Why didn't you answer your cell? Anyway, Paul and I were on our way back from a movie...'

'you wouldn't like it Gina!'

conversation always intertwined. Sometimes it turned into a bit of a dance, tripping over each others words, finishing sentences, interjecting with new comments. Tumultuousness doesn't really begin to describe it, but somehow it worked as a viable way of communication.

'yeah, it's probably not the type of thing you'd enjoy but it was interesting, um...'

'It's a non Adam Sandler, Adam Sandler movie. he's a very angry guy'

'will you let me talk?'

He shut up and let her talk, but while driving, he realized that he felt a bit like Willie Lohman in Death of a Salesman, and it scared him.

'I don't want to be Willie Lohman.'

'what dear?'

'I feel like Willie Lohman right now, and as good as it feels, I know that I don't want to be him. If anything I don't want to be him.'

'who's Willie Lohman?'

'he's the main character in Death of a Salesman, Al Pacino, no, Robert... um... Dustin Hoffman played him in the tv movie.'

this seemed to passify Julie and she went back to talking with Gina, but it was still bouncing around his head.

'In the play, he was happy at these little moments that to him seemed like it summed life up. His life wasn't ok, and things were actually pretty horrible, but these little moments made things happy for a while. That's not the way things are. I mean, life is good. Life at the moment is pretty great.'

As they drove, he came to the conclusion that he needed to spend the rest of his life with this girl, and he tried to figure out a way to say it. Flowers? nah. Food? no. In a way, he wanted to stop at a convenience store without saying anything and come back with something he could tie into a ring. He feared that she wouldn't quite understand, though up to this point she had dealt with his idiosyncracies pretty well. She did make it through Ironman.

He decided, quite suddenly that with 20 minutes to go, he could stop at Target.

'where are we sweetie?'

'Ok. This is going to sound really crazy. I don't even quite understand it myself. This isn't a proposal. Not yet. But on the way back just now it hit me that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I need to buy you a ring. You can't wear it on THAT finger, but I want you to know I'm commited no matter where I end up.'

to be continued...

Sunday, October 20, 2002

OK, I think that this is the real start of the novel, or at least it will be as soon as I finish this little mini journal. Settling into weekends without long training has been a little difficult, and waking up with snow on Oct 20 is even more difficult. In any case, it just seems like there's nothing to do without multihour bike rides and runs during the weekends. I start a new weight program tomorrow, something I found on TriNewbie Online. I'll try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. Anyway, that's the update on this side of town. Only other thing worth mentioning is that I'm still trying to learn more about sports nutrition and just what I do and don't need. I saw my weight pushing levels go down a little as the week went on last week, and I'm not totally sure what to pin that on. Sleep schedules are still whacked, so that's got to be part of it, but I'm also a little leery of the food in my system. I just dont' know how to get food into my system quick enough after a workout, or, anyway. I don't know. I'm just not sure how to get food into my system faster after my workouts, that's all. Anyway, without further adieu, here's the new opening, i think. Maybe....

If I had access to Instant Messanger as I sit in the water right now, the conversation would probably go something like this.

Me: OK, what am I going to do, I have absolutely no idea why I’m in this mess at the moment and I feel a bit like a newly unbeached whale trying to get used to his body again.

Julie: It’ll be fine, just think about all of the time you HAVE trained for this, you know that you’re ready.

Me: But I’m not ready! I haven’t trained nearly enough! I’m going to die in five minutes.

Julie: Suck it up.

Me: Suck it up?

Julie: Yeah, suck it up. What else can you do?

At this point, I realize that this imaginary conversation isn’t going in the direction that I’d like it to and I think that maybe I should really start to pay attention to what’s going on. All around me, brightly colored latex heads float up and down in the water. Looking from the parking ramp above, it’s got to look something like 1800 rubber duckies undulating behind this makeshift startline. Unfortunately, I’m not above looking down, I’m right in the middle of this brightly colored mess and I’m about 5 minutes from what could be 17 hours of effort to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then run a full marathon, 26.2 miles to end the day.

“What did I get myself into? Am I insane?” This floats through my mind and as I turn around for a second…


I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but there are arms flying everywhere and I’m moving forward not by my own will, but by hundreds of rubber clad people, bumping into me and pushing forward. My arms come forward and I try to start to swim, but arms are landing on rubber people completely surrounding me. This is not right, I’m afraid. Where’s my mother! Get me out of this mess!