Friday, November 6, 2015

You down with TKOPP?

Where You Go? Part 7.2B

The moment I realized that I was lying on the ground... I tried to get up.

I couldn't.

My body wouldn't listen. I rolled back and forth for a moment, talking to myself and hearing gibberish come out of my mouth. That would have unnerved me...if I wasn't so preoccupied with why I couldn't get off the ground. When I finally managed to roll onto my hands and knees, but still couldn't figure out how to stand.... my brain started cycling a message... like a klaxon in my head...
"This is bad... This is bad... This is bad... This is bad..."

At first... I thought I'd broken my neck. Because nothing else could seemingly explain the entire lack of control that I had over my body. But... I could feel everything. I could feel the sharp pain in my hip... in my neck. Just...nothing was working. As I tried to stand, I was like a newborn giraffe. Falling over multiple times as I pulled myself repeatedly up onto unsteady legs. But damned if I wasn't going to just make it happen. Because... if I could stand up, even when my body said I couldn't... then that meant I was A-okay. Right?
When I was finally on my feet... walking in unsteady circles and trying to stay upright...the first question that popped in my head was... "Where the fuck am I?" 
Then... "No... seriously... where the fuck am I?" 
And then... "Oh fuck... where the fuck am I?"

Because... I had no... fucking... clue.

Apparently, I was here.
Happier times .. four hours ago... before "the fall"
(Thanks be to the professional photoguy I wrangled into snapping this with my phone.)

I did a quick mental inventory. 
Name - Dots Wixon (check)
Address - a shitty rental in that place (check)
Son's name - Milobobilo (check)
Place of work - Revalucation Cycles (check)
Birthday - ohfuckI'mturningFORTYthisyear!!! (check)
Birthplace - Shatlanta (check)
President - thanks for making me wreck my bike Oh-bama! (check)

I knew all of it. 
But I still didn't know where the hell I was. Save that I was in...a place. On a trail. On my bike. (well... until recently)

I sat down... and tried to get my shit together. As much as I could account for.... I could not account for where I was... and why.
Phone calls ensued, and I sufficiently freaked out La Dorita with some confused jabber. Exchanged confused words with another rider, who seemed pretty ambivalent to my plight. ("Oh... here's your bar-end, by the way. I'm-a keep riding."
Slowly, things started to fall into place.

"Alright...I should figure out where exactly on this trail I am, so I can shortcut it back to the van and....
VAN! I have my van here! And I know where it is! It's in...that parking lot! By the field! Okay...I should look at that map to see if there's a faster way ba...
MAP! I have a map in my pocket!"
I pulled it out.

This place really does rule. It's the Warrior Creek of the Midwest.
I'll be back.

I found my trail instantly. Knew which direction I was headed and found the loop where my van was parked.
Then I read the words at the top of the map.
"Nashville, IN"

My legs went weak again and I felt tears in my eyes.... because... I was in... Indiana? Wh...why...
Why the fuck was I in Indiana?!

I had to sit down again.

Then I rallied. Fuck it. Let's just get back to the van and figure it out then.
By the time I got there, I had it pretty well in hand. A flowing cascade of thought opening door after door of memory. The van. I was in the van because I was traveling. I'd left Kentucky yesterday and was making my way to Madison, WI to see Tobie. As for why I was in Indiana?  I mean... it's almost no wonder I didn't know why. Because... there was no real rhyme or reason to my being there. It was just... where I ended up. Colonel Segal had mentioned good riding in the vicinity. So... That's where I headed.
And the very nature of the trip was... getting lost.

Boom. I got this shit.

This one is for Chris. Because he just informed me that too much werds without pikture isn't kool.
Dam. Bekuz werds is all I hav.

My kit was torn and bloody. Which sucked, because that was one of my favorites. Hey Chrome! Send me new! And my helmet, while still togetherish, was cracked all the way through in multiple places. When the handlebar caught on the tree, I had been slammed instantly to the ground... landing on my right side and TKOing myself in a pretty big way.

Concerned phone calls began to roll in.
My mom: "Are you ok, angel? I'm worried." (Sheeesh. Yeah, Mom.... I'm fine. (I hope))
My doctor cousin: "You definitely have a concussion. Don't be an idiot and hit your head again anytime soon. In my professional opinion... that would be really dumb." (Like... how dumb?)
Dorrit: "I'll be there in 9 hours." (That's fucking crazy. Don't do that. Wait... did you hit your head?)
My sister: "Not to freak you out...but judging by everything I've read online... blood is currently pooling in your brain and you are dying as we speak. Seriously." (...thanks, Jeannie...)

I changed, showered at the campground... and drove into Nashville, IN to eat some food at the brewery I'd stumbled upon last night... when I'd rolled into town expecting to find a Cracker Barrel Town. Instead I found this bizarre wonderland of young people and dogs. And tourists. I asked the pretty barmaid "Hey... quick question: Um... what the fuck is this place?" She laughed and explained that it's an artist community. And the closest thing to  "mountain town" that IN has. So people stick around. Huh. Well... I liked it. At least. I was pretty content sitting there with a beer and watching people.
When I rolled in this time, the place was insanebonkerstown. My temporal awareness was blown by travel and I'd forgotten that it was now the weekend. It was like trying to drive down the strip at Myrtle Beach during Labor Day weekend.
So... I turned around and drove toward Columbus, IN instead, deciding that it would probably be wise to get myself checked out. Especially since I was absolutely going to have a beer with dinner. And as far as I know... you're not supposed to drink when you have a concussion.
The Urgent Care place said they couldn't do anything for me and I should probably try the ER. "Fuck that. I'm not going to the ER, damnit." So I pulled up to another brewery and wolfed down a jagerschnitzel. Tentatively ordered a beer... and waited to see if I died.

In the meantime... I was blown away by this town too. There were a number of funky and unique little restaurants and businesses. A boutique hotel. And LGBT Pride banners hung along lampposts in the downtown.... alongside Domestic Violence Awareness Banners. How is it... that Columbus, IN... was more progressive than fucking Greensboro? Because it was.

Part of this entire trip... was trying to get some perspective on why Greensboro drains me the way it does. And why I look wistfully and yearningly at... everywhere. And why I refuse to grow roots.
And I'd like to say that I found that. But I can't. Instead... I returned more lost than ever. Riding in on the wake of that giant wave of melancholy... the one that always looms.

But we're not there yet.

That night I stayed at a Red Roof somewhere north of Columbus. Partly because there was no camping to be had anywhere... and if I was dying (thanks, Jeannie)... I didn't want to pass quietly into the night in some random abandoned parking lot and be that guy. And partly because La Dorita made me. I showered again... basking in the hot water... watched shitty hotel TV. And passed out...

I woke up with the most intense head-ache I've ever had. Moving quickly hurt. Everywhere.
I was ok.
But I was sufficiently sobered. I've never hit my head that hard before. Not enough to shake my memory loose and make my entire brain reboot.
But, I the same time, I feel like my memory is always fucked.
(Walk out of the house and realize I forgot my jacket. Walk back in... grab a bike. Realize I already have a bike outside. Bring bike back in. Forget why I'm standing in the house. Grab a backpack and try to put it on. Realize I'm wearing a bag already. But bag down and grab bike. Walk outside and realize....)
So... there's that.

Even when thinking hurts.

I made coffee in the parking lot and started my progress up toward Madison, WI, where I'd sup with Tobie DePauw and we'd sprawl our thoughts across life, love and the bicycle industry...
....and how we could maybe save it. The bicycle industry, I mean.

We could try, anyway.

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