Monday, October 2, 2017

head gear

i have a certain solidarity for London cyclists, particularly the ones who run red lights and refuse helmets. this is because I belong to this category of people. We get pegged for stupidity but it's misunderstood; the choice driven instead by the bleak self awareness that my brain isn't valuable enough to risk messing up my hair to protect. In the event I were struck by black cab and the built-in helmet that is my skull proved an unworthy safeguard for preventing my central nervous system from turning into a creamed potato, I can assure you that London would not stutter nor blink nor slow. "Keep calm and carry on" they'd say, toot the horn then feed me to the worms. 

People are sooo bloody rules-oriented in this country. obedient until the cows come home and ostensibly personally offended when someone else does not abide. to give an example whilst on the topic of cycling, the other morning i was riding home from the gym on an empty road at 7am. There was a traffic light built in for pedestrians, the subtext here being that IT WAS NOT A REAL INTERSECTION. like, no cross street.The traffic light turned red. there were no cars, no possibility for turns, and no people crossing the road- only me on a highly sinkable single speed olive rossignoli that really chaps my ass when it comes to matters of reversing inertia. So I blew through the light, ignoring the four or five sheep on wheels traveling in the opposite direction, in that moment mind-numbingly compliant as they waited for the universe's most pointless traffic light to turn green and reallocate the right of passage. Call me the prodigal daughter. My actions so uncouth that I was verbally assaulted by a middle aged man from across the road who shouted: "you are a BAD biker " with all the tones of the devil possessed in his viscera reflected toward me for all to witness. He genuinely hated me. obviously I erupted into laughter. not a coincidence he belonged to that group of smug turds who wear helmets. 

It has been ages since I sat down to write something non work-related that wasn't predicated on emojis. That's basically because I have spent the last three months trying so desperately to keep my shit together and not royally fuck up my life that the creative process was squashed.  Last week I think I cried two, no probably three times at work. The fact that you are reading this means I have found a moment of serenity in the eye of the hurricane. no, actually it's because I am procrastinating for an exam I have next week. but also, tomorrow my therapist will call me at 9:45am to check in. 

Oh, I hate my apartment! it's got brown short haired carpet that has been devastated by moths.  Everytime someone uses the kitchen sink my room smells catastrophically of rotten eggs.  the kitchen floor is literally made of paper and has a tear in it that flaps in the draft.  there is a blue flashing light that illuminates my bedroom so pervasively at night like the sun that never sets in iceland during the summertime, such that I cannot sleep even with pills, but also can't extinguish for it's the ultrasonic machine that keeps the rats away. the walls are so thin you can hear the neighbors THINK while they scratch their arses, and the refrigerator is too small to carry the burden of even a gallon of milk. the water is also so hard my hair has turned into one giant crust. but you know what? I bloody love it here. I am in love with this city. There is a never ending supply of things to do to help distract you from the emptiness of your soul. Theatre in the West End on Thursday, spilling champagne on a diplomat at the US Embassy on Friday, standing alone in front of a Mondrian on Saturday, and gobbling down a seven course fixe prix of fried insects on Sunday.   

UPDATE: my pap smear came back clean last week! This is particularly handy given that I found out after the fact that my GP sends all the lab samples to the hospital where i fucking work. 

Anyway, I've been thinking, you know what makes London so special other than the stuff to do? it's the people. the brilliant, beautiful, weird, cultivated, original, fearless people. Where everyone has a story. Where 300 different languages are spoken in schools, and diversity and mutual respect are so celebrated that even in this village of approximately 65 billion people, citizens can coexist with propriety- obediently following the golden cultural rules of standing on the right and passing on the left, or apologizing to the person who steps on YOUR foot. 

Just stay away from the assholes in helmets who stop at red lights. 


Allie Rose said...

I'm all for you ignoring a pointless traffic light (and also all for your clean pap! Mazel!) But yo, you gotta wear a helmet. It'll save your life. Being anti-helmet in a big city is like being anti-seat belt.
I know your mom agrees.

Elyse said...

I agree with Allie. I like your brains as hard, not mashed potatoes. Wear your damn helmet. Then feel free to run the red light... maybe even pull out some of traffic-skipping strategies from HS days.

Unknown said...

Coming from a Dutchie: if a whole country and its babies can survive--and thrive--on bicycles and without helmets, then you can too. Consider that being free from the idiot-proof-ness of head gear maintains alertness while riding. Keep up the good work! And have those darned paps sent elsewhere!! Can't wait to visit the horrid apt. xx S

Anonymous said...

It's your horrified mom, absolutely agreeing with Allie and Elise.