I should have known it would be a good night when Zach, the local chef at a sushi restaurant down the street, came in to our bar. It’s always pretty much some intro based off the fact that both our names are Zach. “Whattttup Zach” with a “Hey Zach” response. Tonight, same thing. I opened the door…
“Hold on” I think, quickly changing not only thoughts but lanes, avoiding the pot holes and road damage. My full attention should be concentrated on the fact that I’m flying down the road on my fixed gear and that it’s pouring rain and that I don’t have brakes and that I had a few drinks after work.
It should be but it’s not.
My mind runs, thoughts cruising at a far swifter pace than my bike, topic to topic to idea to narration.
“Man, I have to stop narrating my story” as my conscious snaps back to the road, away from the flowing thoughts, my story, away from the outside perspective of my life.
But then I’m wandering again, playing the video recap of the last two months, my move to the new city, making new friends, adventuring. The thoughts flow freely and I’m spectating, sitting solo in the movie theater, just watching. The scenes change as I watch the main character move to a new downtown apartment, make friends with his roommates as they cook dinner together, eating on the balcony overlooking the city.
“Man, stop that. You’re fucking narrating yourself and you lose track of being in the now. Stop that. You are here, right now, barreling down the 6th street hill at 34 miles per hour, with rain hitting your face and your clothes soaked and ‘So glad I didn’t wear my new leather Nike’s that my boss doesn’t approve of.’
“We’ll get you an advance on your tips, brother, just get some new shoes, dude” and he’s a good guy and I like talking about reading and business with him because he’s smart and on point.
At my job interview I started talking about Mastery by Robert Greene and “Oh yeah, great book, dude, I read that last summer. Glad you’re reading that, bro” and I’m like “This guy’s awesome”. And then he busts out some travel story from Budapest 10 years ago. And I’m like “This guy is fucking awesome” and I leave the interview and call my dad and say “I just left this interview and it was awesome and it’s a great company and I really vibed with their ideals and the owner was awesome and I hope I get to work there.”
And of course this all flashes through my head in some span of time but I’m not really focused on time right now.
I’m just busy trying to stay in the moment and not hear/tell myself what I’m doing instead of being what I’m doing.
But it’s hard as these relentlessly apprehending thoughts bounce through my head and I’m off topic but only for about a four blocks before I’m back here/now/present for a it’s-been-raining-so-I-slide-for-miles skid.
And then I get this idea. Of course another idea. I have too many loose ideas floating around and I can’t take another idea. But this ones good because it just eliminates all of the other loose ends. Or it just ties them together and then singes all of the ideas shut with a BIC.
My mind races through the idea, from start to finish, focusing on the big rocks and glancing over the details, the minutes, the small things. The idea is done and it’s great because theyallare but now I have to follow through…
“That light is about to turn red.” I can tell from the blinking of the crosswalk man and I either throttle up or slow down… but it’s raining and I can’t slow down so I crank down on my pedals and hit the intersection right as the light changes from “Maybe” to “No”.
As I pass safely through my mind is gone again as another voice echoes through the thoughts in my brain.
And then I think “I don’t have any idea what I’m doing” but that’s fine because righthere/rightnow I’m just riding my bike home in the rain, thinking about life as my mind runs crazy and it’s probably dangerous but that’s how I think life is supposed to be at this age, making serious progress on a job, making friends and pushing boundaries and meeting this cool girl.
She lives in LA and “I don’t do long distance” but “Maybe?” but “Stop jumping ahead so much. Be here now and don’t foresee the unforeseeable.” She’s a cut above, in thought, appearance and action : reading, working/hustling, sweating and growing. butshe’sinLA. The video of us keeps playing as I’m munching popcorn and thinking about whatcouldbe and hopefullythishappens.
“Pay attention, you’re almost home” and then I remember I need to hit one last skid, one last moment of present thought, in the now, the pure feeling of skidding in the freshly aqua-ed roads before I walk in to my precision minimalist apartment, onlythenecessary, the minimum, the base… except for the excessive shoe collection.
“Damnit, Zach, stop narrating, you’re not even close to being home yet. Come back to the now for the ride” as I take the first few pedals on my fixie, leaving the parking lot of work with a long, rain soaked ride ahead.