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Thursday, January 21, 2010

PBP 2007 5

I am writing this before going to the hospital to be with my husband. He suffered a mild heart attack. They are unsure what to do as all four of the bypasses they did two years ago are completely blocked, plus there is another blockage. They have consulted a blood doctor to see if there is a blood disorder leading to this unusual development. He also has broken out in shingles which has a solitary benefit of meaning a private room due to contagion. They are concerned about me as I have never had chicken pox, but I nursed my children through it without catching it so I would assume that I am either immune or had a slight case that nobody noticed. The doctors will all meet this afternoon when the heart surgeon is free to decide what to try to do. I believe I am writing this to avoid going back in and facing the stark reality.
In these pictures we were at the Arc de Triumphe. Dave is making one of his faces. Dave always provides comic relief and while I have seen him in a bad mood for a very short period of time, I have never really seen him angry. His love of food makes me giggle. Dave started riding about the time I did, but we were not friends for a few years. I dream of what it must be like to ride up this road when it is clear of cars and with crowds cheering on both sides. The cobbles shake my bike and make me even more admiring of those that can ride so quickly and skillfully on the surface, even when wet. I am lucky to stay upright and they are racing. I am amazed at the intricate carvings and I am sure that each tells a story, probably based on French history or on Greek myth or a combination of the two. I wish I had a guide or more time to read up on it, but it would be a lifetime task as there is so much beauty here. I think of a time when construction involved craftsmanship and was a creation. It makes me think briefly of Mike Pitt, Sparky, and how he said he is doing so much of the work on his house in Maine himself. He certainly could afford to pay to have it done, but there is a certain satisfaction people find in creating that we get nowhere else.
We are getting hungry and shortly after we pass here, decide to stop for lunch. Joe suggests that we return and get a sandwich and eat in a nearby park, but when we get to the park, we find it is closed to bicycles, even walking. We meet two young men also here for the ride who are in the process of being expelled from the park. They have tattoos so thick on their arms that the underside of their forearms are now blue and black without a discernable pattern. Each generation is so different. I think of the patches on my jeans made from brightly colored bandanas and halter tops and wonder if I ever really was so young and naive. But I don't know that the youth today are as naive. Cynicism in the young is not admirable, but sad. Someone told me that Churchill once said that the man who is not a liberal in his twenties has no heart, but the man who is not a conservative in his thirties has no head. We eat at a roadside cafe instead. My food is burned, but I eat it anyway because I am hungry.

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