I've been thinking a lot about imperfection lately, and today is the right day for this thought to be posted.
Maybe this is where my low stress level comes from when planning wedding stuff. Someone asks about linens and I just don't care.
Really? I do not want a Perfect Day for my wedding. Perfect days get filed into the unknown.
The other day, Paul and I rode by the Cycle Gear in San Jose on our way back from something. Every time I go by, I think of the time Charles and I got stuck there. He lived in the neighborhood, and he'd help me work on my bike all the time, so we must have gone there a lot in those days. But I only remember one time, when we got whatever we came for, then returned to the Mighty Festiva, where Charles promptly broke the key off in the ignition. He was pretty unhappy with this. We had to wait for someone to come save us, and in the meantime, Charles was not happy. We went to the bizarro grocery store in the strip mall, and bought a small plastic motorcycle to play with while we waited. It must have cost a whole dollar.
One time, we rode to Los Angeles together. That was memorable, but what was really memorable was when we got to the Grapevine and realized there was no brake fluid in my bike. Well, none that could be seen. And the screws holding the reservoir shut were completely chewed. Charles was apparently slightly terrified. We did make it to the Motel 6 at just off of Hollywood Blvd (you could see Frederick's from the window) without catastrophe, but it was a good story later. You know what would have been a boring story? "One time, Charles and I rode over the Grapevine with perfectly functioning brakes." When we got the the Motel 6, there was an ambulance outside already-- it was a "colorful" neighborhood, and only the finest of hotels.
When Charles had cancer, I would come and visit during the time in his chemo cycle when he was most able to eat (comparatively, but still felt like shit) We'd go eat at the Mexican joint, then go back to the house so he could throw up. Then? Ice Cream! Always throw up so you can have ice cream too!
When you are with the right people, in the right place, perfection isn't necessary. You know everything will be OK, and this will all come out as a good memory someday. I'm sure that we've had plenty of perfectly passable times together, but I simply don't remember them all that well. What I remember most, what I recount to others the most, is all the insanely stoopid things we did and broke and crashed and muddled through. The time we paid the carnie $5 to let us ride the zipper over and over again even though we were completely blotto, all the times Charles rescued me when my ratbike was broken on the side of the road, or bumpstarted my reluctant DR350. When he and his bike slid backwards on a trail into me and my bike, wrapping the four of us into a tangled mess, gas burns and all! Hooray for disgusting burns!
At least the burns are memorable (if not scarring)
I have a vague notion that we must have ridden many perfect miles, but they aren't the miles I'll tell my grandchildren about.