You know how some days really make you work?
To look on the positive side?
To remind yourself how thankful you are for every wonderful thing in your life?
To maintain your optimism in the face of feeling like fate, his brother, and the cabinet-door-that-won’t-shut and the toilet-that-won’t-flush-properly and any other large or miniscule annoying thing are all conspiring against you?
(Ok, this might be a slight exaggeration of how the events that I will describe to you next should have made me or any normal, emotionally stable adult feel…but when you are not feeling exactly 100% perky positive to begin with – for no particular reason – it really doesn’t take much to feel like crap.)
Well, that was today for me. It started off pretty well. I took Zoya for a jog along the sea. The weather was spectacular. Not a cloud in the sky. Sunny. Warm but not hot. Folks were out strolling, fishing, laughing, sitting, napping. Idyllic. I didn’t even have to drag Zoya along behind me as I often do.
(And, no, you do not need to call Canine DCFS…I am not an abusive dog owner…the dog is Lazy…unless, that is, there is a street dog who decides to join us… then it would be abundantly clear to you by the spring in her step and the human being dragging behind her that the dog is quite capable of keeping a pace faster than that of a stoned turtle.)
After our nice run, we returned home. I fixed breakfast for the kids and canine. Took care of some items on my to-do list. Perfect. It’s now 10AM. The dog and I are exercised. The kids are fed. The weather is beautiful. I contemplate the promise of the day that stretches out before me.
Everything is great.
Except that it isn’t.
It’s beautiful weather and I have no one to enjoy it with.*
Besides the dog.
To be honest? I am feeling a bit sorry for myself.
What about the kids, you ask, the two beings who I gave life to?*
The kids (a) are mushrooms who we have to fight to pull them out into the light on the weekends and (b) they also have homework, tutoring and tennis lessons, so even if I could convince them to leave their caves, they are already committed to other activities.
What about my partner in life, who vowed to love, cherish and entertain me on weekends until death do us part? He is in Sweden taking care of very necessary, much more important business (which did not stop me from moaning to him when he called me in the middle of my whoa-is-me-whining-fest…he maintained his positive outlook despite having more challenges to face than how to spend a beautiful day).
Any friends, you ask? Yes, I actually do have friends in Istanbul, lovely people. However, they are either traveling or already engaged in activities with their families.
Which brings me back to where I am: smack center on the ‘ol pity pot.
Picking my spirit up by the bootstraps, I decide not to waste the day around the house. Solo or not, I am going out, damn it. Biking, in fact. Since spring I have yearned to bike with my hubby along the boardwalk, taking our time meandering from Tarabya towards Bebek, stopping for a coffee or bite to eat or a beer, admiring the quaint neighborhoods along the way with their quaint cafes and quaint restaurants. But every weekend, something else comes up. But not today. Today is too gorgeous to put off turning this lovely vision into a reality.
So, despite the fact that I am (a) not that great of biker, a little fact that combined with (b) multitudes of people, fishermen, street dogs, trash cans, parked cars (on the sidewalk) and other obstacles mean that (c) it could be a very dangerous day, if not for me then for someone else, I am determined that a-biking I will go.
So, I grab my backpack and load it with water, phone, laptop, and Kindle and head out to the garage.
(Given points a,b, and c above, there is no way I am going to tempt fate and ride the bike down the 90 degree slope which leads to the boardwalk…nor am I going to challenge my cardiovascular system and walk the bike back up that same 90 degree slope at the end of the day. A motorized vehicle is a must.)
I normally don’t drive the SUV, preferring my little, more navigable and parking friendly Toyota Corolla. However, the SUV is bigger and more bike compatible (I assume). It takes me 5 minutes to figure which button on the trendy-but-uselessly-designed not-to-be-named-car-brand’s key unlocks the door. After I finally get the driver’s door open, I go to the back of the vehicle to open the hatch.
I press the latch and pull the door. The door opens at a pace slower than a stoned turtle. So, while I am (im)patiently waiting for it to open, I reach down for my bike which is propped up on a column to my right. As I swing back toward the car with the bike, the back door of the SUV has raised just high enough so that it is perfectly positioned to whack me right in the forehead.
As in wailing-like-a-baby hard.
Which I proceed to do.
As I head inside for ice.
My head is now pounding, as well as bleeding. Not only do I have to go biking on this beautiful day all by my lonesome (sniff), but this is the second time this week that I have run into a door and injured my head (let’s not discuss the details…it was painful…not my fault, of course…blood and any permanent scars were avoided…unlike today’s little incident which I think will be with me for some time).
The pain mingles with my self-pity and list of woes, and I cry harder.
(Clarification: I do not always need to do things with other people. In fact, I am one of those people who actually enjoy being on their own. However, today was not one of those days. And when you’re feeling a bit in stink mode anyway and lonely on top of it, the resulting psychological state just ain’t pretty.)
I give myself a mental shake and a pep talk. You are going biking. Bleeding and throbbing wound or not. I slap ointment and a band-aid on my head and march back out to the garage. I am too pissed at the stupid not-to-be-named-brand SUV to drive it, so I opt for my little Toyota Corolla instead, bike compatible or not. I only get half of the bike in the trunk. I cannot budge it from it’s indecisive state despite a sweat-inducing push-and-pull session. I mutter a few choice words and decide not to worry about it. I am going.
I drive carefully down the hill and find a perfect parking place. Great, things are looking up. Granted, my head is still throbbing, and I am still feeling a teensy weensy bit sorry for myself. But I know that after 10 minutes of cruising down the lovely boardwalk, I will feel better.
So I get on my bike to do just that.
Except the tires are flat.
Not the slightly-flat-that-you-can-still-actually-ride flat.
The so-flat-that-the-metal-rim-of-the-tire-is-scraping-the-ground flat.
(No, that is not exactly what I said. I’ll let you use your imagination here.)
Obviously, I should have checked the d—- tires. But they weren’t flat last time I rode the d—– thing.
So, I lug the bike back into the trunk (halfway) and back to home I go.
Now, the little seed of self-pity I was feeling? It has blossomed into major victim mode. My head is still throbbing. I am absolutely uninspired to do anything else than biking. I don’t want to stay home. I also don’t want to go out (except biking). I contemplate just sitting in a chair and crying.
I have reached the mental and emotional state of an overly tired 3-year-old.
Some grey matter finally stirs itself, and I have a brilliant idea: I’ll look for a tire pump. I don’t hold out much hope because despite the number of tire pumps I have put in the boys’ Xmas stockings over the years (exciting gift, I know), invariably there is a part missing or broken when we actually need to use one.
But, miraculously, I not only find a tire pump but a tire pump that actually works! I figure it’s a good sign.
I head back out to the garage and fill up the tires. Lug the bike back (halfway) into the car. Drive back down the hill. Find another parking place. Lug bike out of the car.
And guess what happened?
Nothing. Or, at least nothing bad.
And now I am sitting on a park bench, the sun shining down on me, the Bosporus splayed before me in all its sparkling splendor. Folks are out strolling, fishing, laughing, sitting, napping. It’s idyllic.
And I feel better. Much better.
Some days make you work a bit harder. But I guess it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative.
(Oh, and I didn’t run over even one pedestrian.)
* Yes, I realize my preposition is dangling. It’s something I have a problem with. ; )