I had pulled off the side of the trail and was straddling my bike looking down at my phone when a speedy mountain biker descending the hill saw me at the bottom and asked, “You good?”
I wanted to say, “I’m trying.”
Instead, I answered, “Yes, I am, thank you!”
He was worried about me and wanted to make sure I was okay. This happens all the time. Sometimes I’ll pull off to the side of the path to change the podcast on my iPhone or grab a snack or drink. Many times when I do, a rider passing by will ask me if I need help—am I hurt, am I lost, is my chain broken, was I mauled by a mountain lion, do I have a flat tire, am I trying to figure out how humanity got so far off the rails—whatever. (Mountain bikers are scientifically 89% nicer than joggers. Google it. I could be dead on the side of the trail and the jogger will just look ahead all snooty and superior. But I digress).
Occasionally I’ll pass a mountain biker who does not smile warmly and fit the friendliest-people-on-the-planet criterion and I’ll want to grab him by the shoulders, gave ‘em a little shake and say, “BUDDY! You’re a mountain biker! Act like it!”
I digressed again. What I want to do is circle back to “You good?”
As I said, I’m trying. I really am.
I passed by a patch of prickly cactus with the juxtaposition of its beautiful flowers. That’s humanity, I thought. That’s me. No, that’s not totally true. My first thought was that cactus was an actual person I KNOW, and I named her. She’s like that, even though she’s mostly prickly, she’s got some beauty, SOMEWHERE, all judgy. And then I caught myself and realized I was looking at myself.
Am I the cactus with the pretty flowers or am I the flowers with the prickly cactus?
Do I worry too much about how humanity got so far off the rails?
Oh, I’m humanity.
I’m getting ready to go for my morning ride, so I’ll give it some thought. Maybe I’ll understand how I get so far off the trail.