endorphins and beer and days to go before the dark on planet circus

November 28, 2008

Four days to go. Then departure for home for couple of weeks. This last weekend slightly different. Tuesday morning and Daniel and his friend David who is spending a couple of weeks with us have gone for the weekend to LA. Not something I am willing to say is a state I do not desire. Bliss of silent solitude. I wake up. Breakfast? No wait, sleep again until eight thirty to call Janet. Then a cell text tells me she’s only home at nine after gym. I thankfully turn over and change the cell phone alarm again. And go back to sleep. Many dreams these days especially in the early morning after the first wake up sleep. Lots of water leak dreams; burst pipes and over-flow. Someone once said that this was about money. Too much or too little? Wake up. Still too early for phone call. Sleep again and dream a lucid dream about being in a very brightly lit wildly coloured garden; mostly purple, around which I fly for a while.

So the alarm rings at nine and I am up in a flash Then a good chat with Janet and her father over supper and a glass of wine and because it’s my day off I have a bottle of beer waiting for me in the fridge .. til about nine thirty. We say goodbye see you soon. I love you. Wash up. brush teeth etc.

So it’s now about 11.00 and I think “Come on lets go for a ride”. And so I go down Buffalo, send off Eli’s mail and then on to Lake Mead and end up next o the bookshop. Wow and there on the shelf is the George Carlin book I have been shying way from the last few weeks. And after getting a Jack Kerouac classic I go for my Carlin addiction. Blissfully without a television. What a pleasure. To find books. And writers and several books and a sequel or two. Cool breezy ride home.

And then clean up the kitchen and cook all the remaining brocolli and mushrooms ad chillis and ginger and red pepper and garlic and honey and lets see what that tastes like tomorrow when I actually partake. A call from Nate re a bike ride later. Perfect I say and settle down with the Carlin. Wracked by hold my tummy laughs.

I get a call. Keisha is in her way to fetch me so I walk to the gate and as I get there, there she is with her brother Ryan. The weather is paradisical (if such a word, and buggar it if there isn’t) the weather is perfect. Clouds. A cloud-filled sky. No blue. Very rare in Vegas. The light changes the whole city.

We ride and Nate leads from one bike-path to the next displaying biking skills I don’t even understand. We get around the suburbs of lv and discover a bike path that goes along the highway the 215 around the city.. a very pleasant ride followed by a stop at the pup for a beer and tequila. Then another short ride home including a graceful sideways slo-motion topple/descent into the bushes next to a stop-street as my coordination of bike, foot and ground misfires leaving Nate buckled over with mirth.

Then a long well spent evening at Nate and Keisha’s with her brother Ryan through a braai. Some very excellent salmon on the grill, veggie kebabs and some guacamole from elysium. We are later visited by Emmet (sp?), Keisha’s boss from the Tapis Rouge and then Marikawa, the Brazilian acrobat, Evelyne the great and Sylvia the Brazilian veteran actress. Very lekker time. Too much to drink . I am given a lift home by Evelyne and I pass out across my bed at around eleven, thinking; “busy day tomorrow; doctor at 10.30….zzzz”.

Then wake up at 8.00, quick call to Janet to say I can’t Skype because I am riding Eli’s bicycle to the doctor well the orthopaedic surgeon to examine my elbow and consider progress and future treatment. Well it’s raining, rather heavily for Vegas, but I relish the adventure and put on my waterproof rain suit and climb on with telephone and wallet and brace and appointment card and keys and two hours to cover what on the map looks like a fair distance. Not sure how much exactly. (it turned out to be twenty miles. Did I really think about this…? No. Not too much because Daniel and David had the car in LA, so how else to get to the doctor?) And the ride seemed a fun challenge. So anyway off I go rain stinging my face and hood up but it soon is clear that it restricts the side peripheral vision and the road is full of traffic and the signs politely ask people to share the road but you have to be very awake and the pavements aren’t always the best option. But off I go following a route which includes Vegas Drive and then Washington over to way over the east side of town… much much poorer than the west or the north or the south. Then turn right and head south on Eastern Ave. Again though poor and industrial areas and narrow roads and more rain and heavy traffic. After riding for an hour and a half it becomes clear that I am still a few miles away and the time for my appointment is fast approaching. And the twenty miles of ups and downs and stops and starts and pavements and bike lanes have had an impact on my legs. But my phobia of being late forces me on. I call in and tell them I am minutes away.

By now I am talking to myself and all I can say is “Shut up, stop talking to yourself, stop counting the numbers and the lights and trying to work out how far you have come, how far it is to go and how long that will take, and what’s the time now and all the rest; just shut up. Don’t talk, don’t think, just push the pedals. Don’t do anything except pump the pedals… “

Good thing to have the appointment pressing because otherwise I would have given up miles ago and ridden home. But no. Knowing I have to finish it and can’t just give up it is somehow embarrassingly thrilling to know that I am going to do this feat and only when I am finished can I stop pumping the pedals and rest. And I get there late but well in time because of the back log and the doctor tells me what I knew and does some simple tests and affirms the current treatment regime and gives me some more exercises and encourages me to wear my brace constantly. See me in six weeks. After Christmas. I contemplate the return home on the saddle and a nano-second later call Nate and ask him to come fetch me since he had offered and by now my arse has fallen off.

So I sit in the pub next to the doctor’s room and have whiskey to warm up since the waterproof clothing I have has no ventilation system so my clothes are soaked (as wet as rained on) with sweat. I order a beer. Just sommer. Then some chips. Fries. Nate arrives I buy him an Irish coffee and we set off with the bike in the boot and a long forgotten combination of endorphin and beer in my bloodstream which is very relaxing and can tend to lean one towards becoming philosophical and quietly contemplative. We pick up Keisha’s brother and go to REI (recreational gear shop). Oooohh nice toys for a person there. I buy a laptop back pack. And drool over so much else.

Then home and its midday or maybe two so I have deep and hot bath and warm up. Another beer and some of the broccoli and mushroom and chilli and ginger and onion and red pepper smush I prepared yesterday. And then under the duvet with food and beer and George Carlin. Soon (laughing) I fall asleep. And wake up and look at the clock and its 6.30. My god what an amazing sleep; all through the afternoon and through the night. Must reset the alarm for 8.30 to call Janet. Then can’t get back to sleep. Its raining still and the clouds really make it dark for this time in the morning. Never mind try and sleep again. Up at 8.00. My god the clouds are heavy; its even darker than before. Still can’t sleep so oh what the hell I’ll get some breakfast and so do and sit in bed and eat cereal and contemplate the end of the weekend and this the first work day of the last week. Then nine oclock comes along and I skype home and as Janet answers I realize that its 7.00 in the morning there and 9.00 in the evening here. I slept so soundly and then woke up at 6.30 in the evening and thought it was the morning. So now I have another free evening before the weekend is over. I celebrate with a glass of wine and some more food. And back to bed. Home in a few days.

3 Responses to “endorphins and beer and days to go before the dark on planet circus”

  1. Ryan Says:

    I have been reading your blog posts for a while now and, since it’s Christmas, I thought I’d let you know that I enjoy them very much. Not sure if you’re just writing this for your friends and family so I hope you don’t mind.

    Enjoy being home with your family.

    Look forward to reading more.

    • andrewbuckland Says:

      dear ryan, thanks. the blog is for anybody interested. i am at home in south africa now and loving it and realising how much i have been missing it. we get back to vegas mid december and i will try to update things fter that. hope you have a good holiday season. regards,


  2. Irene Stephanou Says:

    Hullo – 21 Dec 2008
    Arrived in Vegas two hours ago and realised I should be looking for you or Daniel. This is all I could find on the web; if you get it, let Daniel know I am at Circus Circus or 626 437 4936 only til Tuesday!
    Irene Stephanou

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