Sunday, June 15, 2008

All aboard the Pain Train

That's what delivering went like last night.A whole lotta pain.

The pace started quick at 5 pm and the humidity caused my pores to burst.Typically it takes an hour or so until you get in that phase of delivery where you are truly feeling it, zipping up and down the hills and getting in your groove. All was wellto begin the night though, I delivered to a large black man north of Dundee. And upon counting out his change of nine dollars, he asks, "Yo, who ya like in da championship" He probably thought i had no clue what he was speaking of, but I do enjoy a little baskettball here and there, and knew exactly what he was talking about. I reply,"Boston man, C's all the way",He says," "cool brotha, just give me eight back then".

It was a little after seven and the evening had a great pace to it thus far,but something was lurking behind the corner,and I was in for one hell of a battle.

I arrive back at JJ's, and my good ol boss Deacon informs me that Britni's car broke down and was unable to deliver tonight. The other driver Joe was off in twenty minutes at eight. That left just me to deliver until midnight. Iv'e done things like this before, but for only an hour or two, this was four hours. And I knew things would be crazy with all the CWS madness and Saturday night bar hoppers.

When I heard the great news I went to the back of the store, ate my face off, downed water and mentally prepared for the oncoming pain that awaited me.
My first fleet of deliveries were all over the place,I could no longer think about routing my deliveries, just had to endure it.

I pedaled to Autozone on 50th and Center to a fella named Jeff, and he was a real piece of work.He ordered a large coke with the food and upon giving it to him he glances inside the cup and squeals,"I asked for extra ice, Can you just bring this back and get me more ice." I was speechless, this loser with a bad haircut and glasses wanted me to pedal all the way back just for more freaking ice, no way in hell. I reply," Look i'm sorry, but there is ice in there and I'm not riding back one-handed just so you can have a little extra. He then exclaimed that he would call my manager and complain, as i'm walking out the door i say, "go for it."

After that I whip out 6 more deliveries totaling 16 in one hour,It was only 9:30 and I was starting to feel the legs stiffen up from slogging through neighborhoods South of Leavenworth littered with hills that can crush your soul.

I get back to find another round of deliveries that will take me south, north, east and west all over our the delivery area. It was time to either kill or be killed, I snag the ipod in hopes that some tunes will rejuvenate the body and mind. It worked as I took my mind away from the numbing hands and the legs that twitched and burned with each climb.

The time was now 10:45, hauling back on 40th St. I was feeling good and strong well aware that dozens of sandwhiches would be waiting for me. This next round was much like the one that preceded it as I went everywhere.

A woman I delivered to at CU med center says to me after i give her the order,"be safe driving out there" i said, "I'm not driving anything, I'm pedaling." She say's "oh I know you're on a bike, but have a good drive back" Silly people, someday they will get it.
Outside a patient and here friend saw me go inside earlier to make the drop off and asked me how do you do it, (puzzled) "how are you not tired"? I tell them,"I'ts what I love and yeah I'm beat. They then said "Go get em" as I pedal down the emergency ramp back to 30th St.

I get back once more, for another couple of deliveries at 11:34. I storm out of JJ's on a mission to get these out fast, and erase past memories of failure and moments on the bike and in life where i have fallen short.Thoughts about not finishing Trans Iowa, and not racing in the DK200, thoughts of past road races where I had been dropped by the group and didn't finish. All of these memories burn inside me for that next chance to overcome and put it all together at one of these races.

I get back, breathless, aching and somewhat delerious.The night was complete after taking 55 deliveries which resulted in over 500 dollars in sales. The battle was won, and the demons of my past had been exercised.


JPF said...

you're a stud bro, keep it up.

MG said...

man, great story eric. a stud indeed, and a hell of a talented writer to boot!

many adventures, and you never even left the city limits... that's awesome. i love it. LOVE IT!

o-town is so cool... shit dude. i love lincoln, but when you talk about zipping up and down hills, getting in your groove, i know what you're talkin' about... that shit is on time, as tony used to say, way back in the day.

and yeah, i'm for the Cs all the way too in game six. they had to take it in boston. you knew they couldn't take it in LA...

they should buy you a superman cape. yeah, that's the ticket.

cool brotha,