Home > Life or something like it > Entry 05/02/2007 05:37:52 PM – Mentat 329

Entry 05/02/2007 05:37:52 PM – Mentat 329

     God, the transition to night shift is going slower than I thought — not that it really matters given that at the moment and for the next three weeks, what I’m going to be doing is working evenings until I can get the security processes down. Not that I really had the chance last night, as Darren just went at it with pre-check and didn’t think twice to give any training on it, given that the phones were pretty sporadic with various issues here and there. But the thing that I noticed last night was that at approximately 10:15 — I began the crashing process where I wanted to go to bed. Ugh — which made for a surreal hour to hour and a half as I was going through the listless process of wanting to sleep, and not really getting the chance to because I was riding a bus and needed to keep an eye on the bike because there were still some people getting on and getting off along the Elmwood part of the route.
     Ooh, let me tell you that it’s still pretty surreal to be on that portion of Elmwood even after all these years, and getting random cases of anxiety and panic around the area that I was raped over 20 years ago. Fortunately for me last night, I didn’t have too bad an anxiety attack around the area because I was too busy trying to conserve my energy and keep my thoughts aligned for the bike trip that was ahead of me. God, let me tell you about that…
     Because of the hours of evenings, while there’s a bus that leaves from CCRI at about 11:34, there are no buses at Kennedy Plaza by the time I get in — with the last bus for Woonsocket having left at 11:40 PM. So as I said in last entry (or the entry before), I would need to bike it from Kennedy Plaza to Woonsocket. And that’s exactly what I did… I knew it was a distance, as I also said in the last entry — particularly because I would be traveling the back routes instead of the most direct: 146 North. And for the most part — there’s a part of the route that’s rather easy to travel: 246 (which is in fact the road that runs parallel to 146).
     I did that part of the route without issue… 15 miles according to Mapquest which I had done in exactly an hour from Kennedy Plaza to the Route 116 off-ramp near to (what used to be Lincoln Mall).
     The problem from there is that there are two routes that I could take, and one that while really shouldn’t be an option — I had seriously considered because it’s the most direct (of sorts). The first route (which is also the one that I had taken), was to take 116 to 7 and then to 5 and 104 which would lead me into Woonsocket. The other was 116 to 106 (Old River Road) to 122 (Manville Road) and then into Woonsocket. The third, which would get onto 146 for about a mile to Old Great Road to Old Smithfield Road which would dump me onto 146-A.
     Where the first 15 miles were mostly a breeze (as most of 246 is in fact downhill from about the point of the underpass to 146 on Charles Street through to near to CCRI – Flanagan Campus, and then other hill near to Conklin Limestone), the route by Route 7 was the longest 10 miles I had ever traveled in my life. Most of it was uphill, a great majority of it was unlighted, and even desolate/devoid of life other than cars and SUVs traveling well above the speed limit.
     At one point, I thought that I had seriously gotten myself lost and was in fact heading towards Slatersville/Burrillville and looking at the map in Mapquest, had I not taken the turn onto 104 like I did, I would’ve ended up in Burrillville at some point late in the evening. The reason was because I had passed the Route 5 "exit" (more like bear right) from Route 7 which, when I hit the rather long hill at 50 or so miles an hour, realized that I might be on the wrong path, but was go-to-hell against having to walk back up the hill I just sped down. But when I got to the bottom of another smaller hill after that, took 104 and realized I was mostly on the right path home.
     I admit that 104 was more than slightly a bad choice, given that the state of the road was pretty poor, and by the time I had hit it, was entirely too tired to deal with my butt and butt cheeks hitting a less than comfortable bike-seat on some of the bigger potholes and bumps.
     During the trip, as I was more than a little happy about having the iPod along, and got through listening to all the new stuff that I had ripped this weekend from the time I had pulled out of Kennedy Plaza, ’til about the time I hit 116 near to Lincoln Mall. And along the way, I had even seen a couple of fox (I knew they lived in this state, but the last time I had seen one was back in the years when I was working at Toray Plastics in North Kingstown and saw one along 102 (off of Route 4) almost 20 years ago. Also got to see more than a few bats, and even a skunk trying to cross South Main Street by the time I had gotten into Woonsocket. (Fortunately for me, the thing saw/heard me on the road, and promptly ducked back under the car that it was coming out from under. Unfortunately though, it had to have sprayed something along the way — because the stench of it was unmistakable). Didn’t get to see an opossum along the way, which is sort of surprising because I would think they’re just as plentiful here as they used to be in the South.
     Also had a dickens of a time dodging the threat of rain along the way. It had been raining by the time I had left work last night (not too bad, but enough to put a damper on my mood for the long trip ahead), and then got sprinkled on when I got to 246/116, the overpass of 295 on 116, and finally on and off along Providence St, Olo St, and Third Ave (particularly on the hill before Rhodes). Sure — they say around here, "if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute" — but it seems more localized than what I had gotten used to when living in Atlanta, where it would be pouring and hailing along 75 near to Cobb County, only to have partly cloudy over in Druid Hills.
     The next time however; I think I’m going to take the third route I mentioned (above), mainly because from 116’s off-ramp to 146/246, up 146 and then to Old Great Rd/Old Smithfield Rd it’s by far the most direct route back to the city, it’s only 6 miles instead of 10 – 15 through the back roads.

     How do I feel after all this? Ha! Well the endorphins seriously kicked in by the time I had made it to crossing over Eddie Downing Highway between 104 and Providence St, and wasn’t feeling any pain by the time I had hit Olo St. But by the time I had gotten relaxed at the house and got changed for sleep, I was seriously feeling quite a bit of pain and bone-tired exhaustion prior to passing out at 4 AM. And another thing is that I’ve got a larger than normal appetite because of the amount of riding I did yesterday.
     I’m not sure I could seriously do the same thing again this evening, and fortunately for me I won’t have to. My aunt and uncle have graciously offered to pick me up by Home Depot in Providence (as it’s the easiest way for them to get off and back onto 146 from Providence) for the next three weeks mainly because my aunt stressed enough to have doubled her sleep medication/prescription about my traveling by bike at that time of night. Please! I’m more concerned about being hit by someone in the day rather than someone hitting me in the middle of the night along those routes — even on the mile to mile and a half of taking 146 to get to Old Great Road. It’s not as though there’s not this HUGE breakdown lane that few drivers actually get into.

     Yes, speaking of… Today on my way into work along Route 5 to Tollgate Rd, that’s exactly what happened. This man in a rather well-to-do car (either a Lexus or some mid-ranged knock-off), totally oblivious that someone could be riding/walking the sidewalk where he was exiting from whatever store that he had been shopping, hit my back wheel because he was trying to time his insertion into the oncoming traffic, instead of doing what a motorist is supposed to do and come to a complete stop at the end of the exit.
     I was unhurt of course, because the speed he had hit was insignificant, and I was fortunate in that he didn’t do any damage to the bike either. I did however, make a comment that the next time he should obey the road rules and come to a complete stop so that a similar incident won’t happen with anyone else. Hopefully, this will be the first and last time someone mundane like this happens to me.

     As for the issue of self-esteem that I had hinted about in the last entry and promised to think about it, I admit that I haven’t done all that much thinking about it since; but sitting here and writing this entry and the fact that I survived the biking expedition for the night last night, I seriously think it’s part of the issue. While I take great personal pride in the knowledge that I’ve collected, experiences I’ve gone through (both for better and for worst), and even perhaps the fact that I’ve been out of the closet longer than some of these kids I deal with in real time and on the Internet have been alive, I take a great amount of pride in. When it comes to looks, I only half-seriously consider myself modestly physically attractive (even though the Hot or Nots that I’ve been part of put me at 3.8 out of 5, and 7 out of 10), and when it comes to charm and personality, I think less of myself than I did several years ago.
     Now the last time I tried to rectify that situation — I recall that I did quite a bit of "pretend" (for lack of a better word) and projected myself as being more than I actually thought of myself. This time however, I don’t feel the need, the want, or even the desire to try that method out again (even if I did so successfully). Part of the reason has to do with the inherent fear of attracting the kind of "undesirables" that I’ve dealt with in the past: Wayne (AKA "the Stalker"), Marc (AKA the pathological liar), Rick (AKA THE ex). Part of it has to deal with the internal issues that I’ve been talking about in the last journal entry. Hell — part of it has to do with the utter lack of appeal I’ve felt towards many of the men that I’ve encountered within the community here. It’s no word of a lie that most of the men that I’ve met and/or chatted with online are usually either halfway across the country, or halfway across the world. The men here are either too prissy, have too much attitude, or lack the certain je ne c’est qua necessary to make them charming, or even moderately interesting to chat with or have a "date" with (either formally or informally).
     Heh — on the last comment — I realize that things really haven’t changed all that much since the time I had bolted from the state of Rhode Island and headed to Atlanta for the last 14 years. However, in a way it does effect the way I approach and/or make friends within the community now that I’ve seen what it’s like to know queerfolk in places around the globe, and locally to Atlanta that are that much easier to deal with and befriend.

     Well, that’s about it for the time being. Got a lunch to head out on (even though technically I ate my lunch early given that I’m still hungrier than normal since the biking expedition I had done yesterday), and learn about the pre-check process.

     Until the next time.
%d bloggers like this: