Today I am exhausted, but also very happy.
I drove to Hamilton today. Twice. Once to pick up Alex, and again to drop him off. Sound extreme? Yeah, it is a bit, hey. But in the 90 minutes I had in Hamilton this morning, I feel like I achieved a lot.
I visited Ritchie first. Yay! As much I love to pay this guy out, I have to admit he's my most adored Hamilton friend. An added bonus is that the extreme awkwardness there was between Jordan (Ritchie's workmate and my longtime friend) and I before I moved has now worn off. I miss hanging out in bike shops. In Auckland, you have to ride a Pinarello and dress in full-length team issue spandex to hang out in bike shops. That might be the only Hamilton thing I miss. Today I was wearing my last year's Wintec ball dress, a pink studded belt that I thieved from Donny's belt collection earlier in the year, and my polka-dot Chuck Taylors. I wouldn't say I fitted in at Endurance Sport like a round peg, but at least the boys still talk to me like a cyclist. Actually, in typical Ritchie fashion, today he was trying to sell me a track bike. He's long been at me about track racing, raving about its superiority to road racing. This Saturday, I am trying out a track bike for the first time. I've kind of already pinned the next four years on it being a success, so fingers crossed!
Another great thing about Ritchie is that he has a hand in everyone's business. Including Mr Canaandale.
"Chips?" he asked when I explained my latest stalking object.
"Is it Chips? Shaves his arms and legs, plucks his eyebrows?" I felt a bit weird, because the old me would have noticed something like that.
"Well, he rides a Look. American Classic wheels, Dura-Ace cranks." This is the new me. Judging strangers on their bike setup.
"Oh, yeah. That's Chips. I'll give him a call, hook him up with your number."
I laughed nervously.
"You should." I said, hoping it was just loud enough that Jordan could hear. "Tell him to ask me out."
It kind of took a lot of research out of my stalking, but at least now I can use Ritchie as a conversation starter next time Chips actually catches the ferry. See, I've become convinced that he read my blog about him and has since been avoiding me. Highly unlikely - in fact on a continuum of probability that he even knows my blog exists, I'd say it's pretty close to impossible. One never knows these days, though.
Jordan, who features in my memories pretty well as far back as they go, and I had an awkward moment not long before I moved. I made a feeble attempt at a pass at him (out of boredom, more than anything), which didn't exactly go down as I had planned. Luckily for me, the relocation to Auckland provided a window of opportunity for the shame to die down and today, I definitely had the upper hand when I visited. He's now sporting a mohawk, which he patted self-consciously when I quietly asked Ritchie about it. I told him it looked great, which it doesn't really, but word is he has a girlfriend now anyway. She can put the hard word on him for looking like a twat. He's a mechanic, not a metrosexual! Sort it out, Jboy.
It seems a bit rude in retrospect that I would visit the boys before heading to Kirby's house, but it was more a matter of geographical location than any inherent need to see them before her. I bought her some flowers first, just because I'm still secretly glowing about the status comment she left me yesterday (see "Going Through Life Like A Karate Kid"). I only got to hang with her for about fifteen minutes before it was tim to go and pick up Alex, but it was nice all the same.
Alex in tow, I left Cowtown at around 1pm. It can get a bit tedious by yourself, even with Bad Religion as loud as you can tolerate, but as it would happen Alex is one of the most intellectually stimulating people I know. I've known him for about ten years, and for a few of them he was the significant other of Danielle (who, fittingly, is something of a genius in her own right). He's a graduate student of history at the University of Waikato, with the driest sense of humour ever. And for whatever reason, agreed to be my man makeup model today. He entertained me for the two-hour drive back to Parnell, the half-hour it took to conceal his skin to perfection, and then all the way home. He also tolerated my questionable driving. High five for Alex.
I admit that after dropping him off I did a drive-by at Greensboro Street. One never knows.
After that it was time to come BACK to Auckland for the second time in twelve hours. Of course, now I was by myself again, so I drove at 120+km/hr and screamed away with Geoff Rickly (Thursday) for close to two hours.
It's bad for the soul, driving that much in one day. I never want to drive again. I don't even want to look at my car.