Today was the first day in a week when I could take my morning ride. The sun and 50 degree weather has melted enough pavements to provide a path for the mobile machines and me.
The usual journey, a little slower to start, getting my sea legs going, was a pleasure to feel again. Making note of the snows leftovers, I weave around mounds of slick slush and new potholes.
Bam! Ow! “Focus Cliffy” I tell myself missing one with a bruised ego and privates.
As I got into my pace, I notice a couple walking halfway down the block in front of me. I could ride up and slid around them in the sand or take another street. I decided to take another street.
These are the same houses I pass every day but from a different perspective. Boys playing football in shorts and slow moving cats were my company. A young girl walking two dogs came walking toward me, so I turn and take another detour.
Once home I check some emails with a cup of cold French vanilla coffee.
What to do next? On the table is a trimmer that has a bad power cord. I took it with me on my little out of town adventure, but it would not charge. I checked the website and could not find a replacement power cord. I tried to match the tip with a multiple headed power cord, but nothing fit. The trimmer was just sitting there, useless, waiting to frustrate me some more.
So I pump up the front tire and peddle off to Target to see if they have a replacement cord. The trip there brings several long hills but my legs are back and with a few puffs the heights are scaled without changing gears.
I wander through the store looking for the shaving appliances, but stock has been moved for the holidays. After searching through blankets, toys, and holiday leftovers, I found razors. The model I have did not match anything on the shelf. I looked at the accessories available but nowhere was there a power cord. Checking the variety and prices of different razors and trimmer combination, I pick up a box with a similar trimmer. The same manufacturer has another razor for $10 less, so I exam that box, then go with the higher price unit that matched what I had become accustomed to.
As I checked out, I joked with the cashier that Christmas was over so I didn’t have to look like Santa anymore. “Gonna trim it up.” she smiled.
I packed my bag and unlocked my bike, walking up to the front of the store. I moved to the parking lot, and then back to the sidewalk to avoid an oncoming beat up station wagon. It stopped beside me and I heard a man’s voice, “Hey, I’ve got something for you.”
I stopped and turned to a smiling weathered face of a middle-aged man with a multicolored goatee. I figured he would take another look at me and realize I was not the person he thought I was. Then I thought, it must be some kind of a scam, but I was not in a hurry and this encounter seemed harmless.
“What’s your name?”
“Cliff.” I said with a smile. Where was this going?
He reached around in the stuff vehicle and produced a yellow bag. Handing me the bag with two cans of ravioli, napkin, plastic fork and two packs of crackers, he asked, “ How long you been homeless Cliff?”
We talked for a few minutes, he asked where I slept last night and I gave him a bunch of ho-ha then parted in different directions.
Riding home I thought of this stranger who out of nowhere offered me a free meal with no strings attached. He didn’t preach or try to change my perceived lifestyle.
Then I thought I must have gotten this trimmer just in time. And maybe I should change this sweatshirt sometime.
At least I have dinner tonight.