The good dishes. The fancy outfit. The deluxe bottle of champs.
For as much as I go hard at life, I tend to save nice things for occasion type days. Days of significance. One’s that can be the bones of a story to write. There is a shitload of pretty things in my storage under the stairs and in the back of my closet that don’t get to see the light of day because of waiting for the perfect night to arrive.
Silly. Silly me. This is one of those heavy leaves I’ve been meaning to overturn for the longest time. Especially since I’ve entered the “who gives a shit’ decade. I believe wholeheartedly that ∗west coast hippie alert∗ the universe presents you lessons that if you don’t learn from, they come back over and over until the necessary learning happens. When I packed away my Mom’s beautiful new clothes that she finally treated herself to in her late 50’s, but I hardly ever remember her wearing before she died, I should have learned.
Was backtracking over the life of a bottle of champagne that I have been saving. This is how sophisticated of a champagne drinker I am. I thought you could pack up your champs and move it for two apartments, your boyfriend’s house and then the home that you would buy together. Saving it for a good day. Like wine. I assumed it could travel since it was nice. Surely, that should be built into the cost. Longevity.
I packed it around in it’s pretty red box and gently patted it as I put it away each time on its new shelf. As it spoiled. It’s probably been “off” for ten years but still I gave it care and attention to make sure I had it for that one good day. It’s not rapper expensive by champagne standards but it came in a box so earned fancy status. It travelled from Europe and was given to me under the guise of sweetness that turned sour so was a story waiting to be told one day.
My dear friend and absolute inspiration of a human started a long journey today. Yes, she is still with us. Although, she is heading straight into hell sometime tomorrow. Starting in Oceanside California, she will ride her wee bike day and night, sharing the miles with a beastly-in-the-best-way man, and finish in Annapolis Maryland. The hell ahead of her is Borrego Springs California where I remember asking “WHY EVEN PANTS?” in the still of the 42°C shade. This hell stretches across Kansas with its high winds, into the land of a million Wal-Marts and starts to feel like hell is home in the Appalachians. No offence to the Appalachian gas station attendant that gave me an uncomfortably warm and gummy smile the night I got lost there.
We call her Boons and I don’t even know why. Her nickname came well before I gave her the one’s she will never know of. She was the Captain of a crew of merry brethren, of which I was one, who watched over four riders in the 2014 Race Across America (RAAM).
When we finished two years ago in Maryland we drank much bubbly. There were empty bottles on the table long before the entire crew was even seated. Every single one of us in tremendous amounts of assorted pain on our trips home to Canada. This ain’t no tour.
So, as Boons and I sometimes do, I decided to day-drink in her honour and was going to crack that special bubbly I’d been saving. Why not? We’d painted our toes Piper Heidsieck red last week. There is all kinds of special wrapped around her doing this ride, including where the fundraising dollars are going. We ride for the same people. Those people are kids. Everyone drinks because of kids.
What first struck me was the unnatural colour pouring from the bottle. Then a smell similar to what pee smells like after an exuberant Prosecco bender.
I’d waited too long to celebrate. I’d carried around something spoiled in the hopes that it would be what it was born to be. This is that lesson that I’ve not seen the many times it was right in my face. Repeating the same excuse filled habits of delayed gratification. My generation is struggling to unlearn this as we watch the instant gratification generation break the internet.
The short-term plan is to repurchase the Piper and have it chilled for when Boons gets home. The long-term is to celebrate more and delay less. Life it too damn short. How many times has the universe proven that to you? This week? Exactly.
Get on it before it spoils.