metal from the pedal


-- चार हजार एक सौ छब्बीस --

My bike pedal is being held together by a screw that's too large, and I could only screw it in about halfway. It's working, though.

I've had Henry the Bike for nine years now. By my next birthday -- nine months from now -- I'll have had it for ten years. It was my birthday present from him in 2008. Between my Christmas present from him in 2006 (my first iPod) and my birthday present from him in 2008, Shobhit has a well-established history of giving me fantastic gifts that he knows I'll get more than his money's worth out of. Gifts of this magnitude are rare, which is as it should be, and when they happen they more than make up for any year in which there are no gifts of lasting significance.

This bike has been through a lot, though. I've had to have the brakes replaced more than once, and the rear-wheel hand brake is going to need to be replaced again relatively soon, as the handle is once again having to come rather close to the handlebar before it works -- which means the pad is getting really worn down, again. Several years ago I had to get replacement pedals because some dipshit backed their car into my bike in the parking garage and bent one of the pedals all out of shape. Two years ago this month, I had to pay to replace the entire back wheel because some asshole stole it right off my locked bike in the garage. At the time I used to lock up the frame only in the garage; now I always thread the bike lock through the spokes of the back wheel. And that had been only six months after I had already replaced that same wheel once before, in January! When I replaced it the first time it was just because it had been worn down. So it sucked even more that the wheel that got stolen was so new.

I've been thinking about the current set of pedals, which I have never quite liked as they always felt too small under my feet, for a while. They have been partially torn, yet still functional, for a while. It wasn't until riding home from work yesterday, though, that I noticed something was scraping against the ground when I pedaled, on the left side. I saw that one side of the pedal, a metal panel I guess you could call it, was hanging down vertically from it. I saw when I got home that it was because a screw had fallen out. Luckily I have screws at home. I was going to see if I could fix it sometime during the evening, and promptly forgot about it -- until I was in bed last night. So then I went into the bathroom and got a Philips screw driver and a screw and set them out for me to remember to take down with me this morning, not quite sure if I could actually fix it. But, I was! I only got the screw about halfway in, as I said, but the panel is effectively repositioned.

I'm so handy! I do wonder how long this will last. I see there are pedals for sale on Amazon for as little as fifteen bucks, which is cheaper than I expected. I still would rather get them in person at a bike shop, which means I'll probably pay more than that, but perhaps not by much.

Speaking of being in bed last night, I was up for an hour or more after Shobhit scared the shit out of me in a way he hasn't in years. He was asleep next to me but stopped breathing -- that's not what scared me. What scared me was when, literally out of nowhere, he sat up in bed, and made this god-awful sound in his throat that seriously had me thinking he might be about to vomit all over the bedspread. It was truly horrifying. "Shobhit!" I said, my heart pounding. After a brief pause, he just lay back down again. He even turned to me and said, "Are you okay?" That's funny.

"You just scared me," I said. Shobhit snores pretty reliably whenever he's asleep; I wonder if that has anything to do with it. He also has a tongue so humongous it might as well be a cow's, and I did find myself wondering if that big flopping thing inside his mouth just naturally blocks his windpipes sometimes just because it's so huge. Anyway, the last time he scared me that bad was when he fainted while peeing and fell into the bathtub in the guest bathroom, back in January 2010. Back then I insisted on taking him to the emergency room; at least there was none of that last night -- he never left the bed so at least I knew for certain he hadn't hit his head or anything. Still, it about gave me a heart attack.

-- चार हजार एक सौ छब्बीस --


-- चार हजार एक सौ छब्बीस --

I'm reading David Sedaris's Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002, and it's making me feel like I should do better at blogging. Also, I resisted using the word "blog" for years, I guess because when I wrote personal journals between 1987 and 1996, "journal" was the word I used -- and when I transferred it online in 2002, it was on LiveJournal. But now I'm on this new site, and I guess "blog" is the more common term now, so, whatever.

Anyway, the book is an incredibly enjoyable read, and is full of witty observations about the people around him -- but also about himself. To be fair, Sedaris acknowledges in the introduction that the book was very carefully edited, and the book could have presented a very different picture and tone if edited with a different angle in mind. Surely I, or anyone, could make a volume just as entertaining with the same selective editing from the past fifteen years of my LiveJournal. Maybe the stuff David Sedaris left out from his diaries is just as self-absorbed as mine tend to be.

I guess there's also something to be said for staying true to my own voice. I can't be David Sedaris. Only David Sedaris can do that. And although he is also gay, he has a pretty radically different personality from mine. He's also much older. He turned 20 the year I was born. But, still! This book makes me feel like I should pay more attention to the world around me, instead of being so insular in my own brain. I could probably think of interesting things to say about the random people I come across on an everyday basis -- but, I tend to be in my own little world. As Danielle used to say frequently, "There's tunnel vision, and then there's Matthew vision." I was once driven past a huge protest and I didn't even notice it.

Oh, who am I kidding? At best, I might make a note to myself that I should make an effort to, say, people-watch more effectively. I'll forget about it almost immediately. That's my M.O. Didn't I just mention that I thought about fixing my bike pedals while pedaling on one of them half-busted, and then forgot about it as soon as I dismounted the bike? I mean, shit, what better reason is there for me to write down everything that happens in my life? Otherwise it all gets lost to history and my terrible memory. Not that all but a small fraction of it isn't ultimately worth forgetting anyway. Who gives a shit? I do, actually: I never tire of re-reading old journal -- blog -- entries, which often can't even jog my memory even though I lived it and recorded it, so much of my archives are like reading about someone else's life.

-- चार हजार एक सौ छब्बीस --

So how about last night, then? Pretty standard, quiet evening at home with Shobhit -- who, for once, did not work all evening. He did work in the afternoon though, and got home at a little after 6:30. So I took the dry cleaning for drop-off and then went to Chipotle to use our penultimate (of many) 2-for-1 coupon we got at Pride. That burrito, which I ate while watching a Netflix standup special while waiting for Shobhit to get home, is probably why I'm up a pound this morning. Then, after he got home, Shobhit and I watched one episode of Bloodline, two episodes of The Golden Girls -- one of which had a moment so hilarious I literally clapped and nearly fell off the couch -- and then did the New York Times crossword. Shobhit was tired after so many days getting up so early for work and came to bed shortly after I did.

-- चार हजार एक सौ छब्बीस --