May 04 2021 | Follow the flow

I start the walk by pushing the bike, slowly. Occasionally I hear the sound of what I think is a snake placing its tail vertically. I follow with my gaze the white paint of the pavement, in a straight line, always forward, uphill. Large formations of red lumps surround the road on both sides. Occasionally I stop to drink water and dry my sweat off my forehead. I look at the “Line of Life” of the red and numb palm of my right hand. So much squeezing the handlebars of my bike, it’s calling for a relaxation. I resume the walk by placing my elbows on the handlebars and a few meters away I pause again. My forehead on the handlebars.

“No, my God, not now…” I whispering aloud.

Suddenly, a motorbike crosses me at high speed, generating what for me is a deafening noise. Then, once again, silence and absolute loneliness. I drink water, seeking to minimize the dizziness and discomfort caused by the imminence of yet another hypertension crisis. I decide to park my bike by lowering the two iron sticks of the front trailer and I sit on the edge of the road. I keep my back straight and I squat my legs, almost in the zazen position. I take my baseball cap off, drink another sip of water. A few minutes pass and I feel that dizziness and discomfort have somewhat subsided. I keep my position straight for a couple of minutes. I feel like I am really present where I am.

“All you have to do is appreciate for being alive, trying to enjoy your surroundings and following the flow, without trying to reach this or the other shore. I’ll take care of the rest, provide you with what you need. Don’t despair, even when circumstances seem to conspire against you. It’s going to be all right.”

I pull the sticks of my trailer and once again move slowly ahead, perceiving all kind of tiny sounds, even my breathing rhythm.

When I walk pushing my bike, usually uphill, pulling the two trailers which in their total combination measures up to more than four meters long, I invariably do it on the left side, opposite the established direction. If anyone intends to kill me, I’d rather have him do it head-on, not behind my back. And when I start the ascent in a mountainous area, even up to 10 kilometers of full climb, I constantly change my position in front of each curve. If I turn left, I stand on the right side; if I do it on the right, I walk to the left side, making a zigzag to be visible on both curves as much as possible. I am the one who absolutely controls the road and, some drivers seem to be surprised by such determination. They see me walking head-on in front of the lane they’re passing. They have no choice but to slow down and twist the steering wheel to cross me. Some despised will shout from their booths: “Use the right lane, you idiot!”

But this time, in the vicinity of Fuentes, Cuenca, Castilla La Mancha, Spain, by the N-420, at approximately 14:30, there are almost no vehicles. Finally I reach the top of the road and it is time to get back on the bike and pedal and enjoy the descent, with the bare torso, with the smile on my lips, speaking aloud with myself, referring to the current weather condition, the speed of the wind, the temperature, the conditions of the road, the chances of precipitation, etc., as if I were a Radio broadcaster, someone who is in charge of delivering what’s ahead, the weather man. Sometimes, I act like I’m a pilot of a plane that just took off, communicating to the control tower the situation in the open sky.

Trailers make a special noise when picking up speed. There’s a squeak on the wheel of the first trailer, which is actually the middle wheel. This is the bike-train. After a while, I stop on a plain under the shade of a leafy tree, and a few kilometers from reaching the village. I laying down just on the side of the road. A vehicle would slow down as it passed in front of me; then accelerates again. I hold my water bottle above my face and drop a little splash of water on my eyes, my forehead, my head.

“Don’t think now where you’re going to sleep, what you’re going to eat. There’s no point in you anticipating anything. Just follow the flow”

I close my eyes, I placed the water bottle in the hollow of my left neck, touching my cheek. I imagine it’s my pillow, lying on the floor somewhere far away and I feel much of peace.

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