The Pettitfiles

Eddie would Ride

There’s angles in the outfield and dead ball players in the corn. Hollywood mocks poets and writers of the past, taking their lyrics and twisting them into slotted screen plays that over paid thespians act out to the world munching on huge tubs of popcorn and downing coca-cola classic, adding girth to their asses and idolizing shallow pretty people whom live and spend without a clue.

Adaptations equal death to scribers, the money however is needed, true words get lost in their signature as they cash checks and spend unholy deeming repents for crimes against words. Worlds end, nights fall, a still silent before the rupture of the world burst with the morning sun. To those who can no longer feel the warmth of a new day, I will never loose the majesty of plain beauty that caused our forefathers to harvest this land for themselves, pushing and scraping those before us out of the way, room was needed for the new marauders, the Americans. Cast away immigrants looking to redeem their names in a new and un marked land, off to live a new life. I guess we have always been a dramatic colony.

I have started nearly seven stories or rants, worked endlessly on the divide, but I’m afraid no one will like it or understand my version of it, also I don’t think I can do justice for all that I saw, or what people did for me. Maybe that’s a lone bright spot for not being totally sponsored, my words are still my own and no deadline falls before me, unless you count the ones I bequeath upon myself.

I lost a job, returned to the pacific ocean hauling tons of halibut from her stomach to fill our boats belly, and bank accounts. Spent time with a great man, and took in a lot of sights my sore eyes longed to see. I walked the uneven sidewalks and some I even poured in my hometown, ducked the cops and spent the night with my folks and dog. I was eager to return to my new home in Arizona, one filled with a girl I love and a life were piecing together, like a thrift store Norman Rockwell puzzle the edges are bent and some pieces are missing, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t taking shape.

My first day back under the blazing Arizona sun, long before noon I sat at a bar not far from my house, listened to a friend bitch about his life while drinking a double makers and 7 up, along with an iceberg. My heart had broken, my soul was washed with grief, at 36 my cousin Eddy had passed away from cancer. Words have been written since then but their elusive and sometimes filled with anger. I’ve scene and done so many beautiful crazy things it doesn’t seem right to not share them with you all, but some times in the words I get sad and angry.

It feels like I don’t have the control to write well, then just want to disappear. Back to when I was just a blip on a screen, back when I had no faults anyone could see, sometimes I think I’m at my greatest is when I’m in a desperate way and I think of those I love and the wrongs I want to right before its my time. In a painful sense of gratitude I gather myself in a brilliant light of self recognition, then to only return home a little reclusive and a tad selfish. I hope in ways this will become my Berlin wall and knock down the barricade I’ve built around my stories, some are strange and dark, and I’m a little un nerved to share them. Then I think that my cousin will never see the light of a new day, he’ll never get that renewed sense of hope men like me survive by.

He was tall and slender when he walked into the shop, the last time I had seen him he was heavier, it was the day my grandfather passed away. I walked outside after carrying my paternal elder, the only one I’ve know into a hospice bed, in a house I shared with my dementia grandmother. I had to pick up a bike and get to a race, a couple hours later my mom had called and said he waited till she got there. I rode like shit and spent a great number of hours in a hospital getting stitches in Show Low, but like always I finished.

He walked in, with his wife and was bursting with life and things he wanted to do. He had started to ride and found the soul of it quickly, the freedom, the sights and sounds you hear when you move under your own power. I told him I’d give him my bike, I had some connections anyway, so for me it was a good thing.

After the divide I only rode five times, Amebic Dysentery apparently isn’t anything to fuck around with. On the boat I was anxious to get back to a routine of training and eating, preparing myself for the rest of the calendar of races. But on the first day home I got the news, and the bike sat motionless on a hook in the garage. I would stare at it, thinking it was my cousins bike, the bike I rode the divide, the bike that meant so much to me, I was afraid to build it, until my friend Robert LaRoche came up with a bike/car camping trip to the grand canyon, along trails perhaps nobody has ever ridden.

I thought I would never ride it again, but the idea of the steed that was to be my cousins purveying the cliffs and sights of the Grand Canyon while riding some single track that may have never been ridden seems like the best way for me to celebrate his life, doing something unique to me, in honor of him. Going over some old work stuff from when I cleaned out my locker, I found a note that mentioned the day my cousin stopped in, it just said “EDDIE WOULD RIDE” meaning whenever I or anyone else doesn’t feel like it, he was laying in a hospital bed slowly dying wishing he could turn the cranks and fill his lungs and eyes with all he saw.

Its poignant now, after his passing. One of the most kindest souls I have been around, always in a good mood, we got along easily and made the most of our time together. Through all the family adversity we’d find another way to pass the time and dodge the negativity. Its in rough shape, battered components and having ridden nearly 3,000 miles in a month but yet I’m eager to swing a leg over it, see some amazing sights, fill my lungs and eyes with all the beauty and just take my time for someone who can’t.

Along the trails of one of natures most explosive gifts, I’ll reflect on what I’ve done this summer, the life of my cousin and remember the freedom bikes give us, the simple joy of moving forward, under our own power in whatever direction we deem the best for us, I wish you all the same every time you ride or do whatever it is you do, its spectacular what these days give us, and those that come into our lives, I’m thankful, humbled and gracious for those that have come into mine. So now, I think I’ll grab another beer, wipe these damn tears out of my eyes and head to the garage and finish building the bike, LaRoche will be here at 7 am, thanks for reading, Jonny P.


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