Sunday, March 12, 2006


We donated our bikes to the Bloomington Bicycle Project this evening. The people in the busy little brick shop all smiled warmly when we wheeled our old friends inside. That’s a lovely feeling. We’ve given an arresting amount of our stuff to Goodwill over the last couple of months. It certainly feels good to know we’re helping a little, but the employees don’t advertise their gratitude like they did at the BBP. I also gave them a box of old cassette tapes; they’d posted a request for music on their wish list white board. Music to listen to while they tinker, I suppose. Chili Peppers, Hal Wilner, Bauhaus, Michael Hedges, No Means No, Angelo Badalamenti. I told them it was all the music I liked in 1992. It makes me happy to think my old soundtrack will keep playing in Bloomington, staying behind to help fix up old bikes. Tomorrow we’ll give our cell phones to the Women’s shelter.

I wish there was a place to donate juggling pins.

final countdown

It feels like I’m going into space. I think preparing for a 34-hour flight is probably something like what an astronaut goes though during their final days on Earth. How many times did, say, Michael Collins – before the launch of Apollo 11 - check his space toiletries bag for dental floss? How many psychic breakdowns did Neil have on the morning of July 16th, 1969? “Where are the tickets again?”, “I thought I put my passport in the top pocket of my space duffel, but it’s gone. Who moved my passport?!” I imagine even Laika must have chewed at the base of her tail during the moments before Sputnik II launched.

Actually, I’m happy to report a relative sense of calm. The last few days have undulated over high peaks of action and fleeting troughs of self-satisfaction. Mainly before and after something else goes out the door. Anxiety has been almost entirely about what’s left to do here, not about the chaos waiting for me on the far side of the international dateline.

One more day. One more peak. One more baby step for mankind. I think I’ll go out and look at the waxing gibbous moon.