"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


My Indian Summer

Lose your job.

I insist. It will change your life. Like a good Indian Summer can change your year.

Right around Labor Day I lost my job. Right around Labor day we notice a bit of a cool, the leaves begin to change, the day is a bit shorter, all the signs that summer is over. But the heat comes back, with a cool breeze which steals the sweat from the back of your neck as you sip a nice Pinot Grigio, holding on for one more week.

"It's a done deal." And with those four words, my Indian Summer is coming to an end. With the offer I am expecting next week - and the position is certain to put me where I am expecting, salarywise - I'll be rejoining the ranks of the 9-5ers.

Just as the cold comes on for real like the ice box door closing shut and the lights going out.

I'll most likely be hanging up my apron and box-cutter, moving to the sublist for the waitstaff at the restaurant, begin commuting like a normal Joe again. Even more so, in fact. I'll have a car, definitely be riding less to work - I'll even be working in the suburbs, and probably getting lunch at Chili's.

Summer is over.

Gone will be the Tuesday-Thursday endurance rides with Mark, meeting at the Russian Cafe to flirt with the waitress over hot coffee and a ham and cheese croissant, and then heading south and back on casual conversation. Gone are the slow mornings over more coffee and actually getting to listen to Eight Forty Eight on NPR. Gone are the fun nights at the bar, joking with patrons and making fun of them to my coworkers, milking the check, and walking out with a wad of tax-free cash.

Gone will be the just-now-nascent wine knowledge I have begun to acquire. The fun of simply talking and tasting wine all day long. And getting paid for it.

Discovering wine like this:

How is this not the most perfect harmony of interests for a guy like me?

Yet also gone will be the managers at the wine store talking to me like I'm a 7 year old. The fat woman standing in the Barolo aisle asking where the Yellow Tail is. That's retail for you.

Gone will be the table of the 4 teenagers paying in quarter's and leaving a 5% tip. Gone are the 10 trixies ignoring you as you stop by to check on the table but then tapping your shoulder to give you a 5 drink order after you've moved on to the next table. That's waiting tables for you.

Here again, with the cold, and the fleeing tourists, is normalcy. The good kind. Benefits. Direct deposit. A big, fat raise. On which to afford a plane ticket to see my family. Consistent hours. On which to plan my weekend - to race, to gig out with my bands, to go on dates, to go see a band, or a ball game.

For as beautiful and fun as it is, Indian Summer just delays reality. Winter is a time to get stuff done. This is not to say everyone's Indian Summer is waiting tables and working retail while they interview. For some it is perfect - and if I had more experience at it I could've begun working at a better paying restaurant and began living the lifestyle on a permanent basis. But it wasn't to be and I needed the money and the structure - plus I had marketable skills with which to get that structure.

And now it's all led me to Winter. And will get me through it to the reality and beauty of a true Summer.

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