Ithaca

I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but somehow the whole weekend focused on my crotch.  How many people say that after spending a weekend with their brothers?

Thom and I got in late enough Friday night that we didn’t tackle anything terribly ambitious.  Drew had already been in Ithaca a week exploring every nook and cranny of the Finger Lakes.  He and Mike have started a new tradition of spending a solid week on their bikes every Labor Day.  They’d already conquered some ridiculous ride that day (probably 917 miles at a nearly vertical pitch) and were looking a little glazed.  We each cracked open a beer, gossiped for maybe half an hour, and quickly decided to crash out.

Central Casting
Central Casting

In the morning, Drew indulged my concrete habit and helped me cast my ‘shrooms.  The trunk of his car (my grandfather’s dead sexy ’98 Buick Regal which we affectionately call the Pussy Wagon) was like a magic concrete mixing wonderland full of buckets, spatulas, and gloves.  I’m pretty sure Rocco would not be down with my turning Ginny’s trunk into my workshop…but that doesn’t make me any less tempted.

By the time we (and by we, I really mean Drew cause he did all the real work) finished pouring and tidying up the concrete, Mike and Mari had finished walking the dogs and were itching to get a move on.  We shouted at Thom to get up and started discussing THE PLAN.

Mikey is the oldest sibling and he’s awfully fond of structure.  I’m a huge fan of fucking with people and pressing their buttons.  That trait kinda runs in the family, so poor Mikey was having one hell of a time while we three giggled and elbowed each other as we wreaked havoc on his many attempts at constructing an itinerary for the day.

Somehow a PLAN was constructed – at least for the morning.  The boys still had the biking bug and suggested riding down along the waterfront.  Unfortunately for my crotch, both Mike and Mari had extra bikes so Thom and I would be able to ride along.  Um, yay?

Now, it’s not like I don’t know how to ride bikes.  Drew and I used to ride around the golf course near our house when I was wee.  It hasn’t even been very long since I last mounted a bike.  I rode down to the park with Pops when I was in Virginia for the 4th of July.  However, those rides took place on big ol’ cruising bikes with wide cushy seats and handlebars that one can reach while sitting up straight.  That was decidedly not the case on Saturday morning.

Mari’s extra bike was a bright yellow sporty little number with a brick for a seat.  Nah, a brick is too wide.  Maybe if you turned the brick so it rested on its narrower side…and then covered it with barbed wire.

I’m probably a good eight inches taller than Mari, so many adjustments needed to be made before I could ride that yellow torture device without looking like a Laugh-In skit.  Mari marched out with a sharpie and marked all the settings that worked for her tiny little self.  Once she was clear, the boys descended with screw drivers and wrenches in hand, like a plague of well-equipped ants enveloping the bike.  Fifteen minutes later, I lowered my soon to be mangled crotch onto the seat of doom and leaned against the tailgate of Mari’s truck while they checked their work.

Mike instructed me to peddle forward and backwards checking the angle of my thigh to the ground.  He explained (in much more depth than I was able to retain) what was good, what was bad, and why.  Drew walked by and succinctly stated, “It’ll do.”

I wobbly made my way down the driveway, across the street, and into the school parking lot.  Within moments, I was dodging my much more coordinated siblings as they zipped around me in circles, taking turns watching for a medical emergency and mocking me.  I made it around twice without falling, but already I had crotch concerns.

As the boys attempted to load up all five bicycles, Mari offered me a variety of cycling accessories.  “Gloves?” she asked.

“Do I need gloves?” I responded quizzically.  I don’t generally partake in sports that involve gloves.

“Well these have padding in the palms so your fingers don’t go numb.”

“Do you have a glove for my vag?  I could use some extra padding there.”  Then again, if it eventually went numb, I might be able to make it through the ride.

“What are you talking about?  Your bike has the widest, most padded seat we have.”

Note to self: my brother and his wife are clearly kinky masochists.  Do not open any drawers or look in closets while visiting.

Cayuga Lake
Cayuga Lake

We drove down to the waterfront, unloaded the bikes, made one last bathroom stop, and took off.  While it felt like fourteen miles and three hours, I’m guessing we might have made it all of an hour before I cried uncle.  Just when I’d get distracted enough to not notice the decidedly uncomfortable sensations I was experiencing in my pubis bone, I’d roll over some chunks of pavement broken up from tree roots and yelp in pain.  Sadly I lacked the coordination to ride my bike standing, so roots and rumble strips were a little more traumatic than they needed to be.  Other than crotch discomfort and nearly toppling over when my pant leg got caught in the gears, I managed to avoid any major debacles.  Look out Lance, I’ve found my new profession.

We sat down for some lunch at a joint right on the water.  I called dibs on the softest seat at the table.  We ordered (our appetizer was a platter of buffalo egg rolls – don’t ask) and rehashed the mornings adventure.

“Oh my vag.  That probably wasn’t a very long ride though, eh?”

“Put it this way,” Mike responded.  “It took longer than sex with Rocco does.”

“That doesn’t help me.  I haven’t timed you two going at it in quite a while.”

After more complaints and jokes, we went back to the house and (gingerly) took a seat in the living room.  We spent the next thirty minutes or so taking turns timing Mike.  We had challenged him to see how long he could sit still without asking “What’s THE PLAN?”  After he asked, “What do you want to do next?” three times in the span of seven minutes, we decided that we’d tortured him enough.

Two Brothers, One Rind
Two Brothers, One Rind

When sitting perfectly still, I often forgot completely about the state of my loins.  However, even the slightest shift in position was a sudden and painful reminder that I would not be training for a triathlon any time soon.  When I could stand sitting no more, we cut up a watermelon and took the dogs for a long walk around the neighborhood.

Based on my incessant whimpering and whining, we decided to take it easy for the evening.  We ordered some pizza, poured some spirits, and tackled the board games.  Drew only had to explain the point of the game three times before I finally started to grasp the point.  (Yay chemo brain!)  For good measure, we played the first round open handed…and I still had to get coached through my first couple of turns.

As Mike shuffled for the next hand, Thom made conversation by inquiring about my health.

“How’s the vag?” he asked as he took a swig of Guinness.

“No kind of good,” I responded.

“Think of it as a vag of honor,” Thom instructed.

“Yeah!” Mike chimed in, “A red vag of honor.”

“I’m pretty sure it’s a red vag of courage,” Drew corrected.

Sigh.


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