Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Caffeine and the Graduating Teen

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The 21st floor of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Milwaukee

My kid graduates from High School on Saturday. I hope there are no fights. Because on her 8th grade graduation there was a fight in the parking lot while the crowd spilled out from the auditorium. I was a little pissed and obviously can't let it go. I am hoping that the school proclaims her high school graduation at Queeny Park a violence free zone for the day. Queeny, centered in Town and Country MO, btw. There will be thousands of folks there.

Maybe it is the crowds that are bothering me lately?--delicious fuel for a rant, perhaps?

I had a repulsive journey to Milwaukee yesterday with the makings of what I would call "a perfect setting for personal horror"--a movie with me as the star, a prison bubble of anxiousness.

It started with my bike ride early at Castlewood. And it is not that Bob Arnold had anything to do with it (other than the fact that he doesn't warm up and, as usual, makes sure I don't control the pace). He held a brisk pace through our hour long quickie and he is riding the best I have ever seen him. He was leaving for San Diego, me, Milwaukee, at noon. We rolled in the parking lot at the same time. I pretty much had my ass handed to me.

I broke a spoke and hurried down to Ballwin Cycles to have it fixed. The fourth spoke on my super expensive crossmax 29ers, btw. Once they go, they go. While waiting I grabbed a juice drink out of the cooler and slammed it. This on top of two cups of coffee and a "sipper" that I still had in my car. Well, apparently the juice drink was an "AMP" juice drink, loaded with hyper caffeine. I was bouncing off the walls and feeling a little queasy when I landed at the airport. And we know what that means? Turbo-anxiety.

My heart rate went from 60 to 160 in the first two miles of take off due to the circular thinking that I could not seem to break--not that the plane would crash, rather the fact that I could not bail on my choice to be on the plane. I could not change my direction, my commitment, my surroundings, my choice to be there. I don't like not being able to change my course. This is likely the meat of the problem. And with the dry, crackling, echoing, hollow stomach that I was nursing, I was pretty close to cussing out the chick sitting next to me for giggling with her new husband (a Saturday wedding).

We had to do it twice, landing in Kansas City before heading out to Milwaukee. Everything is small and cramped in that airport too. Who was the genius who designed that airport? There were only four stalls for the bathrooms. Four, two at either end of the "holding" center. Where we were stuffed, packed, held, unable to walk around the terminal, before getting on our other full flight with other happy people on journeys to happy places. This time I sat next to Brian, my business partner, I spilled my fear of tight spaces like a Wednesday confessional. It was not quite happy hour yet.

We arrived without cause and went to our hotel prior to becoming lodged in a traffic jam, which eventually had us making a decision to change our course. I was pleased with Kevin's ability to get the hell out of the sheep line and take surface roads downtown. I just like to have the option to bi pass, detour, go around, adapt, surely you understand? Yep, that is what causes me problems, the lack of options.

So here is the kicker. My room number, 2132. Yes the 21st floor! The elevators were older than my mother and seemed to get smaller and smaller the closer they got to the top. As I walked down the hallway, I centered on where my room was. The hallway shrinking to fit. I was at the end. Lucky to find it nestled in the corner with windows all around, I opened the door to a pleasant experience. One window looking to the north, the other to the east. I was quite pleased with my room and after dinner settled in to bed and embarked on a dream. A tale about not wanting my kid to grow up and move on and the fears I have for her as she begins a new journey, with choices and commitments and bailouts. I knew there was something bothering me. I obviously can't change that. Congrats Nat!

A little less caffeine today...

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