Thousands of people, mingling like ants that have gotten lost from their farm, all waiting or hurrying in some manner or another, and I am the only 6 limbed exo-skeletal bug in a flannel… I’ll take this as the first fashion point of the adventure and probably the only.
This bustling bug zoo is the international airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where I can feast my eyes on the big, little, wide, narrow, flashy, drowsy, antsy, eccentric, fuming, sluggish, deprived, depraved, unglued, and praying mantis’ critters of society. All bugs welcome and aboard.
All puns out the window or buzzing hopelessly at their reflections in the window, let me delve a bit more into my Venice experience because it ties in quite well with the closure of my adventure.
It wasn’t to hard to prepare everything I needed for the journey home. I got helped by a Austrian touring cyclist finding Mestre. The hotel was cheaper than expected. The bike shop had the perfect size box… Except it was 5-6 kilometers away from the hotel. Therefore, I got to flex my giant left arm muscles all across Mestre while using a big box as a sail while biking. Looks and laughs make me happy. An overall good experience.
Everything ready, with time to pack the next morning for the journey back, I had spare time in my pocket like I had just come out of the plasma donation center. I pieced together my picturesque cane and set forth for public transportation. Sadly, I don’t think biking in Venice is a good idea from I had heard. Waterways, bridges, and tourists are not so easily dodged on my steel steed.
Needless to say, I found myself in the throng of tourist central, walking slowly, observing the beautiful city and its occupants. Clutching my cane I followed the river of people over rivers of water for a few bridges or so. Where were all these people going? They were passing by beautiful, old churches whose circle topped spires contrast to the rigid, dashing lines of rooftops around them. They didn’t seem to care for the faded Easter colors of the dirty buildings. No one paid attention to the flowers hanging from the flat of a flutist. Everyone just kept walking and talking, quickly.
Figuring it a better idea to peruse the seemingly forgotten and forlorn passages, like a bat outta hell, I got out of there! This sheep shaved itself from the herd and spun a flannel of it’s own color. What I found was a solitude that hopeless romantics and poets, such as myself, I believe, are very attracted too. A quiet dock in a small piazzaa where I could sit and idly pass the time watching people point fingers from boats and shoot pictures of people shooting pictures of a docks with boats… An intersection of waterways with not so distant bridges where lovers caress each other at the zenith’s. Fish minding their own business, careless of the comotion of water traffic around them, eating the bugs off water plants stuck to the canal walls. The lonely man in his window, gazing out at the greying skies, smoking his pipe in deep thought. It was a peace that I relate to the eye of the storm when all the wind dies down and just the sound autumn leaves rustling across pavement attunes to me. Knowing that within the closest of proximity, a storm of commotion rages all around you.
Venice is a place for me. I could linger in it’s darkness and study its crisscrossing lines against its curving canals. I loved it. But, I couldn’t… It is so weird to think that I had just completed cycling 5,000 kilometers and, yet, I can’t walk more than 3 kilometers. My hip was grinding like an apothecary’s pestle and mortar. My knee was swelling like bee sting to my brother Eon. I just couldn’t keep going even though I new the eyes of the storm were vast and waiting to be found. I had to turn back, my legs were just unable to support my adventure by foot.
It was a nail in the coffin. Don’t misinterpret that. It was the driving hammer blow to my needing a hip replacement. I cannot continue to live in such a way where walking 3 kilometers cripples me. I am happy to be returning home for this surgery, even though it is a grave decision at my age of 24. I will end this with my favorite quote from Dazed and Confused, “I WANNA DANCE!” Soon, I will.
You can still make donations to the Arthritis Foundation at the link below!