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2008-07-01 - 4:54 p.m.

I like to ride my bike really fast, as fast as I can take it. I don't trust motorcycles and the closest to flying I've ever done is to read that guy Richard Bach's new-age book about airplanes and stuff. But pedaling hard downhill seems pretty close to where I'd like to be. There's some danger in it, a little, and sometimes I let go of the handlebars and sometimes I pedal a while. There's that feeling that you get that can't be beat: tight tires, tight road, oiled bike, air up the back of the shirt. When you do it right, it can feel like the operation of a perfect machine, a balanced equation, a high-five on a quiet night.

Flying to Springfield, Illinois for a surprise visit with my younger brother. He just had a birthday. Jake and I are getting on a plane at 6 in the morning and will get to his house by 9 or so. He doesn't know anything about it. The plan is to get a cab and to knock on his door. The plan is to have my camera set to burst mode and to hold it at the hip and, when he opens the door, to fire away. We're going golfing. I haven't been golfing in six years, maybe. But I remember doing pretty well. I can hit it straight.

I think my boss is tired of me coming in late. Maybe I'm tired of her face. That's what my one friend would say. Everything's about your mom or about something's face. Sometimes I ignore it but sometimes it's just about the funniest thing around.

I read the unedited version of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. His preferred, unedited version is called Beginners and the edited version is better, I think. Sometimes someone else can see your beauty better than you can.

I'm looking forward to some brother time. His son's three and a half now. Ryan says he goes around saying, "I'm Spiderman."

I've got a return ticket on Friday but there's a big part of me that wants to rent a car and make a burn south and then east. I'd like to see Kentucky, maybe Tennessee, the Smokies. I've never been there. Those places feel like the heart of something. If not the heart, the kidney or something. The soul? Our shadow? I'd like to find out.

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