Blissful Day in Sacramento

Days like today are such a blessing.  Beautiful summer weather, little traffic to trifle with a middle-aged man on a bike in Midtown Sacramento.

And so I rode over to the bike shoppe and aired up my tires.  This particular bike shop is so great because I can wheel my bike right through the shoppe where all the white middle classers are buying Lycra shorts and graphite street racers they will use twice and sell on eBay because doing what Lance Armstrong does isn’t as fun as he makes it look.

Anyway, the mechanics at the shop are super friendly and come over to air up the tires for me with such a good attitude.  It’s enough to restore your faith in mankind.

I am free-wheeling now and while the ride is stiffer.  I feel the bumps more but I can glide like a greased pig on ice.  SWOOOOOSH.

I looked at rear view mirrors while at the shoppe to see what they would cost me.  A little pricey actually so I left it for now until the stimulus package starts to increase the income of us average people and not just the bankers.  I might need to continue looking over my shoulder for a while I think.

Next off to Pete’s Coffee for tea which sounds odd but they do serve both.  I had a nice large green ice tea.  At first it tasted like sticks swirled in water but the tattooed girl there assured me it was very healthy so I drank it all and after half of it was gone the ice had melted enough to dilute its bitter taste, or maybe my taste buds were more usd to the flavor.  Of course the bitterness could have come from the newspaper I read as I drank it.

Seems that California’s budget is pleasing to nobody and solving nothing.  I didn’t think that it was surprising, but apparently someone thought that the lawmakers would do something positive so it was news.

Next I walked my bike over to “The Gifted Gardener” a really nice shoppe in Midtown that sells gift items for the gardener.  Interesting shop with lots of good stuff.  I wanted to see if I could market some bulb baskets there – you know, the kind that serious gardeners plant bulbs in to keep gophers and moles from eating them.  I have a connection for free galvanized lathe and thought I could get into the basket business.  The woman there was nice, but said they don’t sell practical items like bulb baskets so they wouldn’t be interested.  Strike one.

Later in the day after more riding and some power-walking and a quick walk through an art exhibit which was really interesting at the Verge Gallery, I ended up at Rubicon Pub drinking the best IPA in Sacramento.  I read the Sacramento News and Review which had a great article about a drunk driving tragedy in which some promising kids were killed after a day of rafting on the river.  It was an interesting take on the incident which has been intensely covered by the local media in lynch mob style.  The kid who drove received nearly 7 years in prison because two kids died and two others were injured.  The kid who wrote the article was one who was injured.

He wrote it from a perspective of forgiveness, not something that was heard in as the media helped lynch the kid who was driving.  I think it will fall on deaf ears.  Everyone wanted to demonize and hang the kid who drove but all the kids were drinking that day and the driver tested to a .09 level which while legally drunk in California isn’t staggering drunk, which is why all the kids in the car agreed to allow to him to drive in the first place.

It’s a tragedy multiplied a thousand-fold by lack of forgiveness.  It’s a tragedy compounded by anger.  It’s a tragedy in which the terrible sadness of the families led to more destruction than was necessary according to the young man who wrote the article.  He lamented the fact that instead of coming together and becoming closer, the families were torn apart by the tragedy.

I felt like I was listening to a letter from God about it.  It was so sad to hear this young man talk about his friend who drove and his friends who died and the terrible gaps that were left in his life and in the lives the families involved.

No doubt the kid should not have gotten behind the wheel, no doubt the families suffered beyond measure.  But how sad that love didn’t prevail for all the survivors.  How much better would everyone’s lives be if they had been able to come together and heal as the group he described that existed before the accident.

And this was the young man’s point in writing the article, it was an accident.  What happened was not murder.   In the end, lives were lost and other lives were wrecked and I sincerely doubt that anyone gained anything from the vengeance. 

Does a person’s anger lessen when someone who did harm to them is harmed?  I think that probably they feel emptiness and they sit quietly at their kitchen table each morning over coffee wondering what happened to the fulfillment they were expecting to feel.