I don’t know if I’ve already told you here that while riding I engage in long conversations with myself and with those I love to talk with.
I also like mental games. I have various little games.
There’s one where I play with the numbers that show up along the road. I add, subtract, multiply and divide until I get a prime number as the result.
Then there’s the one of converting the distance from miles to kilometers and with the answer I compare distances between places in São Paulo, my city in Brasil.
“Ah, (with this mileage) I can make it from São Paulo to Campinas.” “Loookie, I could be getting to Santos…”
I’ve also noted that I’ve been a little more creative and I’ve tried to exercise this creativity to the maximum.
One thing that rouses my love of stories are the many things I find alongside the road. And this has turned into my preferred mental game.
A barbell weight. I Always ask myself how these objects ended up on the side of the road?
A CD by a Chinese singer. Is it sad music, happy, rock, indie, traditional? I never found out…
This is how it works, you see an object so you have to make up a story about this object by answering 3 questions: 1. Who was the original owner? 2. What was the “life” of this object before ending up on the side of the road? 3. How did this object end up on the side of the road?
Sometimes the stories come as a first-person narrative, at times it’s by the first owner or even some third person, for example, like a Raven who “saw everything”.
It’s really very entertaining! The majority of the stories, however, have a sad ending, but there’s a trick, sometimes I change the ending by taking the object and putting it in another place.
Depending on the condition of the object, I pick it up and give it “another chance” for it to have a new owner. Sometimes I put it on a park bench, on a table at a restaurant, on the sink in a gas station restroom…
I have a bunch of sad and heavy stories like the one about the prostitute who was abandoned on the edge of the road and went mad ‘neath a full moon, taking off all her clothes and leaving them on the side of the road.
There’s the story of the books of a backpacking writer who, after carrying around so much weight, had to leave behind the classics he so loved so he could continue walking.
An entire pack of cigarettes. Did that person quit smoking? Were they successful? I hope so.
My last story is of the blue ukulele: it was thrown out of a car, while a father and son were arguing, for fathers and sons fight.
The father felt immense pride and admiration for his son’s talent with the blue ukulele. The son, knowing this, at the height of the argument, when words will no longer hurt, opened the car window and threw his beloved instrument out through the window.
Days later, after a brief rain, a cyclist riding along the road saw the ukulele. She stopped to drink some water and have a granola bar and for a few minutes admired the instrument.
So blue, so pretty.
She picked up the object and tried the strings. A lovely sound came from them and the cyclist smiled. She then tied the instrument to her panniers and decided to try to learn how to play it.
That same night, with the help of a phone app, she tried the pathetic first lessons. In the “audience” a boy heard and laughed at the awkwardness of the cyclist.
They laughed together and the boy asked to try.
In the small hands of the boy the ukulele again made a beautiful sound. The following morning the cyclist went on south along the highway but the ukulele stayed on a bench in front of the boy’s house…
The following morning the cyclist went on south along the highway but the ukulele stayed on a bench in front of the boy’s house. The story continues…