“We’re Not Animali”: Written in Blood on the Wall of My Pain Cave
You know what bike hell is? It’s a perfectly heated room and a rear skewer locked into a trainer.
Bikes hate trainers. I’m telling you. More than I do. Even your prissy, fancy road bikes that claim they hate to get wet – trust me, they hate trainers more.
Trainers are an affront to the heart of the bike, not to mention the heart of a cyclist.
Here’s a vehicle strapped in place – frantic. Here’s an engine revving, revving, revving.
I watch Goodfellas projected onto the wall in front of me because the casual violence is a consolation. It’s my favorite movie and I can quote every line, and anticipate every spattering of blood, every viciously executed pistol-whipping.
Karen lets the FBI in with her vacant valium stare. Henry screws Janice. Pauly cuts fresh garlic with a razor. Tommy kills Spider. Jimmy strangles Morrie with the telephone cord. Bobby Vinton sends a bottle of champagne to the table and a bead of sweat rolls down his forehead.
Heidi spins intervals on the trainer.
One after another. Empty, mindless pain. Sweat in a cascade. A hand-towel on the tops. Surround-sound. Darkness.
Pauly sits across from Henry and tells him to go back to his wife. “What are you going to do?” he asks, “Get a divorce? We’re not animali…”
But Pauly is wrong. We are animals.
Which is why, when you strap us to a computer and set us on a hamster-machine, a little part of us goes fucking nuts.
Don’t get me wrong – the trainer stuff is important and worthy.
It’s just not right.