Ode to universe

July 29, 2010


It was bound to happen eventually. It was finally going to be the blog entry in which I pondered my place in the universe (doing so without God???s aid, since I don???t believe in that*). I have no idea what my purpose is as I don???t seem to be accomplishing much and don???t see my future to be very different. Nothing I could say would sound like much more than a pity party. If I really don???t like it that much, make a change. Or even find God. Whatever.

On my bike ride home from work, I had a could-have-been-death experience and the place-in-universe (PIU) question became more focused, at least for the seven minutes that followed which encompassed the rest of my ride home during which time there could have been two more incidents. It must have been my karma today. I started out this morning grumpy and spent most of the day trying to overcome. But I did, and by the time I set out for home, I was feeling pretty good about things.

Biking downtown is, of course, an adventure every time. Even though I have a designated, dedicated bike lane, motor vehicles just refuse to acknowledge it (and me) 95% of the time. Usually it???s just a car or, at worst, a pickup truck or SUV. Today it was an 18-wheeler.

The problem is that the bike lane is in the middle of the road, so vehicles wishing to turn left must do so by cutting across the bike lane. If I haven???t made eye contact in the outside mirror, I wait.

Such was the case today.

I was approaching the intersection, and about fifty feet from it, a truck-truck drew even with me, then pulled ahead at pace. He at least gets credit for signaling his intent. But I was unable to establish eye contact even though I could see his entire head in his rearview mirror. Then sure enough he blithely began his left turn.

I was nearly stopped and was patiently waiting until he finished his turn, thinking it was a short, delivery-type truck. Thank goodness I looked over my shoulder to discover that there was a semi-trailer being pulled directly toward my position. I put my foot down to wait, then realized that I???d better keep moving directly to the left or I???d be clipped and the driver would be none the wiser.

Finally when there was only three feet of trailer left to go did I finally make eye contact with the driver, who was probably actually looking to see if he thought he???d clear the city bus on the cross-street. Sheepish wave from him. Gosh, thanks. I was using stronger language at the time.

So my first question is to the truck driver: where did you think I went in the thirty feet from the time you overtook me to when you initiated your turn?

My second question is: in the big scheme of things???the UNIVERSAL scheme, not just the personal orbit of a few of you who claim to like me and enjoy my company???what lasting impact have I truly made on your life????truly????no, REALLY.

In the universal scheme of things, what difference would my not being here actually have on things going forward? I???m realistic about that.


*No disrespect to those who believe in God. It???s just not for me.

Original verse by me.

Images from Shutterstock. Collage illustration by me.

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