Day 9. 609 Miles. My Godless Commie Legs.

Strangely, half the nation fears the word socialism. But if you really wanna provoke insanity amongst many — especially the farthest-goofiest versions of extreme progressivism or conservatism in this nation? Use the word COMMUNISM. It scares the gosh darn be-jeezuz (more on him later) out of all of them. Reveals the absurdist attitude surrounding non dialectic discussion, no matter how many sides or parties there may be. Absurd. Ok. Deep breathes.

A moment for some next level McCarthy malarkey. I’ll testify before the committee. Scary colors. Shoutout to Eugene V Debs. Lemme let you in on a little secret. My legs are communist. AF. Card holding, party affiliated fuckers. Well ok. Actually, they specifically are a communist state. Together. My whole body is. Not a communist state as in the former Soviet Union or China. Like in actual Marxist thought — a stage of socioeconomic development. The both of them. Smell what I’m stepping? Together working as one and shit. My butt is obviously in on the crew too, let’s leave that behind for this one. Puns. My legs though. Communist state. And really now that I’m thinking about it, I mean it in both senses of the word: state and State. General intellect. These legs, they are workers, toiling on behalf of the state of me. Myself. I. My body is the commune. Look at me, over here communing. Back on Highway 17. Eh. Miles.

Timespace travel our Royal collective ass back to me pushing my luck this morning. Two cups of coffee. It’s tasty. I’m dehydrated. Don and I chat, hes gonna think about an Erie Canal ride that I’d be able to help him out with, I’m psyched for that. Trains. Parking space. Place to sleep. He got his brother hooked on long rides. I still haven’t decided on my route going forward — pushing that to the last minute. I make one good decision though, 18 miles in I stop at the good old Hampstead, NC United States Postal Service — a cadre of comrades if I have ever seen one. Seventeen US dollars later and I’m six and quarter pounds lighter. This must be subsidized at those rates. It was all crap I really didn’t need and/or wasn’t using: GoPro, unfinished reading material, a couple articles of unneeded clothing, bike reassembly tools, some other little things. I consider this a win and push on to… Jacksonville? Yup. Wait. Rewind to about 5 minutes ago, the postal counter clerk agreeing that every pound matters on a bicycle. She asks where I started. “Jacksonville”. “You mean Florida, right? Because our Jacksonville ain’t that far.” Oh yeah, good catch. There’s a Jacksonville NC somewhere between her and the decision intersection on my map. Left turn right turn. This clerk and her federal pension is all like “ours ain’t that far” and I wonder if she’d make one the 35 fully loaded miles I’ve got in front of me. Twenty bucks says nah.

My physical form, it works, it functions as intended; doing what it do – even with as much allowed atrophy over this past winter. A of it as a whole shares the means of production, right down to the capillaries perfusing as they do. I start to get deep into my mind and… woo. These motherfucking legs though! Hot damn. Make you wanna slap your lover with a sickle and mc hammer over here. Let’s get it started. The left one is the kick stand at stops. The right is the initial pushoff, sort of like a Trotsky kinda cardiac sinoatrial node for my legs. Figure that one out, Diego Rivera. Read more books.

This circle k is different. First, because it’s a shell. Second because military helicopters are everywhere overhead. Blackhawk up. Left right. Is this cadence or a contra code? Select start. Ah, it’s the marine Corp base at camp lejeune. Can’t go through anymore. Not even on bike. lejeune? Hmm sounds French. Communes. Shoutout to Ernesto Che Guevara. I’m waiting like forever at this red light. Whole line off marines. Waiting to turn left. Whoa. Convoy. Carpooling in humvees, they stare me down. Like all six in each, somehow I know they see me. It’s creepy. I’m waiting for one to pop out the top hatch. Hopefully it would be a water gun. Or frickin lasers. Imma just keep pedaling and paying my taxes. Jacksonville NC is the city for all the bases around. Lots of memorials. Cemeteries. A sheriff passes me slow but mega close. Maybe to show off his “in god we trust” phrasing that’s above “sheriff” on the back hatch window of suburu sport utility whatever. Gotta love good old separation of church and state. Those old white slave-owning atheists are turning in their graves. Or are they?

It is the end of exploited labor. My legs get breaks. Union breaks, as in they both get to take off at the same time. It makes them happier to do what they do and better at it. They get closer with the entire commune this way. Shoutout to Fred Hampton and his Rainbow Coalition. These legs help each other out. My left hamstring starts acting up somewhere on Highway 17 and my right leg picks ups the extra pushing for a few miles. Really solidarity in these fuckers.

Judgment day comes and my plan works. All I do is push it off and push it off and eventually I’ve pushed so far that I’m one day ahead of schedule again and take the long, windy way. Toward the outer banks we go. Eastbound!

My legs. They don’t believe in a higher power. They are a higher power. They get me where i need to go even on Friday and Saturday and Sunday. No holidays needed, they are Gods, the each of them. Eaching away. Right turn! It’s thankfully my last real stretch on 17 and there’s something I been had been having on my mind. Let’s talk about nails. Obviously, Christ got ‘em right in his hands and feet for like maybe up to three days max. But yo, I got ‘em in the shoulder. Repeatedly. All day, every day. 9 and a half days of this. Left and right. I gave up counting on my first full day – I’d guess it’s consistently been hundreds of nails per day… plus screws. I shit you not. More than anywhere. Even around Easter. I’m riding, it’s quiet enough so I decide to look down and over a couple minutes of counting I always see 2 or 3 of them. Then extrapolate por favor. And that is what I SEE.. when I’m looking at the ground three feet in front of me and not at vehicular traffic nor pedestrians nor surrounds nor scenery. Long ones. Short one. Rusty ones. Shiny newbies. Most on their side, some straight up. The shoulder is screwed too. One day there were entire boxes of construction decking screws splashed open in my way. Probably like fifty dollars worth. Pedal right over and hold my breath. Yeah that’ll make it work. Today seems worse than most. I pray to the spokes gods.

An 80 plus mile day in the sun and swirling winds finds me pulling up to the USFS campground in Cedar Point. Oh shit did i teleport to Cleveland already and miss the whole thing? Nah. Cedar Point North Carolina. The campground host tells me he has one site left. It’s a shared site. How fittingly socialist. 19b. Nope it’s capitalism. No free access to articles of consumption of here. Im consuming time I suppose. Fascists. The host, he looks like a Frank. Frank eyes me and says, “we get more than a few of you comin’ through”. “Yeah I bet”. Apparently my predecessor haves inquired about showers in the past, Fred says “Well I know y’all love to shower, we’ve hit showers over there…”. In my head I wonder who doesn’t shower. But hey to each their own. Over to 19b. My campsite comrade is one Baldhead Bob. His name is Bob and he is ballheaded as fuck. He’s got a little foofy lap dog. I miss the dogs name because it’s yapping at me. Whatever. I actually pay him. What are. Here’s your cash, Bob. I got a shower to enjoy and ramen to nom. It’s bomb. Both of em. The palace pops up. My devices get charging and the adventure adrenaline kicks in… no.. no it doesn’t.

My legs. They don’t need money. They need electrolytes in their utopian state. I stretch them more and more. Mandate. Is it rest or work for these working legs. When it’s rough standing up out of a crouch, they kick in. Sometimes taking turns. Thank you legs, you courageous commies, I most definitely could not do this without you.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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