suicidal tendency

death by MVA

There must have been 4 tons of car coming at you with a green light letting us through. Me in my Volkswagen, an old man in a Chevy, and a lady sliding off the highway in a Subaru. The time was 2pm, the city drenched by waves of heat. I saw you riding your bicycle slowly into the intersection ahead, and wondered would you stop? You kept pedaling with an icy stare into us, 3 lanes of traffic against your perpendicular. I’m not sure if you wanted to die, but you sure knew what you were doing. The physics, the mathematics of the equation, did not at all look promising yet you kept a steady pace, a mane of black hair falling behind your tan face. You looked maybe Latin or Native American, and ready to die by MVA. Why? Did you lose someone close to you? Were you socioeconomically starved? We all pressed into our brake pads, and the old man in the middle lane lay on his horn.

We were long gone when I wondered; were you laughing in the aftermath of an adrenaline rush? Or were you disappointed? Or had you gone on to Broadway, indifferent to us all, searching for cool water, a smoke, friends, and some shade.

Advertisements

cycling

cycling adventure (part II)

I remember the moment, standing over my duffle bag full of camping gear at 4am, half-awake and trying to choose between a pillow and long underwear. The pillow won. Over the next several days we woke up from camp @ 530am to a car alarm someone was setting off on purpose (and i thought i got away from the city) to sucker us out of our sleeping bags and tents and inside for coffee and breakfast before heading out for our long daily adventures up in and around Auburn, California…  my decision would come back to haunt me… zooming down steep hills at 7am in nothing but a cycling jersey and t-shirt clocking 40 miles an hour max was a fine recipe for bronchitis — and yes, it was so worth it. We had a blast, me and my team ladybugs compadres and i definitely contributed at least 250 miles (i confess i didn’t do them all this year).
 
The weather was outstanding, the crew was incredible, the food was excellent, the cyclists were friendly, and the Gold Country Fairgrounds was a very nice homebase. Nobody got injured (i heard one person maybe fainted) and everyone worked together to make it a safe and sweet trip. I particularly loved listening to tent zippers and trains chugging along, rattling through the night. I hope to stay on the every other year plan but who knows. I seem to have less and less time anymore to do anything. For now my plan is to get back and finish Book #3 of my trilogy — the Daughter of Darkness series — so you probably won’t hear from me for a while about running or cycling events.

Oh! I forgot to mention i could not wear my prescription eyeglasses so i got a little bit lost every single day of the ride. We were trying to follow arrows taped to the ground to know where to turn and thankfully we had maps and crew looking out for us, so i never went more than a mile or two off track. Also, in Auburn i greeted a unicyclist with a coffee who was riding a steep grade like a pro, and one gorgeous solitary deer the last day on the American River Trail heading home. There were plenty of horses and cattle and goats and bees in boxes, and the occasional snake which had unfortunately been run over. We also got crop dusted the first day at one of our rest stops. The planes seemed to be dusting us more than the fields! Don’t know what that was about – we don’t look like crops? – but it felt like a mean country bumpkin trick and we got out of there as soon as we could!

The final day we rode into William Land Park [via the Sacramento Riverside road and Marina and Old SacTown and a desperate turn through Loaves & Fishes and the Railyards] to a staging area for lunch, and I was the VERY LAST one to arrive because i got lost again that day, somewhere near Loaves & Fishes. I got on course and pedaled hard and made it just in the nick of time, as we had to line up and ride with a motorcycle escort to be at the Amphitheatre by noon for the celebration. A cyclist with a puppy dog in his basket fell over and some asshole almost ran him over. Everyone got scared and angry for a second. Then he was back on his bike, puppy intact, and everything was golden again because the group that was there to celebrate our homecoming was spectacular and loud! And the mayor of West Sac was there to give a nice speech as we stood up with our bikes on the stage and hero medals around our necks. I shed some tears myself, which immediately crystallized into salt on my cheeks. I was rather dehydrated.  
 
Anyways, thanks to all our friends and supporters, and to the organizers of the event! This year we have thus far raised close to a quarter million dollars! Love from me to you.
KatYa  ‘just another ladybug on wheels’

cycle

cycling adventure 2017

We are 16 hours from liftoff, the start of the ride at the Barn in West Sacramento, and i am rushing around getting some last minute things in place, doing my laundry, securing cat-sitters, packing my bags, getting the bike ready, doing therapy, and, well, i just had to sit down for a minute, take a deep breath and thank god and the supporters who helped us get here. This is my second NCAC. NorCalAidsCycle 2015/2017. A 300-mile, 4-day bicycling adventure through Woodland to Placer County then up to Lake of the Pines and back to Auburn, down to Roseville and back up again, then down through Granite Bay to Beals Point on Lake Folsom and back home to William Land Park. 
The forecast is just great, sunny weather through the weekend and in the mid seventies. Unlike two years ago I know many people in this years ride, some from the 2015 ride, others from Kaiser (including my doctor who is riding with his sister this year), and I belong this year to ‘Team Ladybugs’ which is comprised of 4 riders and 3 crew members all of whom i work with at the GHC in Sacramento where I am a volunteer counselor. Feels good to belong and I am excited to get on my trusted ride, the same one I used in 2015 and have owned since 2011, sleek black steel with carbon forks, Motobecane’s Cafe Noir. Two wheels and twenty seven gears of delightful freedom.
quentin and k. selfie @ rainbow bridge
All contributions to this cause are going directly to the healthcare providers who locally have a direct impact on the community, offering essential and immediate services at low to no cost and sliding scale, to the people who need them. Anywhere from hiv testing to counseling to advocacy to affordable medical care, respite, crisis intervention and basic needs for indigent peoples who lack them. California is remarkable for offering services that other states in this great country do not provide.
keyko and k. william pond rec
I can’t wait for the camping tech-holiday and break from work. I’ve been working 12+ hour days all this year if you include my job, my new volunteer job, and all the hours i put into writing/blogging, and I am pretty darn beat up and frazzled! Thank god i love what i do, or else i would surely be miserable. I haven’t had to train for the ride as hard this year, thanks to the marathon training i did all of last year.
Anyways, the beauty of life is in the journey, day by day. I wish you could all be riding beside me but for sure you will be in my heart. And may we all be grateful for our health and longevity, and keep the memory of those friends and family we lost to HIV/AIDS alive today.  We will be having a candlelight vigil on saturday night up at the Gold County Fairgrounds in Auburn where we are camping. I will at that time light a candle for them, too.
love and gratitude,
KatYa   ‘just another ladybug’

jaded as jade. revisited.

‘Jaded as Jade’

by Katya Mills

 

 

There i was…

 

Headed out from my apartment on foot

Cheap walmart moccassins

Expose my toes

Dressed to kill fashion

 

With blood on my arms

Where my kittens attacked me

While sleeping off a one night stand

With my pen

 

There i was…

 

A young american

Single white female

Contemporary genXer

 

Using animated semi-fiction

to report

the hideous truths

could never be received

by the culture

embedded within

them

 

There i was…

 

Bicycle framed on my shoulder

Takin’ myself too seriously

And then some

All the way down the

Stairway to the

Street…

 

 

Tryin’ for light-hearted

All through the morning

 

Highlighted strands of hair

Fallin’ out behind my fuji feather

Lickin’ the base of my neck like

Blonde flames

 

Under the influence of anti-gravity

In the dark and baby blue of the dawn

 

There i was…

 

Down the street after dawn

Dealing with all the personalities of the world in a single room…

And then some

 

Tolerating as best i could tolerate

Day #5 without a cigarette

 

My own personality, the most difficult and least refreshing of them all

Splitting hairs with split personalities

Spitting in the wind

Jaded as jade

 

There i was…

 

Banana fucking split!

Upright on my bike

Riding back home

Five miles of

Legs and no

Hands

 

Praying i might take a dive on the railroad tracks

Just so i could feel something

Different

 

Split ends and all

my hair falling back ‘gainst

gravity to lick my

neck in the

wake of

me

 

There i was…

 

With the sinking depression that clung to my soul, all of my life

Sinking back into my pain, as the burning sun rose silently over my head

In central california

 

Here i am…

 

Split ends and all

In the wake of me

 

Without shade

Praying for a miracle

 

Jaded as

Jade

Last night

i almost met my maker last night at the mercy of the mind of a lunatic, in flight. Or just plain mindless. Or selfish, impatient, impudent, or blind. Or had bad timing. In an absolutely unforgivable way.

I did not stay to find out. Lacking the ability to forgive, as I was.

I was fresh out that place unseen and unforeseeable, where life and death overlap. Where glistens the oil upon the rod ’round which the serpent coils. With intent to kill.

Yeah. Could have been my immediate end. Unlike the beginning. Much less predictable.

I just rode headlong into the flank of her white whale, on my black bike. The side paneling of an SUV against flesh is quite responsive, I am here to say.

Now I can be here to love words some more, and kind people I can be kind to, in kind. I am here to continue doing what needs be done, directly. Here to love men who love women who love women and men who love men who love women.

And kids too. And dogs and cats and feather pillows. And family. Sunrises and sets. And the imminence of things almost not yet.

The imminence of things almost not yet.

The imminence of things.

Almost

Not yet.

Pretta, a girl with a weak heart

Pretta had a weak heart and everyone who knew her, knew. They may not have wanted her to know they knew, but she knew just the same. They may not have been old enough to understand what was said to still know. Still they knew. And she knew they knew, whether by speaking or gesturing or glancing away or rolling the eyes or tongues back or around in a circle or simply sucking on a thumb. She could relate to sucking. Her exposure sucked.

She learned to carry herself with grace. Before she even cared to, wanted to, needed to and so did. Her mother taught her with books on crown chakra balanced. Her neck became strong. Long.

She was seven years old, Pretta. Seven when she was able to walk through a small group of girls (not friends she knew but friends to them was she to be.  and do.)  also seven or so, most of whom she had to suffer in pre school times. Seven years old.  She held her head and her dresses high, and left them all with only a breeze trailing her strong jawline she inherited from her father. She would use unsparingly from this moment on.

She would be so generous. She would not spare them her pride. Inherited. She would not spare them it! For her weakness required compensation. Overcompensation to balance. A simple concept she knew, from the books on her crown chakra to ballet she watched the older girls and prayed to some day do, too. Having descended from a murmur descended from a fever: aka Scarlet. Red hood got her namesake by course of coursing blood and blue, turned out to air. Met oxygen with a blush. Stirred the beating heart some.

                 Scarlet. Scarlet sometimes coursing so as to make the tissue flush. Often a cure could come, some said, if you sat bedside and waited out the wailing winds. If you did not rush. Rouge red against the pale blues tripping out in an arc the moist flower bed.  Makes you scream, terrified. Strikes the weak of constitution dead. Or so was said.  No one wanted scarlet fever. That was how effective she knew exhibition of this trait to be. The small group of kids became smaller below her above average height, as she passed through unfazed. No less than two of the girls left the experience,  eyes glazed.

Pretta… she was going to make it. They also knew this, those who poked her and would not let her touch them back for fear of contagion.  She would outlive them all! You did not dare suggest otherwise. Everyone in this majority w.a.s.p country understood. The weak. The earth. The meek. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ya Ya Ya… Her odds had low denominators, La La Ya!  She learned her math by it, her perfect true condition. The one thing that made her stand out  unique. Like the way she felt the day she rode her banana seat bike first through the mission. Approaching # one wholesomeness, they wanted her to think. Organic and good for the spirit.  Now tilt back, nurse said, and drink.

Young Pretta sprouted tall.  To help her get above it. A tall girl, many remarked, a lady still a girl. She would never know why they stopped. Why they stared. What they said. If they cared.  Sometimes she really minded. Most of the times she let them see the back of her head, her long dark straight hair.

Her peers they could not relate to her on many levels. She seemed older sometimes, but not all of the time. She got tougher every year, for sure. But all knew somehow the fears she carried, though some did not know they knew. Their was no lesson in her. She was not a subject to be taught. Still most and especially the boys thirsted to learn from her or learn her or learn to be like her, the girls.

She would not give anything to be any of them. Not one. Though she looked up to quite a few. Even looked up to younger girls she knew. She did not know why she was strong, or why everyone thought her so. But she let her hair grow long like a girl. And she arm wrestled until she was strong like a boy.  And the only thing she must pretend and put on, was that she was somehow tough, boy-tough.

She could and did pretend. She did not have to like it. She did not have to even be it, no. Not a fake. Atleast not pretend to the end. Where the boy would spit, she would hesitate. Then stop. Where the boys would curse, she would not. Where a boy would scream and yell and go manic? She would perform clear and conscious restraint. On a dime. Skirts falling ahead of her young calves and back again. Swing, swung. Swing, swung.

The boys eyes went wide like saucers, then telescoped small when she moved again.

They could not understand how she moved like that? could not predict when? She was a sweet sweet anomaly,  in the class of twenty twenty-two. A shame she would not graduate, Pretta, at least not through and through. She had to do things differently, or wanted to, they say.

She had a weak heart, Pretta. Everyone who knew her, knew.