By somewhat of a reluctant choice, I opted to keep off my bike this week. It was a combination of just needing a break from the saddle in the midst of a rather stressed week at work — compounded by the shock at news of the death and impending funeral service for Analisa, the 16-year-old daughter of my friends Arnold and Martha.

On top of that, there was rain on the plains earlier in the week and this was also the first few days of it being dusk at 5 p.m., and besides that seasonal switch always miffing me just on general principle it also requires a period of adjustment for most motorists suddenly confronted with driving home in darkness. So generally speaking it’s not a bad idea to be as protected from that confusion as possible.

So the dusty squeaky truck was employed, with all its accumulated crud from not being washed in six months — at least. I’ve no problem driving dirty around running errands around town but I was actually embarrassed to arrive at the location of the service in Santa Ana with it so filthy — intentionally parking it out of the way so it wouldn’t be seen. And afterwards when the procession was organizing for the trip to the cemetery in Montebello I left ahead of it to dive into a nearby drive-through car wash to at least get the outer layers of crud shed, only to find it closed for repairs. So I rolled solo to the cemetery — again parking it a distance down the lane to avoid detection.

As if anyone in their mourning freakin’ cared. I can be such an idiot. You’d think I grieved more over a stupid vehicle than I did over Analisa’s death. Trust me, that was not the case.

Suffice that it was a very emotional day. One which I did my best to fill with celebration of Analisa, not sorrow.