Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 8:00 AM

The March Break

For the first part of March I take a break from life. I do this by going to work and working out only. I decline many social invitiations, clubbing opportunities, and other outings. I need time to recover from the triple whammy of February.

Over the past two weeks I've minimized fat intake, gone walking every morning (and most afternoons), and lifted weights everyday. All of this effort was geared towards the Monday followup appointment with the neurologist. And also geared towards dealing with Person N_V.

On Friday I leave work a bit after noontime. I need to get out of there. When I get home I mow the lawn, do the laundry, do some shopping, wash and wax the bathroom floors, and get in a great session lifting weights. As I'm mowing the lawn the neighbor girl from across the street, who I helped remove a bug from her car because she's afraid of bugs, comes over and we start talking. We talk about bugs in her car and have a good laugh), the neighborhood, what she's doing with her life, and other things. She's in an age group that doesn't exist in my neighborhood and I try to point that out. And then she asks me about Person N_V (because she's seen him around quite a bit lately). We have a little discussion about Person N_V and I can see that she might actually be interested in meeting Person N_V. Interesting!

I relax on Friday night and avoid the telephone. I'm tired and in bed near 9 pm.

On Saturday I get up early and go for a long walk and then go for a bicycle ride (the first in 28 days). During the ride I detour over to where the majorty of Nopey's ashes were scattered and I say a prayer for Nopester - hoping that he's in doggie heaven with good hips to run around on. My back feels good after the ride, so I'll have a discussion with the neurologist about this subject on Monday. After the ride I wash the car and wax the rims of the wheels. This is going to be a long day, so near 2pm I lay down for a nap.

During the previous bicycle ride I have another one of my premonitions. I'm riding along the Los Angeles river with my mountain bicycle. It is just after a storm and I'm watching the water flow fast. Very fast. And I see a young golden retriever puppy that is stuck in a tree branch in the river. He cannot get loose. I stop over and rescue the dog and take him home. The Los Angeles river has given Nopester back to me in the form of another dog.

On Saturday night I pick Joe and Person J_VKPI up to go to a club. We run into various acquantainces. As the night wears on, it is obvious that there are offers to be made. Finally, earlier than usual at 1:15 am, I tell Joe, "We need to go". He finds Person J_VKPi and we leave. I'm laying down for sleep at 2:30 am.

Sunday sees a relaxing day with two long walks, another sunny bicycle ride, feeding and caring for the roses, and reading the newpaper. Person N_V comes back from San Diego and we have a serious discussion about, "...we've been together almost 6 months and yet neither of us are ready top use the L word in our relationship". It is not a good conversation.

It has been a long weekend and I'm curled up with a thrilling msytery book involving cryptography and the NSA near 9 pm on Sunday night. And the light goes out about an hour after that.

Did I expect this weekend to end so simply? Of course it does not!

When Person N_V comes to bed he wants to talk about where we are, our feelings, and our relationship. As we both are in a semi-conscious state, we talk about how our relationship started, the development of it, and where we are. Person N_V nods off and I am left wide awake. So I get up and continue reading the intriguing fictional story involving cryptography and the NSA until I feel that I can sleep again. But about an hour has passed.

I'm up a bit late on Monday and only get in a 40 minute walk before work. On Manhattan Beach Blvd I'm riding along towards Northrop Grumman and I have customer meetings and random vibration environments on my mind. A few seconds too late I see the motorcycle police offier watching traffic and I see his lights come on as I pass him. He pulls me over and without even looking at my insurance or registration, he writes me the speeding ticket for 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. (It could have been worse.)

On Monday afternoon I leave work to go see the neurologist for a followup appointment. He puts me through a brief battery of strength and reflex tests and is surprised to see that I have made good progress. Actually we are both surprised. I tell him that I've maintained a good routine of minimal fat intake, anti-inflammatory, lots of walking, and cautious weight lifting. I also admit that I went cycling this past weekend "...because it was so sunny that I couldn't stay off the bicycle". He understands and says that I should keep doing what I'm doing and cautiously re-introduce more cycling and come back in three months. He's hopefull that surgery will not be needed.

After the appointment I lift weights and go walking before the Monday evening ResourceScout meeting.

On Tuesday night I come home and start the conversation with Person N_V with, "We need to call it quits now". We have a long conversation where we review our relationship and our progress and our outlook. I repeat a number of times, "I think that we both know, deep down in our hearts, that we are not the one for each other". Later in the evening it seems as if a heavy weight has been lifted as we watch a movie and chatter away like old times.