Dust Up, Beat Down
Last night, it finally happened - a simmering pot came to a head, a brouhaha exploded outward like a backed-up septic tank, a knock-down, drag-out conflict. Outright war.
It should have been easy to notice the build-up, but I chose not to see it, refused to accept its presence. The storm had been brewing for some time; in hindsight, the evidence is clear. It began with a whisper of words overhead in the still of the night; words I chose to ignore as a sign of an overactive imagination. These were no ordinary night words, hush-hush, secret words spoken in private. These were words whispered at the edge of control, ready at any moment to become a shout. Their intent was to cause emotional pain and a release of anger - "interloper, home-wrecker, tramp, half-breed." That last one, "half-breed", did not extol the positive virtues of a melding, a best of two worlds. Instead it carried all the weight of a vile, racist past.
One was accused of being narrow-minded and stuck-up, a defect of specialization. The other was mocked as neither road, nor dirt, but some despicable cross-bred mutant.
By berthing them next to one another, this outburst is exactly what I had hoped to avoid. Perhaps against better judgement, I had expected that proximity would lead to a bonding of sorts, and mutual acceptance, if nothing else. Instead, as I rushed downstairs and out the door what I found was a mortal combat between two proud antagonists, both with designs on the alpha spot in the clan.
Three days riding this week, three days on the Ibis cross bike proved too much for the roadie to bear. Whether true or not, I can see that it felt its position at the top to be threatened by the extra attention given to this other, the new kid.
As I stumbled upon the scene only half awake, I was struck by the savagery and sheer violence - chains whirred through the night air, sawtoothed rings flashed in the light of the moon, bars locked together and twisted left, then right in an attempt to throw the opponent to the ground. Wielding wheels like hammers of war, they rose up high in one instant only to crash down hard in the next. It was painful to see the two fighting as they were, both seeing only the blood of the other. Blow for blow, no surrender, no compromise.
An end, if you can call it that (truce might be a better word), came only as a result of exhaustion and I am left to wonder when the next outburst will occur, whether it will spread to the rest of the clan, become a full-scale donnybrook.
Trying to keep clear of the slashing I did manage to capture a few images of the melee, blurred as they are (unburdened of the extra weight they are called upon to carry, the combatants were able to move with surprising agility and quickness). If you have read this far, I hope you never have to see such hostility between two of your own.
Have a adventurous weekend y'all.