is this real life?

I can still hear him singing my name, the sound echoing off the twisted turns of our cinder block dorm hallways. My name would be delivered thick with fake charm that we both knew he didn’t have to use, but the effort was flattering. His was the first Boston accent I fell in love with.
We were never together; more tightly bound confidantes and wingmen to the other, old-school, die-hard friends. We drifted apart for a while after college but he still IMs me with the same opener, chanting my name from across the world to tell me the kind of stories that make “The Hangover” pale in comparison [...except no one has gotten Tased in the face...yet].
“So I spent the weekend with M,” he told me the last time, “and he wakes me up going ‘yo, my apartment’s on fire.’”

What followed was a story involving a fire, getting electrocuted, somehow jamming a door so it wouldn’t open, then ripping it off its hinges, and getting pulled over by a cop on the way home. There was more, but I probably shouldn’t elaborate. In any case, he put it/his life rather succinctly, mid-story: “…And I was like IS THIS REAL LIFE???

That same thought crossed my mind on Sunday. Shivering in my cold apartment, bundled up in fleece and sweaters, I watched my favorite team racing in shorts and short-sleeves in the People’s Choice Classic. 25 laps around sunny, hot, summery Adelaide – there was even a crash! – and it felt like everything was back. Adam was racing, Lotto – in red this year! – controlling the front, Giant-Shimano [that’s going to take some getting used to] creeping up and Sky edging forward. It felt like I was back. Kind of like 2013, except with that heady feeling that things this year are going to be even better.

It’s surreal and wildly optimistic because it’s still January. I know that it’s going to get worse [read: February] before it gets better [read: March/spring/Spring Classics]. There’s a long way to go until the Grand Tours, better weather, and less fantasizing and actual doing of travel plans. Really, what in the hell is a week-long World Tour road race doing in the middle of January, hanging out there like it belongs with the cyclocross crowd? This time of year is supposed to be reserved for the misery of icy mud, not tantalizing hints of the road season to come. I understand that the seasons are all fucked up down there, too, but does the Tour Down Under really have to showcase their Australian summers while the rest of the world is freezing its ass off?

It’s January, guys…is this real life???
Despite my grouchy bitching, it so fortunately is. To paraphrase the Game of Thrones* series ROAD SEASON IS COMING. I couldn’t be more glad.
* Not that, you know, I read fantasy books or anything...