Into the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River. Horses on a hill. Cow country. Fences for miles.
As we sink into this landscape, into this slow-motion catastrophe, wind, air and water have their way out here, where a man will just might feel a little insignificant, and I need to buy something for my wife, oh, something something, how about snakeskin boots, a sublime cliché, staring out of the car window, losing my memory of these images dramatically, only to be replaced by new ones, I forget what I see, as I see it again and again, the monotomy of driving through a landscape creates an invisible room, a see-through corridor almost, and I’m not going anywhere with this, it’s just that I need something for my wife.
He is on the phone a few times. Cities like L.A, Dallas, New York are mentioned. Meetings are set up. The speaker is on. There are no secrets.
But then a guy calls about an upcoming lawsuit of some sort. Lance says that he’ll just take a personal call, and he switches to hand held.
At the height of his career, Lance Armstrong was the most famous athlete on the planet. The Lance Armstrong Foundation was a successful enterprise worldwide, and the accidental spin-off was that the entire world of cycling had to, they just had to, wear his manufactured yellow wristbands.
Because why wouldn’t you? Are you against cancer, are you against me and every human being in the world that this disease touches, so what kind of a person are you, you against the entire world, what is wrong with you, you see what I’m getting at?
He had the world of cycling in his pockets. They were wearing that wristband like barbed wire. But today at the school, people were still wearing them, some had multiples, and they wore them with pride. It meant something to them.
And that is perhaps the argument in all of this. Because what did it mean to us that Lance Armstrong cheated and then viciously lied about it? What could it possibly mean to any of us, sitting there, beer in hand, in front of our TV screens?
He hangs up.
“Sorry. But you wouldn’t want to hear the details. Well. Maybe you would actually! Still. Here we are. Beautiful day. All good.”
From Rouleur issue 52.