After the three gray days of tumultuous rain, the sun finally decided to stop it’s indolence and shimmered it’s reflection amongst the wet pavement. I threw on two sweaters, a thin green one and a thicker striped one on top of that. I jumped into the gray jeans I wore the night before, still a little damp from the night before as I tried to dodge the barrage of raindrops like a hail of gunfire from angry clouds. I ran down the stairs cackling like a witch past the rooms of my room mates and grabbed my brand new old bike that’s been meticulously positioned at the top of the stairs. I zoomed off as soon as the new tires kissed the cement outside, Charlie Parker on my Ipod.
My friend and I rebuilt the bike. I’m sure a bike worth seventeen times the price I paid for the spare parts would have ridden better, but it would not have felt better. The dollars I put into it was nothing compared to the slaving sentimentality we put into it. And by that, I mean watching my friend rebuild it in a matter of hours, tools in my hands, ready to be handed to him. He was the expert, and I may or may not have been studying his tact through the glass I had full of mimosa.
Taking a stroll through your neighborhood is one thing, but there’s just something I can’t quite put my finger on about riding a bicycle through town. Effortless, carefree, hair swaying in the wind. The sheer pleasure. It was about 54 degrees out but colder with the wind poking you in the face, but I didn’t care. I made love to the road with the bicycle as my manpiece. I could see everyone’s face, and couldn’t do anything but grin. I got a few looks from the ladies, but I wouldn’t have gotten off the bike for anybody. Maybe Cate Blanchett, but I doubt I’d see her walking my street anytime soon. There was one thing that I’d noticed. Going twenty miles an hour down a busy street and listening to Beach House, you start noticing no one person is like anyone else. Everyone is different, and at that pace, they flickered in my mind, reminding me of all the things I could be. But I wasn’t one of them. I had a bike, sixteen dollars in my pockets and an I.D. that says I’m allowed to have a drink with you. “Pull that wine out of the river and let’s see if it got cold enough while we fished.”