happy clam, premeditated cake, king snake…

16 Jul

okay, soooo…today starts like any other day except i know that i’m planning to ride the new old bike to work this afternoon and can’t wait. i drink oolong and read blogs. i dawdle. in classic form, i wait until the last minute to figure out how to clip on the front and back lights. i drop the little freakin screw about twenty five billion times, and install the bike light so that it is floppy and points directly…nowhere.

in yet another characteristic maneuver, i worry. i talk myself out of riding to work. i go through fear of sucking. i go through the rolling of eyes at this thought that plagues me and talk back to it. i do the hoarse stern whisper my mom used to pull out on “special” occasions…oh for GOD’S SAKE ! it’s a BIKE RIDE. it’s STRAIGHT. it’s FLAT. put your GOD DAMN helmet on. you’re GOING.

and i go.

and it feels totally normal…like i have ridden to work on a bike all my employed life. and this bike…ahhhh, this new old nineteen seventies bike is just. so. fun. and i get to work and i can’t wait to go home, which isn’t unusual, it’s just that this time i can’t wait to go home because i want to keep riding.

so fast forward through the boring work part. and then i call S to let him know i’m off. and he says, you’re working? and i say, yes but i’m leaving. and he says, but your car is here. and i say, yes…i rode my bike. and he says slowly, you     rode     your     bike? and i say, yes!!! and i’m coming home now! i’ll be there in forty five minutes! he says, again, slowly o…..kay, see    you     soon. i flick on my lights (properly installed before work by the lovely west county cycle service), strap on my helmet, heft on my backpack all the heavier with some goodies from the grocery store at which i work.

and i go.

i get a call halfway home. it’s S.

where are you?

i’m passing foster’s freeze.

wait, you’re where?

foster’s freeze.

wait, by your work?

no, in santa rosa!

wow! you’re fast!

i pedaled out to meet you because the trail is dark…but you are smart and went the other way. i’m on the trail, wait at foster’s freeze and i’ll meet you there!

awww. shucks. he came out to ride with me. three words: that’s sooo cool. so i sit, under a street light and laugh at my funny shadow with huge helmet head, lumpy backpack hunchback and tomato and basil plants i got from work hanging out the top of my backpack. they look like shadows of feeble wings.

eventually, S rides up. he throws on his brakes to make an impressive burnout reminiscent of fourth grade and pops wheelies in the parking lot. once we’re home he asks, how are you? how’d it go? and i say, i’m happy as a clam! and then ask, are clams really happy? and he says, yeah, they’re always smiling…

laughing at clam nonsense, we munch on cold leftover crunchy gringo tacos. i tell him about the baby king snake that slithered off the path tonight and how the bike light made it look a little bit nightmare before christmas-ish.  after some more thoughtful munching, i magnanimously offer the last taco to him. then fish out  a small round of vanilla cake from my backpack…and cut a small wedge.

a-ha! so that’s why you gave me the taco!

no, it was not premeditated cake!

he downs the last of his taco, cuts a wedge and joins me. we drink strawberry lemonade. he crashes. i write and meditate on how i would’ve felt if i didn’t bike to work today because of fear i might suck: defeated. over silly nonsense. fear insists it speaks the truth. and if i listened? i’d suck.

and that, my fine feathered friends, concludes the report of the genuine maiden voyage of the new old french bike who, by the way says she needs a name. i’ve gotten some really cool suggestions including freya, astra, and fifi…any more?


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