Friday, September 23, 2011

The Wet.

Sometimes the rain falls. Many choose to wait it out, to turn their gaze away from the torrent, let it pass peacefully overhead. But the rain does fall as wheat does sway. You can never make peace with it; you have to just ride. Maybe find another who feels the same. For me, tonight, there is no other. 

I push the bike down the road so I don't wake the sleeping. It fires up, sucking in chilly air. In a dark chamber at its core, there is an endless series of injections. Injections of fuel; those that are not followed by sleep and death. I ride through a still puddle, distorting its reflection of the infinite sky. In a moment of morbidity I wonder what it is that a puddle of blood would reflect. 

The ride is all treachery. A layer of water between road and tire, instability at any meaningful speed. Beneath, an engine that wants to give more than the road can possibly take. Perched above, I try to ride smoothly. The tire slides on the white lines that I cross at the intersection. I stay loose. They slide again, front and back, on a short but smooth patch of asphalt entering the interstate, but I hold steady. Distribute my weight. Look through the turn. I don’t know where the edge is. I reach out with my feelings but I can’t hear it. The voice has been extinguished by the wet. Downtown, I pause beneath street lights and peer into the darkness beneath an overpass. There the homeless sleep. I think about how the night always speaks more truthfully than the day. 

I ride home. On the route I have taken, a road is closed and I must pass through a detour I have never known. I come over the crest of a slight hill and find a fallen branch blocking the road. I swerve. The severed limb is large, covered in moss. Mangled shadows dance upon its bark as my headlight passes by. 

The bike slides yet again on the roundabout. I barely notice. I suppose it doesn’t matter. If the streets don’t kill me, the state probably will.

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