Monday, May 23, 2011

a bicycle built for one

My bike is leaning against a wall in my bedroom. Every time I walk in the room we have this stare-down, and he just looks at me with this blank expression that anyone else would overlook, but I know what he wants.

I can't, I tell him. I don't have a helmet.
You don't need a helmet.
Yes I do, Bike.
I want to go outside.
I know. And I want to take you outside, but--
Just this once.
All it takes is once.
Lots of people ride bikes without helmets.
Do you remember the story Miss Hammond told me in 11th grade?
That won't happen to you.
Some innocent little girl--
--wasn't wearing a helmet--
All I do is sit here.
--and she fell off her bike and hit her head--
It's so nice outside.
--and she was brain dead.
...I'll protect you.
You can't protect me.
Yes, I will protect you.
You think that, but you are actually incapable of protecting me. What would you do if a garbage truck came hurtling toward us?
I am invincible.
You are starting to rust.
Under there.
Stop it.
Listen, my Schwinn, I want nothing more than to ride down to Orange Leaf--
Yes, let's go to Orange Leaf.
--but I can't. Not until I have a helmet.
Is a helmet really going to make that much of a difference.
You hesitated.
Don't talk to me anymore, Bike.

I actually have to sleep facing the opposite wall, because I think he watches me while I sleep. And I'm beginning to bend, like, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, if I rode on the sidewalks, in residential neighborhoods. Or just down to the library. It's only 2 blocks. Lots of people do it, right?

Maybe I should cover him with a sheet.


Sister said...

If he ever tries to convince you to answer a phone call while riding, DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. TRUST ME.

Extroverts enjoy talking to people so much that, when they get home from work, they manufacture more "people" to talk to.

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