you’d forgotten what it felt like to be back on the bike in city traffic, wearing a sleeveless shirt in the autumn air. it was two years ago this week you wrecked your bike flying on the downhill run to the trail, living in the downhill run of the great campaign. a young mother up from san antonio crossed in front of you, blind in the clear blue sunny morning to the notion that people ride bicycles to work. fortunately, for you, she drove a minivan instead of an suv, so you went flying over the hood, rather than smashing completely into the vehicle to be perhaps dragged by it as your leg or arm got snarled in the wheel.
you’d forgotten about that day for the most part, where you called the second russian up to let her know you wouldn’t be in, but would be headed to the emergency room. you’d forgotten about it until you found yourself on a downhill run in east austin a day following an ahmis reunion of sorts with the second russian being there, being hot–no, actually showing some warmth instead of that complete ice cold which makes a cool austin autumn morning seem like your average angry-sun’s summer day.
you’d forgotten how you can feel so invincible on a bicycle, because you are actually completely vulnerable, but brave enough to mingle with people operating three ton weapons. it’s a beautiful kind of bravery until you believe in yourself too damn much. the same, of course, can be said for getting mixed up in human affairs like politics or relationships–the way people love you when you are newly possessed of self confidence and it is surging like an army sitting atop unflinching steel. you are invincible until you think your ground forces can simply grow wings.
you’d forgotten how every good climax seems to take place at the bottom of the hill, not the top. whether it was hitting rock bottom at the end of ’01 from your downhill run with booze and crews of ahmis cronies, or saying goodbye to lucy at the end of the seemingly endless downhill run of that relationship. they say this is what’s known as the anti-climactic, but there never is anything about life that i would call the denouement, just the joy of the high, the bliss, the orgasm, and then the soul-wrecking excursion spent chasing it, trying to climb even higher, and chasing it all the way down the hill.
but, on a bike, unless some lady is passing in front of you and oblivious to you, the bliss is always at the bottom of the hill. the story is its sweetest at the bottom after leaving the workplace and pausing at the trail from the downhill run. perhaps in life it would be this way as well if for just a day you could stop imagining yourself running up a hill you are rapidly racing down. but, of course, the fear is always one of the body ending up at complete rest, in complete ennui, finding its bliss only as a dead man.