Bike Dreams

Part Five (Because my Mom asked for more)

We are still mulling over the whole “luxury problem” of housing, and plan to go to the beach today. I had a root canal yesterday (it was not fun), and have been meaning to write more of this story.

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If you want to try and track down the start of the story you can follow this link. Since the Tour de France started yesterday I thought I’d continue my dream.

He had made it to the bridge in about 4:30 cursing the congestion and traffic that Queens Plaza jumbled together under the elevated. The trestles of the elevated and entrance to the bridge were like the teeth of a comb in the hands of a mean stepmother combing tangled traffic with the pillars that held up the station in what passed for an idea of efficiency to squeeze as many cars and trucks as possible over the bridge. This traffic system, like combing a stepdaughter’s locks, was meant to hurt; it is a punishment for not being a natural daughter, or already in Manhattan.

Once he got to the bike path, away from the tangled traffic where the bridge lifted off towards Manhattan and Queens descended towards the Projects, power plant and the East River, he could for about a mile and a half, pedal hard without worry. The bridge was the place where he could make up time safely, and he started pushing the pedals furiously. On the way up he passed one jogger and two bottle collectors with their carts who were trudging into Manhattan before dawn to clean it a nickel at a time. Large strong bags hung loose and empty on all sides of the orange cart of one of them, reminding him of a burro he was supposed to work with one year harvesting Melons in Sonora. That was the last job he tried to make a living off of before he left home.

He said to himself, “dura, dificil, sucio:” work remembered with the twinkling lights of the Manhattan skyline rising before him across the dark of the river made his legs turn hard. “Dura, dificil, sucio:” he repeated in his mind, over and over to the beat of his legs pushing down, remembering country life and hunger. “Dura, dificil, sucio:” the muck on his legs, the cuts on his hands, the thirst in his heart and the hunger in his belly all came back to him and masked the cold in his fingers as he crossed out of queens that morning. Anger about all that he had done and how little he had gave him a second wind that kept his legs spinning though he had flames burning from his knees to his hips.

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