Here’s the latest installment of Kiko’s Tale, and he’s back. Today in my writing I had Kiko start to make a new friend among the bikes of delivery guys. Again, I’m self conscious about dialog, and I’m trying broken English, so let me know if it sounds like a minstrel show. There’s more the pipeline, though if I don’t start getting some feedback… And of course, if you want to start from the beginning, go here.
As he came back out of the building on West Broadway there was another delivery guy by his bike. A Chinese guy who was wearing only the cheap cotton clothes that your boss gives you with his horned mountain bike that the Chinos used to loop their bagged deliveries over instead of using a basket was looking at his bike. His face, with a few days of teenaged stubble darkening his chin, looked from the bike to Kiko and back. With his eyes and some broken English (which is really all that Kiko understood) he asked “so fast up street,” continuing, “how go so fast?”
Kiko thought that the other delivery guy was looking at his bike like it was somehow powered, because he had an idea of how fast he was, and knew that it was not normal. He imagined that his guy was admiring his bike for some speed that it might have of its own, like the spring in the middle of the mutant frame would pump him forward. “Cheap bike, just like me” he said pointing to another duct-taped and zip-tied bike that bosses give you. “You go so fast, like scoo-tah,” touching the balding mountain bike tires, “how?” Flicking his head to get the antenna-like bangs out of his eyes he inspected the spokes, hubs and tires with a quick competence that contrasted with his íngles débil.
“Fuck-Shit my boss see me go so fast, I never chop food, cook rice again,” he nearly shouted with his new English. “All time I go out,” he said pantomiming carrying plastic shopping-bags like a tight rope walker, “only me-nobody else.” Thinking and looking at the bike, “I make mad-good tips I ride that,” he said mis-using the New York street slang that made him seem a little less foreign. He jiggled the huge basket frowning and pulling out a screw driver and tightening the handle-bar hitches that he and Santiago had covered in clear shipping tape. Looking at the fork braces (covered in gray duct tape) he pulled out two zip clips like the police use when they arrest a lot of white people, and worried them into place under the decomposing tape. When he was done the remnants of the duct tape looked like gauze trying to cover the antennas that the ties made near the bottom of the fork-blades.