I bought my dress second-hand, paid for it in cash. $32.61. I knew as soon as I tried it on that it was the dress I would get married in. A winter wedding dress.
Monday morning I rode my bike to work, like I do, 6am and black as night. I took a spill in the employee parking lot at work, my first in nearly a year, thrown off by Tom the Roaster in his big van. Knocked my basket loose and everything. Scraped my knee, hurt my wrist, bruised my elbow, but not a big deal. Honestly, I was kind of looking forward to telling the story. I definitely thought it was the worst bike-related incident that would happen to me that day.
I was so wrong, Friends!
Because when I walked back out the kitchen door 6 hours later, my black milk crate basket was on the ground. I thought it had fallen off my bike, but then raised my eyes some centimeters to see that there was no bike. Bike gone. Bike stolen. Bike n’est pas.
Oh, Friends, oh Friends. Just the biggest bummer ever, and I had the same inappropriate response that people sometimes have when grieving–a big, shit-eating grin on my face as I told my coworkers “Somebody stole my bike.” Then I had to carry home my coffee smelling possessions in that little milk crate clutched tight to my chest, like somebody who’s just cleaned out their cubicle.
I felt like maybe there was an actual raincloud above my head.
When I first moved to Spain my friend Laura was having boy troubles, caught between two guys that she was seeing at the same time without either of them knowing about the other. It wasn’t something she’d planned on, but like many things in life, the situation just sort of escalated.
Your Idea, Not Mine
Life was really, really good just then, and she told him so. A quick text sent while balancing her bike, laden basket-heavy with booze, snacks, a change of clothes. Toothpaste, toiletries. Waiting while Espy lugged her own steel horse down the steep steps, where they would pick up where they’d left off–positing halfheartedly about the necessity of courtship in our modern day, or gushing about graphic novels and artists and style. Her hands and feet puffed like cotton balls from summer’s sudden, lackadaisical reappearance, dry heat like a reminder, an afterthought. A sigh.
I used to write all sorts of things–poetry, prose, vignettes, fiction. Nowadays I mostly do this, plus a letter here and there, and then my journal. When I’m feeling good to myself, or when I’m feeling alone.
I used to write things that rhymed, that followed a form.
I used to read these things out loud, in front of people, to dare to expose myself. I used to say openly that I wanted to be a writer.
Was it naivete? Or just one of the many pieces of myself that I let fall by the wayside?
Lately, I’ve been picking up the pieces. Saturday night, in my delirium, I wrote something that rhymes.