It was late, very late, and I was in a foul mood. It really isn’t important why, just that I wanted to reach out and tear at the night with my teeth. Downtown was a snarl of aggressive cabs, foolish peds, cops, cars, and a whole host of other obstacles. Fuck each and every one of them.
Dodge, swerve, weave.
I was in the far right lane of traffic until the gap started to close, boom, two lanes over in one fell swoop. I am now 4 lanes to the left, a line of cops and cones pushes the traffic to the right, I push through behind them doing at least 25 mph. “Slooooooow Doooooooown” is all the cops contribute to my night. Fuck them, fuck everyone.
Air, space, freedom.
At least for a hundred yards, it’s up hill here, I am a snarling frothy mess. This hill is the enemy, it hates me and I hate it.
Spitting, cussing, pumping.
I am up out of the saddle mashing for all I am worth, the cars start to blur. It might have been tears, or perhaps just something in my eye, the red brake lights start to leave glowing tales. Ghostly trails that show me where the danger is. Fuck all of them, I hate them, I hate myself.
Push, push push.
I am off like a shot, fuck red lights, fuck stop signs. Nothing is going to stop me tonight.
Look left, look right.
I judge just right and shoot through both lanes of cross traffic, no horns, nothing. They didn’t even know I was there till I was gone. I am an angry poltergeist, and I have no fear, and no desire for self preservation.
Squeeze, mash, pack.
The road is getting smaller, the car compressed into less and less space. FUCK, I hate the very air that I breath to keep going. I want to pedal myself into oblivion, nothing will stop me. I look to my right as I dodge yet another cab. To my left is a car full of young drunk men. They look to me, and begin the ritual. “You think you hard on that bike son?” I play my part “Fuck you bitches, you think you can keep up?”
Please catch me.
I find new reserves, these men, then boys, if they catch me, will hurt me. I am torn, catch me so I may get all this anger beaten out of me, or run to preserve my self. I reach deep inside and force my legs to go that…much…faster. I split lanes, the young men have begun to hollar and scream. They know how to play the game. I stand pumping more speed into my legs, these fuckers don’t own this road, I do.
Speed is life.
I am too fast, too fast to stop, too fast to die, to fast to be hassled by the mundane desires of violence. In a matter of moments I am 1, then 2 then 3 blocks away. The screams of my traffic entombed assailants die behind me. I cut a hard left in front of quickly approaching head lights. My back wheel misses by inches, I couldn’t give a shit. If I keep going, nothing can catch me, not cars, not angry youth, not death, not time, not fear, not even my own troubled heart.
The road empties the further I get from downtown. It’s just me and my glowing anger. Can I out pace my own fury? I try. Faster, harder, push it for all it’s worth. I want to grind my knees off, want to break both legs, anything to make it all go away. Keep going forward, maybe then it will all stop.
This is the end.
I make it to the end, exhausted, furious, empty. A remnant husk of a man. None of this was worth it, none of it helped. The anger still made me want to gnash my teeth. The night didn’t care if I spilled my blood all over the street, the night was impervious to my minuscule desires. FUCK! FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUCK!
You can’t outrun yourself.
Nothing works the way it should, sleep doesn’t fix your problems, and pushing yourself through a fun house of sharp cars will eventually get you killed. Only time, and hard work will fix this, but I can always count on my bicycle and the streets to give me a suitable challenge. A made to order meat grinder always waiting for me to throw myself into.