Wrought with cramps, hormonal exhaustion, having already bypassed a lovely sounding trip to the lake due to this months troubles, I dutifully saddled my Schwinn once again. The place was that we would head half a mile south to the coffee shop, I would talk to you guys a bit, and then we'd head a mile north to grocery shop before heading home. The Advil was kicking in, and although the air was hot on my neck, its caressing was gentle and welcome. About half way to the Revue where our Americano's -One with whipped cream, one without, both iced- were waiting for us, my rickety bike began to racket even louder. I was flashing bike to that fateful ride to work. The famed goat-head fiasco. But ride on we did. It wasn't till we hopped back on the bikes -my Americano still three fourths full because I'm like some sort of turtle on two legs- that I realize something was wrong. My back tire is flat. And we just bought these new tubes.
I am, needless to say, devastated. And angry. And all together disappointed. My best intentions foiled, falling by the way side in spite of every effort spent in keeping things afloat. It is a mere symptom of a disease that creeps into your life and robs you of the capability to buy a cutting board if you needed it, or a dish-rack for dishes to dry on, or a new tube for a popped tire. The walk home was long, with each stomp of my foot I drove my curses deeper and deeper into the concrete, cursed my poverty, my bad choices, my budget. I cursed the darkness that had fallen, and I cursed every homeless tramp that passed a little too close to me. I cursed the June bug that lingered in the beam of my head light, flapping its stupid sticky wings before turning around and running into my stomach. However, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this stupid June bug did illicit a few stupid giggles as we tried to dodge and weave our way around its lumbering flight patterns.
We passed, slowly, our favorite house, the one with an art studio that takes up half the south side of the house, the room with all the windows filled with canvases half full, and mostly full, and still blank. In the darkness of night the room was illuminated, casting a soft glow of light across the neighborhood sidewalk, creating shadows out of my spinning spokes and that crumby flat tire. I couldn't help but feel my heart skip a beat at seeing this studio that I've passed so many times now lit up and come to life; even as a drab and darkened mere room it capture my heart. Now, my soul lighted on air a bit. There sat a gray haired lady, doing something mysterious at a desk. She wore a purple t-shirt. I drove my eyes back to the ground and plunged my feet forward. I smothered the shimmer in my soul and let the yuckiness back in. Right now, I liked that better. Life sucked, and it always sucks, and even if a momentary bit of fun like bike riding comes in, make no mistake, it will go back to sucking.
We were about half way home now. A man exited his SUV to manually close the garage door behind him. We passed, my head down, Marcos' mind I'm sure reeling circles, exacting schemes to cheer me up. The man in the red shirt called to us “Do you need a little air?” He came forwards and listened with such sympathetic eyes as I lamented of the flat tire, and he begged us never mind his face; He was hit by a car while he was riding his new carbon framed bicycle, the very one he'd bought twenty minutes before. After a good five minutes full of caring glances and a bevy of Goodlucks, we were on our way again. Suddenly, my heart felt a little lighter as its beats went skipping, bouncing off the tips of my loafer shoes and sailing into the night sky.
Its amazing what a bit of kindness can do. And maybe the constant here isn't Suck, maybe the constant is actually the light streaming down from windows. And maybe I had it backwards that night on the street, perhaps life isn't all black. Maybe what's really happening is that Life always has Light in it, and even when a bit of suck and darkness sneaks in, it will always go back to Light.