Oh shit. I’m in the middle of the road. Wait, am I? Fuck the cars Jeff, just keep pedaling. That’s it — wait. Shit. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Hey, never mind, this isn’t so bad; didn’t I want to feel the pain? That’s why I was crossing the street on a red light, wasn’t it? Fuck, I can’t remember. The idea seemed like the right thing to do a couple seconds ago.
Looking back now, all I seem to remember is that I knew it was my turn to actually feel something in this world. I could have cared less whether it was my bones snapping against the hood of some alcoholic soccer mom’s car or, less fulfilling, the air billowing past my flailing body as I’d ricochet off my bike. Crap, if anything was certain, I knew it would be one hell of an accident. Wouldn’t that be worth it? I always wanted to go out with a bang — too bad I couldn’t use a freeze frame; my gruesome exit would give the Sundance Kid and that salad dressing guy some serious goose bumps.
I wasn’t worried though; the pain wouldn’t linger for long. I still had 11 pills of Vicodin stashed somewhere in the depths of my backpack, and these frenzied motherfuckers flying down El Colegio weren’t going to take a single precious one from me — not without some serious damage being done to their piece of crap Honda, or whatever the fuck they happened to be driving. I earned those pills; my name was on the damn bottle, or at least it was the last time I checked. Without them, I wouldn’t exist and, without me, they’d be stuck for all eternity in that ridiculously hard-to-fucking-open orange container.
About half way through the intersection, though, my bike stopped. Now, in such a situation I’d usually blame my two-wheeled mechanical demon — what was once a proponent for centrifugal force, now a heap of rust and rubber waiting to fail me at the most opportune moment — but since those 11 majestic capsules had just lost five of their buddies a few minutes earlier, I was a little skeptical when it came to blaming my loathsome bike.
So there I was, staring directly at my fate — a quickly approaching low rider pickup truck driven by some asshole who thought endlessly honking his horn would actually persuade me to move — when I decided I wanted out. I didn’t want to go anywhere; I just wasn’t interested in my masochistic urges any longer. For some reason, all I wanted was a fucking popsicle — cherry; no, better yet, grape. Wait, forget the flavor; I just wanted to sit there in the middle of the road and prevent this punk from continuing in such a damn hurry. I wanted to bask in the sun and let that dickhead behind the wheel see how wonderful it can be to relax once in a while — hell, I’d even share that joke they print on the stick with him after I finished my icy cold delicacy; maybe he would appreciate it, but for some reason, I doubted it.
I stared at the driver for a few seconds. He returned some pathetic glare that looked more like he was desperately clinging to a shit about to escape from his pants than the get-the-fuck-out-of-my-way look I figured he was going for.
He gave me the finger. I smiled and waved. He yelled a few profanities. I asked him how his day was going. He slammed his foot on the gas. I slowly moved to the side of the road. The only question I have to ask is where the fuck was he going to in such a hurry?
It seems like everybody nowadays just rushes around, trying to cram every little thing into their tight-as-a-virgin schedules. I try to get out of the elevator in Francisco Torres and there is always some selfish prick who shoves his way in before I have a chance to get off. Some creep behind me in line at the dining commons is always breathing down my neck. Most days on the bike path there is usually some nearsighted dimwit who thinks he can make it four wide to pass and ends up making everyone desperately swerve to avoid him. And there is always that one jerk-off in every class who makes a habit of leaving early, yet for some reason planted his big, smelly ass in the middle of the row so he ends up climbing all over you.
I have some advice for all you hooligans: Chill the fuck out. And if you can’t, there’s usually a popsicle not too far away. You don’t even have to read the joke — although for you, it probably wouldn’t hurt.
Jeff Gibson is a Daily Nexus staff writer.