Friday, 28 June 2013

the black flowers

About a month ago, I was riding my bike alongside the American River, looking for a place to stop and catch a breath. The mercury was in triple digit heat. I had been riding all day, and my ass was on fire. I found a spot to rest near the train tracks, north of Sacramento, and lay down my bike on a small embankment. The grass was lush green, and the wifi signal was strong and free.  I may as well have struck gold. I broke out my chromebook and started typing. Hallelujah.

In ten minutes time, I had found the zone.  That wonderful place where everything falls away including the mind, and the blessed divine channels right through me. I no longer cared that my ass was on fire. I was no longer distracted by pedestrians and cars. I forgot that I was thirsty. The sun, moon, stars, and sky all faded to black. I stopped worrying about the half-empty battery icon. I just sat there on that embankment, typing away.

Three black sprinklerheads rose out of the ground, almost to the second I fell into my zone. They were strategically placed around my bike, and the water shot out like liquid petals from black flowers. I was worried, but then smiled in a flash. Siddhartha could not have done better himself! The streams of water were washing my black chromoly frame in all the right places. And though my bike was beside me, the water was safely a half foot or more away. I settled back into my zone.

Five minutes passed and my spokes were glistening in the sun, baby! The wifi signal was busting out four bars or more. An invigorating signal. The sun was in the west, and my screen was well-situated facing the east. Glare-free. The conditions were optimal, and my zone was waxing something proper. God bless america.

That's when the black flowers subsided, back into the earth, beneath the lush green grasses around me. And all seemed well until four or more flowers rose up beside me and knocked me out the box. A vicious attack! I had to drop and roll to the right, to keep my chromebook from getting soaked. I was rattled. I lost my zone.

I stood up and looked all around me. I thought for sure somebody was remotely controlling these black flowers. It was close to April Fool's Day. Maybe some belated joke on me? Some city-payrolled slacker, with nothing better to do? But I could see no one. I had to sit my ass back down and try to get it back.

In five minutes time, the black flowers subsided. Clockwork. Not likely a plot against me. I glanced over to where they had been, irreverently, and caught a little rainbow in the air. Before the water fell out the sky. Then boom! A phalanx of flowers rose up and jacked me! Unbelievable. My keyboard got hit. My screen was shot up bad. All systems down, all systems, power down! I jumped to my feet and ran for safety. I wiped my baby down with the ends of my t-shirt, before I powered her back up.

I had to regroup. Not let it get to me. I situated myself in the demilitarized zone. On the sidewalk. The black flowers were ruthless. They popped up and sprayed me from the edge of the grass. I was stunned. I fell back into traffic. The horns sounded. Some bitch in a Charger sniped at me. Obviously she had never been up against the black flowers!

Clearly this was too good to be true. This oasis of internet and lush green grasses was a trap! The black flowers, they infiltrated the neutral area, shamelessly. I had to pack up and retreat. Then I looked back and saw my bike lying there. In the heart of the madness. I took a deep breath and charged in, the spray cutting across my ankles. I grabbed the bike by the horns and wheeled her about and out.

Soon the whole incident was behind me. It took me time before I could laugh about it. Atleast ten minutes. The shock wore off like lottery ticket scratchcover. My rims and spokes were shining beneath the weight of me, and I was back to cruising the riverside. My course was true as my wheels. Wind and steel and woman, united. Flawless!

And this, my carefully dried  and edited correspondence...from a post I once abandoned, water-logged. At the height of the mad rush of black flowers all around me. At the height of such madness I survived, one day, along the banks of the American River.