Last Wednesday I had a beautiful spring bike ride home. It started when I was rolling west down Jefferson along through Culver City at the industrial part just before it heads north. The sun was casting a honey glow from behind me—my bike shadow stretched out long and lean in front and my knees pump pumping and I thought, “This light reminds me of an Alaskan summer late evening twilight glow.” Then I looked up into the full moon hanging there in the clear blue sun and I remembered ah that’s where it’s at. The full moon has a way of pulling the energy to the front of my skin. Propelling me forward. Suspending my stress and exhaustion for this instant. Then I’m heading north on Redondo and I hear “grrr!” “GRR!” and “scamper, scamper,” and the shouts of kids behind. Aware suddenly of an impending ankle clamp, I look down to see this small brown dog veering off like his job was done, heading back to the arm waving shouting kids and I yell “Tough dog!” And go on. At Washington I decide to head east as I wish to continue riding into the full moon and away from the sun—I like being between this energy, and not my usual route up to Pico. At the stoplight at LaBrea, this dude crosses the street with a peculiar drug addict posture: just his clothes, a cigarette in one hand, lighter in the other and a destination in his eyes. He sees me and says, “You only got one brake?” “Yeah,” I say. “It’s a fixed gear so I only need a front brake.” He nods his head and tells me how a few days ago he rode the marathon. Then looks sideways and says, “Well, I joined up with it.” I say, “Yeah, I’d like to do it. I just can’t get up that early.” The light changes—“take care, man.”
Later on down Washington near western maybe, on the north side of the street there’s a semi-circle huddle of folks on the corner. Could be a tour group or Jesus proselytizers, but as I pass I notice they are huddled around burning candles and one of those flower-covered crosses. To my right coming out of what has always struck me as a promising “thrift” store is this elderly black couple out to see what the fuss is about—possibly the owners and I say, “What happened over there? Somebody get killed?” “Beg your pardon,” he says. And she of the oversized black frame glasses waves her hand dismissively and says, “Shot. Last week.” “That’s terrible.” And I keep riding. The sun lowering now. I pass that really amazing old brown Victorian haunted house with the two scraggly trees at the front porch on the southside of Wasington. Its got a big lot and i want to live there. Then I head north up Alvarado. I need a donut for phase four, the climb home. So, I stop at yum yum just before Pico and pant, “Donut with sugar.”
“Sugar, coated in sugar.”
“You mean glazed.”
“Yeah, that’s the word I’m looking for. Glazed.”
I stand outside watching the pink of the sun edge towards dark and all this activity passing by and I think, “Man, I love this town.” Home.