Laundromat soap and stale cigarette smoke both flushed my nostrils as I peddled past the plaza. The buildings were old and you could tell because the wall stucco was cracking in a fashion that didn’t look like it was meant to have a rustic feel; it just looked shitty. I paused at the crosswalk until a pickup halted and honked for me to pass. I pressed onwards to the trail ahead of me. It was like being a kid, like I was flying. This bicycle below me wasn’t just a vehicle forward but one of time travel. At least that was what the flea market vendor sold me. Maybe it was a metaphor and I fell for it. Regardless, I had the wind on my face and I felt like a humming bird buzzing past the tree stumps below me-until I really went flying. Face first, elbows grinding the pavement, hips over my head, flying.
What kind of time travel bullshit was this? I could hear the chain still spinning and the tires rotating at maximum speed. I saw my phone was 20 feet away as I inch-wormed up to a sitting position. Blood trickled to my wrists and my knee caps mirrored the red ribbons. I felt flushed and light headed; and so so angry. That kind of anger that bubbles beneath the surface for days, the kind of anger that steams your throat and worms up to your eyes through tears that weren’t supposed to be there. My face was wet; I started laughing. Uncontrollable and inconsolable laughter spewed from my lips. A bike gang of ten year olds sped past me yelling out misused curse words; clearly they didn’t know dyke wasn’t offensive anymore.
It was in that moment that I got it- nobody ever grows up. There is no real adulthood. I got up and hauled my bicycle off the trail to lay sunny side up in the grass. Cloud watching was my favorite pastime as a kid. I had this giant bouncy trampoline growing up. Half the time I’d bounce, and the other half I’d lay. I’d lay and look and ponder. I found myself drifting off into the blue haze above me. I blinked and blinked and felt something was off. I wasn’t in the grass anymore. I wasn’t in my body, not my adult body. I wasn’t bleeding either. My limbs were stumpy and short extending from my chubby midsection. I slinked upwards. A woven black canvas stretched beneath me. My giant trampoline. My childhood trampoline.
I began to panic. I could feel the sweat beads forming like little pearls rolling down my spine. Why was I here? Where was my bike? How would I get home? Something else was off. I could hear explosions. Far off in the distance there were sharp flashes and a thick layer of smoke. I was pressed to find out who’s backyard my trampoline was in. I stumbled down, feeling significantly shorter. I heard a woman screaming and figured that was my cue to run. I launched myself up a rusted chainlink fence and my denim rhinestone shorts caught at the top. How old was I that I thought it was okay to wear rhinestones? I fell forward, flat on my knees, pushed up and continued running. The woman slammed the wooden door to the back of her olive shack of a house; I barely caught a glimpse of her. I kept running into the thickening smoke. The booming grew deeper but I felt like I was being pulled by a magnet. I slowed my pace to get a good look around.
To be continued.
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