The District

8 07 2008

unfinished i think

We called them the Bike Boys, blowing by in a smooth stream of pedals and brown hair and messenger bags slung over their shoulders. The ones too old and too self conscious to skate.

We were separate, of course, on foot, but somehow we were also connected. Hardly any of us had jobs at the time, so we found ourselves, on foot, in the district quite often. Every few minutes or so, one of them would slide by on an old chrome frame, leaving a thin breeze in their narrow wake. We’d stare after the pale figure, not wanting to wonder where he was headed. The district was busy, still is, and tough to navigate by bike. They’d weave and slice aggressively but silently through traffic; the only sound they’d make was the click-click-whir of their chains. The din of other traffic, pedestrian and otherwise, easily drowned that out anyway.

How beautiful, but how mechanical and — almost inorganic. These hunking chunks of metal welded down to almost nothing, gutted pipes hollowed light and set between two wheels made them agile. So maybe they were graceful, after all. Graceful but foreign.

We had nothing else to do — we’d purposefully wander the district, in and out of tattoo parlors, record stores, overpriced vintage clothing shops, local eateries, cigarettes in hand and apathetic expressions permanently applied to our angelic faces.

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