You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

Today was all about therapy. First a little bicycle therapy– a hard ride for one hour around north Portland. Then a quick shower and a much slower ride to massage therapy.

After 90 minutes of basically getting steamrolled (in a good way), I emerged feeling somewhat recovered from a pretty stressfull Friday.

As I’m crossing the street to walk up the hill, I see Erin and Brian arriving home from playing outside somewhere with their 3 year old and her brand new baby brother. They told me his name, but I just think of him as ‘the bullet’ because he arrived in 48 minutes flat, from water breaking to an almost-car-birth to a barely in time catch from the doctor. Erin did a great write up of the whole thing, which you should go read, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I left them to their evening and walked to the top of the hill, where I unlocked my bike and began to ride ever so slowly towards home. I’d gone about one block when I passed a woman walking the opposite way on the sidewalk with two young girls. The older one, who looked about 7, looked straight at me, so I smiled, like I do with all children and try to do with most adults.

“Hi!” she said.

“Hi,” I replied in kind.

I was pedaling really slowly and she looked like she had more to say. I was just a bike length past her when she turned and said, “Um…I have a bike.” Clearly it was very important to her for me to have this information. It was also just about the most adorable thing I’ve experienced all week.

Looking back over my shoulder, I told her, “Good! Everyone should.”

Her mom and I both laughed to ourselves as we continued on our respective journeys.

I decided to stop at Kruger’s farm stand, so I was taking the neighborhood streets between Lombard and Willamette, heading east. The streets curved and jogged every few blocks. I came to a corner where the street continued on about 25 feet to the left. I stopped somewhat in the middle and waited for a van coming from my right to pass by. As it did, the driver, who’s window was down, cupped his hand around the side of his mouth and yelled, “Road hog!” at me.

You’re in a van, dumb ass, I thought to myself, but I’ve learned not to waste time trying to apply logic to these situations. Was I in the middle of the road? Yes. Was there anyone else on the street with me? No.

I stopped at the farm stand and picked out four ears of corn, was seduced by some large juicy grapes, and remembered at the last minute to grab a tomato for that night’s dinner. Just as I was turning with four ears of corn wondering where to find a bag, a burley, bearded man asked the cashier where the bags were.

I walked over to the bag station, my hands full of corn. The man tore off a bag and handed it to me.

The score was now 2-1, with the nice people holding a slim lead. If I could get home without another incident, I might have a little faith that the nice people still outnumber the assholes.

I made it. Until tomorrow.

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