Ride Fast, Roll Easy

Fiction, published in the November 2011 issue of Urban Velo

Death made me a man.

I’ll never admit it, not now, not rolling Broadway on my bike, my single-gear. But s’true. Losing my parents last year forced me to grow up. To hunt their killer. The man with the tattooed knuckles. I got nothing on him but those fists and they clobber me, always in my thoughts, my dreams.

Riding Broadway, New York’s Mississippi, I catch green after green. I’m 18 and don’t expect anything less. Life’s forever green, no? John races right behind me. On rollerblades way too fast for him. Which is where I come in.

He reaches and grabs the rattly rack on my fender to slow down, dragging his back brake. Like some bladers, he never learned to stop. Quick-like. No hockey-T, no side edge. Never. We got us all greens, he yells to me. We have this conversation every day. An old married couple, we are. ‘Cept for the old part. And the married, couple thing.

Yup, I shout. A car cuts in front of me, and I let loose. Look sharp, I bellow at the taxi. The driver flicks his bored eyes at me, in his side mirror, and we meet. For a second. Before he riffles them away. Taxis. Me and them do not get along. Me and them. Do not. I got stories.

Read the rest at Urban Velo