This isn’t fucking New York

I was riding my bike home on Johnson today and pulled up to the red light at Broadway. It had been a really nice ride. The weather was good. I was riding with a good cadence. My legs weren’t burning up. Then the guy in the minivan right next to me hollered out his open window:
“Get a fucking car!”

I wasn’t sure what he had said but I heard something about a car so I looked at his van and the cars behind him to see if I was blocking anyone from turning right. Everything was copacetic, so I hollered back.

“What?”

“Get a fucking car! This isn’t fucking New York!” he yelled. He hunched down in his seat to see me. He looked about sixty and had those terrifyingly ugly glasses that people from the suburbs always seem to wear. His beige Ford Astrovan sagged as he leaned toward me.

“A car would be a lot cheaper than the medical bills after somebody fucking hits you!”

“I have a car, I’m just riding my bike,” I answered, incredulous that a random person would be angrily cussing me out for riding a bicycle. I obey traffic laws, signal my turns, have adequate lighting, and am generally the least annoying rider on the road. I don’t even wear any fussy spandex or throw my head back haughtily while spraying water into my mouth. I just ride from home to school and back again. Four miles each way for exercise and fun. I don’t preach to anyone about riding versus driving or whether or not I think that oil is gonna run out ever. I’m the least confrontational person that I know.

“What you gonna do in fucking January?” he taunted. I still tried to answer as though it were a rational conversation, and not some random asshole screaming nonsense at me during a freakishly long red light.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll switch?” I offered.

“Damn right you will!” he gloated, dropping back into his seat. The light changed. He drove away.

I don’t think that I’ve been in anything close to a fight in thirteen years. I have spent a lot of time learning to always keep a cool and level head. I can talk people down from anything. It’s amazing. No fights ever. Right then all I wanted to do was pull that guy out of his van and just beat the living shit out of him. I could picture my gloved fist colliding with the bony ridge above his eye. I’ve never actually punched anyone.

The rest of my bike ride was cool and quiet. Swarms of children clamored for treats, but they seemed distant in the dark. I didn’t notice the climb up Johnson at Lowry. I didn’t get tired the rest of the way. Adrenaline is apparently awesome.

One Response to “This isn’t fucking New York ”

  1. He showed you! BOOM!

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