Side to Side

by Jinryu


On October 13th, I woke up at about 5pm.  My consciousness had been playying hopscotch between the lines of dreamland and realspace since about 8:30am that morning, which wasn’t easy. I woke up with lead clouds clogging my brain, anything but clarity, and I wasn’t sure if Supergirl and I were supposed to meet for our first “official” date at 6pm or 7pm, so, being all about communication, I sent her a text message.

I got my reply at about 6:05pm saying that she’d just gotten out of class and that 7pm would be fine. “Take your time!” she said. (So, I guess I was supposed to have been downtown by 6pm >_<” )

Anyway, I got all dressed up, brushed my teeth, and headed downtown on my bike like a bat out of hell.  Now, earlier in the day I’d asked SoCool where I could find some flowers.  She’d told me at Atwater, and yeah, that jogged my memory enough to I recall that there was a florist there just inside Alexis Nihon plaza next to the metro entrance.  I went there at top speed because I had no way of knowing if, like many shops, the florist might already be closed.  Luckily, by the time I got there, they still were going to be open for another 10 minutes. I got my flowers, then hit the streets again.

You should know something about Montreal weather right now– at that time, it was probably zero degrees outside, and that says nothing of the sum total with windchill yet to be factored in.  It’s not pleasant weather to be a hurry in, espsecially not outside, especially not when you’re riding a bike.

So there I am, wearing some of my best shoes and pants, with my leather jacket, my 2.5m scarf trailing behind my head and my Protec Skull and Crossbones helmet on, and I’m just tearing down St Catherine with only one hand on the steering.  My left hand is holding the boquet of flowers in a reversed grip behind my back, like a katana, because even if the wind doesn’t freeze the flowers (a pretty little medley of something white, red, yellow and green that the florist put together for me), it is at the very least crumpling the foil and fucking up the arrangement. I need to keep it in my slipstream even as I wedge my way between cars and try to beat the lights.  I’m really thankful that with my fixed gear bike, I don’t have to worry about needing my hands for shifters or brakes, since all the action is in my legs.

The thought crosses my head that I shouldn’t breathe too much into my scarf in case I have bad breath, and that if I need to lend it to her later, I don’t want her to smell it.  Silly, I know.

But as my wheels flip of little droplets of water from the street and my bike’s frame rocks from side to side despite my right arm’s best efforts to just keep my heading true, I feel like a ninja, for real.


The result is simple– when she comes down the elevator of her apartment to greet me, I present her with the flowers. 

She doesn’t know about how much trouble it took, but it doesn’t matter.

A couple of hours worth of pay and almost dying on the subzero asphalt is instantly worth it just to see her blush.

We go back up to her apartment so that she can put them in an old jar that still smells like spaghetti sauce before heading out for our dinner.