A Day in the Life

by Jinryu

New Note 5

Liestening to: Theme from xxxHolic — the movie
Time: 8:36AM
Location: On bus 370, somewhere between Glebe and Kensington, on the way to school

It was only about 30 minutes ago that, as I rolled my bike to the front door of our apartment, I realized that the back wheel felt soft. The back tube was completely flat. Not sure how that happened.

I’m a bit saddened by the issue of my bike. This coming Wednesday, I’m probably going to sell it. It’s served it’s purpose pretty well for the past two months, but lately I think that the rigours of my daily demands are showing their toll. I broke two spokes last week, and now this flat tire… well, it seems to be hinting to me that my body weight, plus my laptop on my back, plus the load of 5-12kg of books / groceries that I put in the saddles just might be too much. I also had a problem with the kickstand and shifter a while back. I am sad to see it go, but unfortunately, there’s a lot more mileage to do out there– so I’m going to have to let this one go to get myself a stronger bike.

It’s kind of sad because the bike was the first really substantial thing I bought for myself in Sydney, and on top of that, I bought it with [CM] from the same shop and at the same time as hers. Our bikes are very similar when you look at them– kinda like a guy’s and girl’s version of the same bike. So aside from being the first brand new bike I buy for myself ever (every bike I’ve used up until now has been a gift or I’ve bought it second hand) it’s also the first vehicle that I purchase in a linked way with CM.

I think I have a strange relationship with bikes. I say strange because while others obtusely understand that it’s good for health, better for the environment, and generally good for character, many still think it ridiculous that I don’t drive, especially “at my age.”

The thought of ever having a bike stolen, or giving one away, or having to sell one, never really hits me until there’s an empty space in a room where it used to be parked. I’ve gone through a lot of bikes in my lifetime– over a dozen in fact. Over the years I’ve cared for them, built some up from scratch, rescued the abandonned, I’ve had memorable life experiences with them, both in the garage and on the streets. But they’ve come and gone in the name of utility.

I’ve never had a driver’s license, although I’ve driven a car in NorthAm a few times, and I drove a scooter in SK. I always come back to bicycles though, because despite their utility, bicycles resonate somehow with my way of life.

So, to start off with a flat tire really gets the the day started on all the wrong feet. On one hand it’s a bitter reminder that this bike hasn’t lived up the cost I paid for it– on the other hand, it’s my first bike, so I’m sad and reluctant to see it go. Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing it, but I feel as if I’m punishing a friend for their betrayal.

Maybe I’m just in a bad mood because I don’t like starting my day on a flat tire.

I’m trying to stay positive. It is nice to be able to ride the bus once in a while. It’s an experience out of the ordinary for me.

I’m sitting in the back of the bus as I type this, listening to some music. That in itself is novel– while cycling, I can’t listen to music, so despite that I have a player with me everyday, I never actually get to use it to play music for me.

I tend to leave a good collection of “protagonist” music on my player because, generally, the only times I have time to listen to anything is when I’m on the move with a particular destination. Today turned out to be just such a case.

The experience is strangely nostalgic of my youth, riding the long 123 bus through LaSalle to go to high school during sunrise. Orange light floods the cabin of the bus and the shadows flicker on one side as perpendicular light chops it’s way between buildings on the opposite side of the bus. I squint and tilt my display so I can still see.

It’s 9:00AM now. Late.

edit: 9:20 AM: Class cancelled. Grarrrrrr.