Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh, now I remember...

...why I started this blog. A little commentary, a little chit-chat, and oh yes, maybe a short story of two. Here's one, see what you think. Oh yeah, there's this whole 'it's copyrighted' thing going on here too.

The Day I Got Wings

I floated down to breakfast on wings, when my mother called. Above the gelatinous mucous-like oatmeal forced upon me thrice weekly I hovered enraptured; refusing to allow even this peasant offering to dampen my spirits, for today, indeed for the rest of my life I had wings.

Yesterday had been my birthday, a noteworthy date any year but of special significance on this, my tenth, because I had been inducted into the realm of Explorers Extraordinaire. Gone were the days of plodding earthbound along dusty paths worn by generations of lemmings, or perhaps wildebeests mindlessly following the ancient instincts of the pack. Ahead of me were endless days of adventure in distant lands amongst exotic peoples living in mystical castles. Now I could visit other famous adventurers known to me. Sherlock Holmes could show me the crooked streets of London. I could help the Hardy boys solve the mystery at Devils’ Paw. If I hurried perhaps I could get to the spaceport in time to ship out with the crew of the Copa de Oro to help them pick their golden apples from the sun. Anything is possible now, I have wings; I have a bicycle.

And not just any bicycle. Certainly not the tiny toy with spare wheels upon which I had tottered panic-stricken down the driveway as a child, (now a hopelessly embarrassing relic rusting away under a moldy tarpaulin in the back yard) but a Schwinn; and not just any Schwinn either, but a Tiger. This black beauty beckoned me to adventure with its sleek lines and graceful fenders. It promised, with its two speeds and impossibly large whitewall tires carried firmly with countless shiny spokes, to speed me along faster than Silver could carry the Lone Ranger to bandit hideouts. Even the dark of night would be held in abeyance by the bullet shaped chromium headlight with a black plastic switch on top and two D cell batteries to power the penetrating torch. Secured to the top of the graceful arch of the handlebars with premium vinyl grips this lamp would turn effortlessly to illuminate the trails ahead no matter the direction I chose. And with the addition of some playing cards and strategically located clothes pins I could create enough racket to simulate the roar of a real motorcycle.

Wiping an errant fleck of oatmeal from my face I dashed toward the back door barely noticing the nattered safety warnings issued from my parents. I did take just a moment to savor a sidelong glance of jealousy from my little sister made manifest by her protruding tongue as the screen door flung itself aside in self defense. Down the back steps, across the driveway and into the garage I ran and there--just where I had left her--was my Tiger. No mirage, no illusion, just waiting patiently for my commands.

Astride my trusty steed I raced down the driveway and onto the sidewalk, the warm June sunshine fell upon my face and the fragrant air rushed by as I set myself on the path to adventure. The steeplechase of the street was on; leaping effortlessly over curbs, dodging dogs, racing cars, waving madly at the neighbors as the trees and flowers and lawns flew by. Soon my posse was in hot pursuit. Billy and Jack and Harry and Joe trailed behind on their inferior one-speeds alternately struggling to catch up or dodging down an alley to try to cut me off.

All day we traced the steps of our adventures over hills and neighborhoods. We pedaled to the old sugar factory where we swung wildly on the rope dangling from the cottonwood above our swimming hole in the irrigation canal. Alternately we fled from lawmen to our secret hideout or died gallantly in heroic battles.

Old man Jenkins bought me a Coke at the Arctic Circle when he discovered it had been my birthday yesterday. My gang and I ate French fries dipped in secret sauce and hamburgers with pickles before sallying forth again.

But this day, like all others must come to an end and so as the sun sank lower in the late afternoon sky I bid my compatriots goodbye one by one as their names echoed down the streets, called back to the stables by their moms. Eventually of course my name could be heard in the distance too so, reluctantly, I headed home. Slowly now I savored the last moments, the halcyon time as familiar landmarks appeared, then all too quickly fled by, on the pathway back. I wheeled my Tiger to its place of honor in the garage and climbed the back steps of home.

I didn't even object to a bath after dinner and have no recollection of what I watched on the screen in the living room flickering by in shades of gray before ascending the stairs to my bedroom.

As I lay in my bed before dreaming of knights and knaves and damsels in distress I knew life could never be better than this because today was the day I got wings.

1 comment:

  1. Nice story, it reminded me of the days when I too got wings.