Monday, May 25, 2009

My day, the 1970's cop show adventure

Since the coffee shop reopened, I successfully completed three consecutive afternoon shifts, each about 6 hours long. We now have a panini grill, which in turn has quadrupled our sandwich menu. A lot of things have changed, and since the shop is under new management, it’s a much happier place to be.

The story: I bike to work. Round trip is about 3.5 miles, and it is not flat. Many, many hills, including a 1000 ft bridge and through town and narrow sidewalks. Why do I bike when my parents offer to drive me? First, I need to get used to navigating my way in traffic before I go for my license on June 25th. Second, I have lost 8 pounds from April to May and it is still dropping because I am not constantly snacking on pound cakes and scones. Third, I need to get in shape. The Detective Booth in my head is constantly mocking me. No, seriously. I’m like schizo, or something. Just kidding.

I really haven’t had any problems biking until today. I didn’t even have problems that one day last summer when I biked home in the pouring rain, with no brakes on my bike, on the cell to my mother, and over a bridge with rails not too high for passing bikers. And because I survived that, I have never questioned if there is a God.

Today, however, I literally stepped onto the middle partition of the bridge when the bells started going off. Then the horn. The stoplight went on for the cars, and everyone stopped and the bridge usually opens right away.


The incline on the bridge going into town is really steep, so I usually walk it. It would take me forever to get seated on my bike, start pedaling up the incline and zip down the decline, so I took my bike handles and began to run. Already I was out of breath, and I’m hurrying because I still don’t know if the bridge tendors see me. I’m almost past the red and white safety bars (not unlike those parallel to train tracks) and they start to go down. Immediately, they spring back up and I sprint a few yards past, get my butt on the seat and fly down the rest of the bridge. As soon as I crossed the intersection at the foot of the bridge, I turned around and saw that the bridge was almost all the way up.

I almost died.

Actually, I was just out of breath and a little freaked out. So, after I got to work a few minutes later, I sat for about 10 minutes and drank about 14 ounces of cool water.

When I get off work, I call Mom to let her know I’m on my way home. When she asks “Where are you?” I most often times respond “At the police station!” because I cut through the parking lot. From there to home, it’s about 1.5 miles, and for like the first time, I made it there to home without stopping. Part of this is because the incline on the bridge is not as severe as the other way, so that whoooole way I trudged then ran up, I get to speed down like there’s no manana.

Then, I cut across behind a parking lot by a bar and deserted hardware store, and take the most gorgeous commute home. There is nothing prettier than Lake Michigan at sunset, with the cool breeze and the lapping water…I also cut through a park (don’t be hater, there is a brick path) and saw that there was a party.

What’s weird about me, is that I hate other teenagers. I’m like a betta. Seriously though, they squeal, get drunk, use credit cards, and wear mini shorts. The girls are worse. (Mostly kidding, hahaa)

But there are about 30 of them, teenagers and young adults alike, playing volleyball and blasting rap. Almost as if on queue, a guy yelled out “Hey!” Psh, hey bro, I don’t stop for dawgs like you and I don’t even see yo face, hon. So I kept going. Uh oh, another steep incline up ahead. There’s a white sedan coming down towards the parking lot and it’s windows are completely tinted. If I were a cop, I would have pulled him over. I say that about most people, so, going on….A red sports car happened to be pulling out of the parking and the two cars pulled alongside each other so that the driver’s windows were facing each other. But it’s kind of creepy, so I use those hamstrings and get up that incline and across the deserted intersection when the white sedan pulls up the incline and down the street, going real slow.

But I keep going, thinking that I’m just paranoid--right? Still going slow, the car pulls onto another street. Sweet, I was being paranoid. But then I see that the red sports car passes the intersection, going super slow as well. That car also had tinted windows, but I presume it was teenager or young adults. This guy didn’t turn, but kept going straight in the direction I was going. I’m still at a small incline, and he stays well behind me.

He follows me for about three streets, and I then I felt like hey, I really am being followed, and turned off a side street. I looked back a few times, but never saw him pass by.

Now, I wouldn’t think they’re behavior odd, except there were two of them, both going about 7 mph, same direction as me, and it’s a residential area where people fly past like they’re being cattle-prodded. I made it through that last incline and down into my backyard, panting and sweating.

I was greeted by my little brother, who is now waiting for me to play videos games. I promised I’d be down 11 minutes ago, so….

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