"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Friday, August 14, 2009

a tale of two cities

i miss the accessible smallness of my hometown, lexington, ky. los angeles is such a sprawling mess of tangled freeways and traffic that i can't make myself enjoy the immensity of the city because the moment i get in a car it's road rage stephanie, and she's no fun to be around.

today, lexington's smallness was most tangibly felt in the form of an exhilirating bike ride. i really miss the bike as a tenable form of transportation. growing up, the bike was an accessory for recreational neighborhood cruising. living in chicago changed that, the bike became a vehicle for daily revolution, a war horse for corking traffic. it is amazing how a city opens up before you when you have two wheels and yr feet to take you anywhere, unbound to the flow of traffic, easily taking yrself off the map and into walkable terrain, cutting between lines and breezing by waiting cars.

as i rode my bike to the ice cream store today, i felt young and vibrant like a kid again. being on the bike felt so good, i couldn't help smiling the whole time, up against traffic, wind in my face, singing "Thunder Road"* the whole way there, and "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" the whole way back.

i kept thinking, american history has got it all wrong. independence wasn't born on the wheels of the Model T, nor was it found in the cross-country voyages of bikers on Harley Davidsons. it was this, right here, a girl jumping on a bike and pedaling her way thru bluegrass, independent of petroleum and the help of her parents to deliver her to her destination.

when i get back to LA, i'm finding myself a bike. everything seems better from the saddle of a bike.

and behold! the wonderful glisten of post-biking sweat!

love and stuff,

*"...well the night's busting open, these two lanes'll take us anywhere! we got one last chance to make it real, to trade in these wings on some wheels. climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks..."

1 comment:

K. said...

I was so happy to see this show up in my Google reader! (I hope that doesn't seem creepy.) I love how Springsteen (though so auto-centric in his songwriting) is just as powerful and poignant when seen from a bicycle. My favorite part of "Thunder Road" is the "take my hand, we're off together (or is it tonight? I can't remember) to case the promised land." That song makes my heart open up every time I hear it.