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Green truck

“One of my favorites is Zayante Road. Why? Because it seems like the most ‘unridden’ great climb around here. Every time I ride it, I most appreciate the feeling of solitude. I ask, ‘why is this road here.’ It really has no place for functionality as a commute route, etc. It’s just, there. It has it all - gradual approach, a bite in the lower section, a break in the middle to recover, a next bite and the steady drag to the top. And, plenty long to contemplate why we do this s@!t. Once at the top, one has so many options to add to their route that day. And yes, the solitude. The only company you may have is a few abandoned cars down low. NO TRAFFIC AT ALL - EVER!”
    ~ Apple
       from the Steel Wül Cycle Club blog for Monday, May 30, 2011
       in a post titled “Favorite Climbs: Zayante Road”

Why shouldn’t everyone
Drive over from Long Beach
(The East Coast version)
In a big battered green pickup
Equipped with a CB and on top
A horn loudspeaker over which
Anyone in the way
Might be peppered
With a few pithy comments
Maybe to do with Long Beach lifestyle
Suggestive talk of Sex Wax and a new leash
For the board that once rode in the back
Or maybe some AC/DC lyrics
Recounted backward
Or in case someone’s mighty slow up there
Maybe a discussion of the pros and cons
Of whether a word processor for a Commodore 64
Is better programmed in assembly language
Or Forth
No one ever talks back
Unless the windows are down
And who else in this town
Knows the first thing about longboards
Assembly language or Forth
Or much more than the first thing
About AC/DC or the Commodore 64?

I’d now be driving that green truck
So I might share my perspectives
Through a large swath of the morning
With the several dead-to-the-world
Cyclists ahead of me
Climbing snail-like up this steep road
Serpentine
Often too narrow for two cars to pass
Without one car pulling or backing into a rare turnout
The blind curve ahead prevents my passing
Round them without fear of crashing
Into a prospective vehicle
That could just now be edging from out of sight
Moving in the opposite direction

Over the horn
At maximum amplification
I discreetly intone:
“Do you realize that this road’s my only way
  To get to and from my home each day
  And while you’re out here joyriding
  I’ve gotta get to the government building
  To file these papers
  On to the office the bank the library
  Then the grocer and other capers
  There’s only so much time to do all that and get
  Back here by bedtime while you’re taking my day
  By draining my tank while filling the road and yet
  Claiming we share it despite the delay
  You impose
  Do you never suppose
  That sharing might mean that you pull to the side
  Letting us locals pass
  What’ll significantly change about your life or ride
  You don’t mind altering mine
  As my truck wastes its gas
  Unless you’re too beat to stop and restart your climb
  In which case you’ve bit too much to chew
  You might realize with time
  That my truck and I exist but if even we do
  Then aren’t we just like you
  And your bike can’t we just slip around
  Leaving you with this road to yourself like
  You were before: spellbound
  So you wonder why we’re still back here
  Because your perspective has limits so near
  Because you’ve been overworked — life in high gear
  Brings such frustration and fear
  So here do you strain
  Meet all your limits again
  This joyride to narcissism
  For you and no traffic beside
  And soon there’ll be more of you in this stupor
  So well advertised your behavior
  We’ll meet again as you’re coming back round this blind curve
  Or the next or the next
  You’ll careen breakneck speed downhill with verve
  Meet this big green truck that expects
  That it’ll be hit and run
  Oh if I’m asked whose truck spoiled your fun
  No that was some other guy, some old son
  In somebody else’s green truck
  Too bad the lousy dirtbag got away
  Probably an illegal immigrant
  Without auto insurance to pay
  Damages for the cruel incident
  No point bothering him anyway
  They’re all over this curvacious road
  These big green trucks you conveniently don’t forebode
  And these pedaled bikes
  No that conversation will never unfold
  Because the folks like you who push the likes
  Of what a great ride this is
  Of what wonders
  Don’t disclose the deaths of those riders
  Who going downhill through here in a whiz
  Neatly through the road’s center
  Splash into green trucks
  Since everyone knows blunders
  Would be as politically incorrect
  As me describing these matters to you out of great respect
  Over the horn on the roof of this truck you strain to not detect”

The move from Long Beach changed him
Eventually of course
He became wilder
At first
When I left town
Since we didn’t have email in those days
He mailed me first class
A spread-eagled nudie
Rendered in cleverly detailed glorious buxom ASCII
Printed in dot matrix
Emblazoned beneath with the reverent caption
“Hey Shalom Wanna Fuck?”
As if someone looking like that might ever ask
Such a thing of either of us
As we both knew otherwise
He became a fundamentalist
Might as well
What else was there in that town to do
Besides fit in
Once the big green truck was retired
Though to this day I wonder
Why shouldn’t everyone
Have one

Thanks always returns

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