Jody’s Bike

Remember when you were a kid and living in “the now” was a way of life? Eckhart Tolle has written books, produced audiotapes, given seminars, and made a career out of telling people the many virtues of living in the now. Kids get it. Grown-ups pull them out of the now with things like “time for bed!” Kids would rather do with they are doing now. Time for dinner … no, we’re playing pretend! Time to come home … no, let me stay at my friend Jody’s a little longer!

“Harry your Mom called and wants you to come home now!” Jody and I ran towards his house. Jody got there first and as I entered he was saying things like, “No not yet!” and “He just got here!” Another thing about being a kid is time progresses at extremely variable speeds.

So I called mom back and we negotiated. The negotiations probably took longer than the extra time I gained, but we did gain some extra time. It had been a good visit. At one point we’d gone out to the barn to see Joey their horse. Jody’s oldest brother Barry was there and his friend Terry Vann. They were friendly but obviously wanted to talk about stuff they didn’t want to discuss with us hanging around. I guess Jody and I should have been more understanding since we both had little brothers too, and while it’s not hard to be nice to them for a while, usually before long they can really put a damper on things.

Part of the negotiation sales pitch was pointing out that Jody’s bike would cut several minutes off the trip home. So when it came time to head home we tried to figure out how to get both of us on the bike. It was a big old Schwinn with no fenders covering the big fat tires front and back. I’m not sure we’d ever ridden the bike together before. There were a couple problems, for one thing, the missing rear fender meant I had to sit on the seat while Jody drove standing up, with me hanging on to Jody. The seat was set at a height that worked for Jody, but I still had my feet … a couple years later the artificial legs gave me extra height and would have made things easier. We managed to tip over a few times before I got on the seat and we started rolling down the hill. It was downhill all the way which was good since we were now behind schedule and needed to make up for lost time.

Jody liked speed and the deadline made fast the only way to make it home on time … we were going all out, rocking left and right with each pump on the pedals. As we approached my driveway on the right Jody swung the bike into the left lane to make the turn less sharp and yelled: “hang on!” Even with the tight curve untightened a bit and leaning far to the right, when we hit the gravel the rear tire slid left, but Jody instinctively corrected by steering in the direction of the slide. We managed to get out of the lean and upright without a crash and burn. Jody was back in full race mode.

We had a straightaway to the finish line a 100 yards off, but all was not well. The driveway was gravel with an abundance of chuck holes. The turn into the driveway had left me a little unseated. I was trying to correct as we bounced at each chuckhole. Some bounces let me adjust by pulling myself closer to Jody. I got centered on the seat again and some bounces got me further forward in the seat which was a good thing. Other bounces left me further back, I was mostly hanging off the back of the seat when we hit the chuckhole from hell. Remember the missing fenders?

I came down on the big fat back tire. I was getting the mother of all wedgies as the tire burned rubber down my crack. Jody kept pedaling away. The tire was jamming me into the forks. Jody pedaled away. My entire boyhood was sucked between the forks. Jody pedaled.

The rear tire eventually locked up with boyhood and cheeks. We went down and slid to a stop. I now had gravel burns. Rolling around in the gravel, my first instinct was to grab my crotch. Grabbing myself was painful so I let go and just rolled around caterwauling. Caterwauling seemed to help.

I could tell Jody was concerned except he was having trouble suppressing fits of laughter. He decided to see how many dumb questions he could ask. “Are you okay?” “Does it hurt?” “Where does it hurt?” Mom must have decided to enter the dumb question competition because I could hear her yelling from our front porch 50 yards away, “Is everything alright?”

At that moment, Eckhart Tolle would have had a hard time selling me on the virtues of living in the now.

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5 Responses to “Jody’s Bike”

  1. sinceresusan Says:

    That sounds VERY painful yet the way you share the story it definitely makes me smile!!! What fabulous childhood experiences you have to share!

  2. Cindy Kay Gregory Says:

    It almost sounds like “everything” was NOT all right!!! Crash and burn takes on a whole new meaning when it’s your whole boyhood at stake!!! Did you ever get a chance to correct the more obvious errors in judgement?? Actually, all I could think of while reading this was…”this is gonna hurt….I can tell..”

  3. Carl Gann Says:

    Real stories are always the best. You were almost transgender.

  4. Jody Tanner Says:

    this is Jody 60 years later., 60 years later. ya that’s right, 60 years
    ago. I ran into you at Shriners on 82nd and sandy while skate boarding down shiners driveway,. was like 1964 or 5 you were
    hollering out the window that we were on private property and needed to leave ime,diatley , I recognised your voice imidiately
    ran into the hospital and we had a reunion right there that
    couldn;t be matched to this day

    • the epistles of harry Says:

      JODY! My recollection of the visit includes you needing to use fake ID to get in because visitors had to be at least 16 years old and you were a couple months short. Then … the head nurse shows up and says “Jody how nice to see you!” Turns out you were good friends with Mrs Polhemus’ son. I am guessing she knew your age b ut let it slide. Glad we hooked up again.

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