I walk, you drive. I push my bike beside me. He’s loaded with forty, fifty pounds in bags. His one wheel is low on air, his balance is off, the steep gravel hillside slides beneath.
It is ninety-four degrees in the sky.
I grin as your speeding engine takes you past. A glare is a private indulgence. I sweat and cringe, but straighten my back: there is nothing to pity here. You shall not see my glowersome look, not in the sun nor freezing rain.
This tired and bulky steed is my savior every day. He has borne me over marshes, over bridges, past the jaws of wild dogs. It is an honor to carry him up the hill.
Fifty pounds are a wise man’s treasure. My art, my work, my life-blood in bags. Every ounce hand selected, anything extra given away. I would not surrender this burden. It is no burden at all.
The low-air tire holds just fine. It hasn’t gone flat, and won’t before sunset. Any other tire and I might be stranded.
The steep gravel is not just a road. It leads to others and still others, till some lonely lane where I’ll reach the doorstep of the gods.
I chose this road, and it is the smoothest most well-kept street on the planet.
Another car appears. I lift my head. The sun on my brow. I look at the driver, see her eyes, grin like a wolf, nod like a king.
She wishes for one moment that she were me.