Maybe it’s in the air, I dunno. But I’m hoping yesterday’s storms–seen to be literally a wall of brown out the windows of Bunker’s–cleared about ten days’ worth of bad karma. You know, an accumulation of weird breakdowns, bad communication, minor automotive hiccups, moving violations, unspeakable regression, birds gathering in strange symmetric formations on top of billboards, potentially song-ending skips of the needle across the twelve-inch dance-mix of life. (Karl dying, for example.) Sometimes we try too hard, fight too much, get too wrapped up in ourselves. I do, anyway.
So I’m riding my bike, which I do instead of lunch on Tuesdays, on the bike path past Mill City Musuem just beyond the new Guthrie skyway-to-nowhere. Hot as a two-peckered billygoat. I can see four figures ahead on the bike path: One, a city worker with a weed-whacker, not far from her little John Deere lawn tractor. What appears to be a very large woman in a green tank-top, a lunch-time walker, standing nearby making conversation. And beyond, a doughy couple, recently retired yuppies on nice mountain bikes.
It goes down like this: I pass the weed-whacker and the woman in the green tank top, who turns out to be a deep-voiced man with huge breasts. She or he is holding out her hand to the weed-whacker, as if to shake hands. The weed-whacker does not take the hand, but keeps holding the whacker, not unfriendly, really, just busy–which suddenly makes me think the man-woman is pointing at something with an open hand. S/he says, “Well, don’t work too hard, it’s awfully hot out here.” His/her hair is really frizzy straw blonde, could be a wig I suppose. My thought was not cynical or sarcastic. I said to myself, That’s a transgendered person. My city. My bike path. My people. Cool!
As I peddled a little farther, I reached the yuppie couple, who were struggling against a light wind and the powerful heat, same direction only much slower. They were in shorts and tee-shirts, big bubble helments. He was ahead of her. And she called up to him, plainly referring to the person we’d just passed. “What was that?” she said, with plain disgust.
It made me sad. And a little mad. Like I said, maybe it’s in the air. It can never rain hard enough, I guess.