At 10:20 on Tuesday night, I’ve taken my place at the computer keyboard to post. The day started with two spokes on the rear tire of my bicycle breaking as I flew down a hill about three blocks from home. A broken spoke throws the wheel out of alignment which results in a horrible rubbing noise because the rim in rubbing against the brakes.
I stopped in the middle on the street because it was 6:00 a.m. and not much traffic. Two spokes waved in the air just like the first broken spoke had about a week and a half ago. That one they fixed at the bicycle shop while I rode a loaner to my hair appointment. A bicycle helmet may save an elderly brain, but it destroys any expensive hair cut.
The breakdown today meant returning to my house to lock up the bike and then ride the bus to Brookside for tea with my friends. Swearing at the bad luck I arrived at the bus stop to find a bus on its way. Minutes later I disembarked from that bus to see a Main Street MAX bus about a block north of the bus stop. It said, “Plaza/Waldo.”
I thought, It can’t be. The buses don’t run that way, but on July 1 the Metro changed the frequency of buses on several lines. I arrived in Brookside early enough to beat all of my friends. That more than made up for the broken spokes.
At 9, I had an appointment to child sit with a friend and his four-year-old grandnephew. The little boy provides so much entertainment in how he sees the world that I jump at the chance to spend time with him. We two old men take him to the park where he expects us to lift and carry him as he climbs ladders, crosses rocks and slides down slides. He bounces. He runs. He spins around and all we have to do if watch him, applaud his successes, reassure him when he fails and lift and carry as necessary.
We went to lunch where he ordered a hamburger, French fries and a small cherry limeade. He ate all but one of my onion rings and then all of his fries plus some of mine. The hamburger didn’t appeal to him so he ate the edges that hung out over the bun.
When we took him back to his mother, he refused to go home with her. “I want to stay here. You go get grandmother and then come back for me. I want to play with Bob and Jerry.” Who wouldn’t love a little boy who thinks it’s cool to hang around with two guys over 60?
His mother convinced him to go with her. As the car pulled away, he rolled down his window and said, “Bob, you stay here. Don’t go home.”
I waved back. “I promise that I’ll be here when you return.” I could say that because I knew he wasn’t coming back for a couple of weeks.
Jerry took me home to get my bike and take it to the bicycle shop. He dropped me off.
Theresa and Bruce convinced me to buy a custom-built rear wheel to handle the weight. In other words, my fat ass puts too much pressure on the rear wheel. So, for another $200…maybe less…I’ll have a special rear wheel designed to carry extra weight. Although I’m losing weight, obviously I have a ways to go before my old rear wheel could deal with it. Now it won’t have to.
It was a typical day in the life of Bob. I’ve talked to friends on the phone. I’m tired from all the swinging and climbing and walking and pushing and pulling and blowing bubbles (not successfully I must admit), but it’s a good kind of tired. One that guarantees that this old guy will sleep soundly tonight and awake ready for a new day.