Friday, March 19, 2004

Patrick had a rough day at work slinging drinks to all the 7th street drunks. at just after 3:30 he had managed to get them all out of the bar, everything put away for the night and the door locked. he walked over to the 7-11 to grab a hotdog and a pack of smokes. same story ever night. in the short walk from the store to his bike ha had managed to swallow the Bigbite, zip up his jacket and make his way to his bike. a glistening beautiful mix of chrome steel, polished aluminum, greasy black paint and rubber. it didn't look like much but it ran like a demon set free from the bounds of hell. Patrick had spent years slinging drinks all night and day to get this bike running and it was finally done. he swung one leg over the seat and fumbled with the key switch, it stuck from time to time and required a light touch to make it turn. once the ignition was turned on, he reached down and tickled each carburetor to give a little extra gas for starting. reaching down with his right hand he pulled the kick starting pedal out with a reassuring click letting him know it was firmly locked into place. he picked up his heavy boot from the cool damp pavement below bringing it to rest on the kicker. in one fluid motion he twisted open the throttle and brought his weight to bear on the quiet engine. in the same instant the engine roared to life. while letting the bike gently warm he double checked his gloves and cinched his jacket a little tighter, adjusted his weight on the machine, and slid his glasses down over his eyes. after returning the kicker pedal to its home position, he moved the transmission into 1st gear. while letting the clutch out with one hand he began to accelerate with the other, out into the street and gone into the dark night, the exhaust rising and falling with the shifting of gears, fading into endless black top that was his sweet eternity.
The bike sang as it ran down 7th street towards downtown. the air was cool and crisp, the pavement dry and smooth. as Patrick rode he could hear every gear change from the exhaust bouncing off the empty warehouses the lined the street. they would be bustling with activity soon, but for now he stood empty and silent. he accelerated towards the large monoliths standing vigilant over the central business district. 40mph, 50. Third gear 60, 70, 80 and into fourth with a reassuring clunk, the handle bars went loose in his hands as the bike crested the bridge with the front wheel off the ground. 90, 95, 98, 99, he was willing the bike to go faster and faster, throttle wide open. hunched over the tank to slip as much wind as possible. the bike compressed it's suspension and pushed itself frurther into patricks chest coming off the bridge to the rise in the road to downtown. at top of the rise the magic Ton,100 mph. the world went silent for Patrick. the valves ticking away between his legs, the rush of air through his ears, the exhaust bouncing off the walls of the city. all went silent. the voices in his head stopped as they reeled in horror at the world rushing at them. the voices began to wonder. were the wheel bearings tight? did Patrick tighten that axle nut sufficiently? was there anything in the road to puncture a tire? what about a cop doing his reports, were there any? what about civilians? would some dumb schmuck half asleep, not see that red light? Patrick didn't worry. he knew all was well. every nut tight, every bearing properly lubed. a small grin appeared on his lips knowing that there was nothing between him and downtown but a mile of straight dry road till the next red light. as he crossed Henderson the bike lifted again slightly and he knew it was time to shut down. closing the throttle he sat up and let the wind push his body back, pressing the brake with his left foot and reaching out for the security of the front brake at his right hand. the bike howling and belching resisting the de-acceleration. the excess fuel popping in the hot exhaust as he reached the red light on cherry street. the bike clenched up as it came to a dead stop at the intersection.His heart beat resuming to normal as the tremors of adrenalin washed over his body. and he sat waiting patiently for the green light.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Garbage Trucks

I love them. i don't know why. they are big and filthy. they stink to the very depth of the metal, every nook and cranny that could be is packed full of tiny bits of trash, food, and what nots. i remeber having to weld one up one time, i spent quite some time cleaing and cleaning then finally donning a protective suit to keep my clothes clean. i have found out that no matter how much you clean, there is still a film of stench and grease. so i cleaned some more and ground down the area that needed to be welded. the driver had not noticed what he threw in the back and jammed a peice of pipe in the hopper ripping the side door open and tearing open the compactor blade. so i hammered everything back into place, and struck an arc with my welder. burning the metal back together. the smell of untold things burning out of the metal stuck in my throat for days after. i'll never forget the sweet pungent smell of a burning garbage truck. i hate that smell. the smell of the entire world all smashed into one.
every tuesday i sit patiently waiting in my house for the big lumbering truck to come by and take away my refuse. and now that we have the trucks that pick up the bins i'm even more in love. i don't really know why. all i know is that my whole life i've watched the garbage go out. before there were trucks with big hydraulic arms there were men with big arms running down the street to pick up and take away everything i'd give them.
even though i hate taking out the trash. and it never fails, if i take the bins out before i go to bed they don't get picked up till late afternoon, but if i decide i can wait till morning to take the trash out? fuckers come by at 7am and i miss them. it'a good thing i don't create much trash.