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If Everything Were Like Riding a Bike

Yesterday, I went for a bike ride. It was the early evening, when the sun is still out, but the nighttime sky is already creeping up to wrap us in its cozy dark blanket. I hadn't been on a bike since my childhood, and until yesterday I wasn't quite sure if I could still ride one well. The well is still debatable.

I pushed off on the right peddle, swaying from right to left for a bit like a child first learning to walk, but after a few moments I was zooming down my block. I looked straight ahead, the black asphalt wide open to me, ear buds in my ears with a hint of music so I could still hear cars, and relaxed. Then, I wobbled again. For the rest of the bike ride I tried to remember my form to maintain my balance. As I peddled the crunching sound of ashalt accompanied the noises of my ride.

I rode around for about 30mins, and in that time the old saying, "It's like riding a bike," came to me. I was on a bike of course I was going to remember it. I thought about my day and how I was relieved I was to almost done editing the chapbook for ForWord. I thought about my English class and how I was going to teach the students how to write essays well. I thought about the students in my Creative Writing class and how some already had a great grasp on imagery. I turned the corner and thought about how easily the car coming the opposite direction could just take me out. I held my breath until I turned another corner on an empty street and exhaled slowly, my breath now a little louder in ears as I got further along. I thought about my friend Sarah who is leaving soon and how I will miss her. I smiled because I know somewhere in her all the commotion of moving she hasn't had time to be excited, but know it will come soon. I thought about a talk I had the day before with an ex professor about writing. I thought about how I missed writing and needed to do it more and how she was right. The fall of my writing was over and I could feel spring coming as I tried to work out the beginning of a story beginning in a book store. I tried not to think about the two old tattooed vatos sitting outside their house staring at me as I peddled by. I also tried not to jump when I heard the loud deep bark of a big dog echo across the street only to follow me down the block. I thought and I thought. What street to go down next. Who lived in that house that looked emptied out and hollow. I imagined they were as sad as the house and sat each night watching shows like Honey Boo Boo and The Bachelor.

As the sky darkened, I started to peddle back home. I peddled hard, racing down the flat terrain of  east side El Paso, and wished I lived farther west so I could test my skills on a bike there, then wobbled a bit as I hit a rock. Maybe I should I test the skills when I have a bit more.  As I pulled into the driveway, my skin moist in the desert night air, I looked down at my bike, and thought, If only everything was like riding a bike.   


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Listas de Colombia

Number of hours spent traveling: 20
Days spent in Colombia: 29
Cazuela de frijoles comidas: 2
Tres Cordillera cervezas tomadas: 15
Shots of aguardiente shots I turned away: 6
Shots of aguardiente I couldn't turn away: 4
Veces que usé tenso equivocado en español: unknown
Ceviches I ate: 6
Days at the beach: 4
Micheladas: 10
Showers taken: 58
Sunblock application: 10
Usos de la palabra chevre: 5
People asked why I was a brown gringa: 4
Times I was offended by this: 0
Times people thought I was Colombian until I spoke: unknown
Apologies made on behalf of United States for Donald Trump: 1
Explanation of the El Paso/Juarez border: 5
Uso de la frase, "ese man": 20
Photos taken: 88
Veces que escuchú salsa: infinito
Ramen from Formosa restaurant eaten: 3
Max number of hours of speaking only Spanish before mouth and brain hurt: 4
New tattoo: 1
Book read: 1
Books started and left unfinished: 1
Reruns of CSI: Miami watched on AXN: 20
Ubers rides: 15
Chicharonnes eaten: 12
Jaras de …