So call it gloating. It’s my moment of superiority.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity.
I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Call me serenity. Music saleswoman Elena Koniaraki, 39, rides her bicycle between cars at a central street in Athens July 11, 2012. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

I’ll make this short and sweet. Short and sweet, like my trip home on evenings like this.

So it’s a Friday, and a payday at that. So most everyone with bulging pockets are rushing out of their workplaces—as if they were running away from a fearsome monster.

So hordes of them are trooping to their favorite TGIF foodie corners and weekend hideaways—the farther away from the feared work monster, the better.

So nearly all major thoroughfares and all decent sidestreets are clogged with private SUVs and cabs and public vans jostling each other, battling for every inch of bumper space, filling up every square foot of road, forgetting all traffic rhyme and reason, fighting the flow of time and season, just so their human contents can hope to gain an extra hour to fritter away elsewhere.

So the raging concrete rivers of rubber tires and shiny chrome and silver sleek fenders grind to a standstill—a gridlock as stolid as concrete, crisscrossing the urban dystopia like a fearsome monster, as the Gods of Concrete intended concrete rivers to be.

So here I am, a nondescript person in nondescript T-shirt, denims and sandals, a stodgy hiker’s pack on my back, riding a grimy purple mountain bike, wearing a helmet repainted red (for the heck of it) that’s been with me for 15 years.

So here I am, a nameless bike rider, nimbly zipping and zapping, sometimes zigzagging, through those narrowing strips of free road space.

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

Now hopping onto and off sidewalks and driveways, now treading across a gravelly parking lot, now gliding defensively in the shadow of hulking vans. Now slowly inching through gutter and curb, now sprinting fast across an oddly vacant intersection, until the familiar freedom of tree-lined neighborhood unfolds into view.

A twist of the bolted gate, a turn of a padlock key, and my bike is at rest. A minute later, and my feet are at rest.

So here I am, feasting on plain rice and Ilocos batchoy (which is much more plebeian than batchoy La Paz, I assure you) while I compose this blog inside my head.

So at this moment, most everyone with bulging pockets and silver-fendered SUVs are still racing to beat that relentless tick-tock of time so they can fritter it all away in food and drink and banter and laughter, elsewhere in the darkening urban dystopia.

So I don’t know about their current state of mind. But I’m at home, at peace, and so is my bike.

It’s my supreme moment of superiority. Call it gloating. I don’t care. I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar. Me and my bike. Call us serenity. #

Leave a Reply