JOURNAL: Inner Monologue While Riding a Bike from Highland Park to Chinatown
Oh dear. These tires are flat and there are cobwebs.
(Grabs a rag)
Well that’s much nicer. Cleaner bike. Who’s gonna even notice the dirt on my bike? I’m gonna be zipping by so fast c’mon.
(Grabs the bike pump)
Which hole does this bike nipple go on again? Ah. This hole. heheh.
Ugh. When did I get so weak? This...pump...is...so hard...to push...when the tire is full.
Great. The bike’s ready. I gotta put on a bra now?
Boy. What a nice day. I wonder if it’s hot. Is it gonna be hot? Ugh. It’s gonna be hot. I’m gonna sweat.
(Goes to bathroom)
Fuck it. I’ma put on makeup. Ima sweat but Ima look cute when I get to the cafe. People are gonna see this.
(Puts on makeup)
This is useless. It’s all melting off anyway.
(Changes into bike clothing)
Is my cleavage showing? Do I want my cleavage to show? The v on this shirt is intense.
Did I pee yet? Do I need to pee? Should I drink a lot of water? I need to drink a lot of water.
(Puts on helmet)
Why is my head so big? My head hurts. This helmet hurts. Why do I want to be so safe?
(Puts water bottle into backpack)
God, my backpack is so heavy.
(Puts on shoes)
I could totally bail RIGHT NOW. NO ONE WOULD KNOW.
My bike would. It’s ready to go.
(Walks out the gate and onto the sidewalk)
Why do these maintenance workers always prop open our condo gate? Ugh.
(Hops onto the bike and checks the phone)
1:33pm. If I survive I should be in Chinatown a little after 2.
(Gets into a stride onto the right hand side of the road. A little naked toddler in the front yard of an apartment yells and gestures)
Hiiiii!!!! Where are your parents? God.
Oh good. It’s so nice today. I’m glad I’m riding.
(Hits a pothole)
(Gnat flies into mouth)
(Hits main downhill ride)
Please don’t hit me. I’m not stopping at Stop signs. This decline is too good. Please don’t hit me. Please don’t hit me.
(Checks Google map on phone)
Where do I turn again?
(Looks up to see a car. Almost drops the phone with her left hand.)
(Puts phone in left pocket again)
This is nice. Oh look. A nice row of houses. These two middle-aged black ladies are neighbors and talk to each other.
These crossing guards look bored.
The wind feels great on my skin. Wait. Is my makeup falling off? Am I gonna look like a wax sculpture?
My thighs are powerful! My thighs are great! Ow. Uphill? My thighs hurt. Lactic acid burns.
This big red van is giving me plenty of room to ride as they passed me. That’s so nice.
That truck of guys drove past me and looked at me. Wait. Is my shirt down?
(Looks down quickly)
Phew. Nope. They just probably noticed how big my head is in this largest helmet that they had on sale.
Yes! Turn right here. Um. Wait. This is a wall!
(Looks up to see a over the freeway walkway)
Shit. I gotta ride up that thing? At least the ride up is a huge spiral coil. No steps.
Ugh. Incline. Ugh. Incline. Ugh. Push through. Ugh. Pretend this is a spin class but real. Ugh. And free. Ugh. And no migraine inducing lights and thumpthump music. Ugh. That’s old urine I smell. Great. I made it...to the stale urine in this pedestrian bridge with no pedestrians. Dear god, it’s the Pee of Drunkards past. Cough. Cough. Breath through the mouth. The mouth.
Yes! Downhill slope back to the street! The street!
Well this is a tiny 5 freeway adjacent neighborhood that time forgot. These are tiny houses and look at the lovely little Latino kids walking home from school…
(Hears loud cackling)
Holy crap that is one loud Cantonese-yelling family! Goodness gracious Asians be loud!
(Still riding away)
I can’t believe I can still hear that little Canto-family from here. There are extra Asians in Lincoln Heights.
Oh my god. The lane is closed. Everyone is driving so close to me ugh my elbows are gonna get knocked off oh lord crossing train tracks.
Ow. My crotch hurts.
Phew. Made it to the neighborhood. This is like the way backalley of Chinatown. Sadface. Three homeless encampments within just this quarter mile stretch.
(Catches a gap and falls face first into the trunk of a parked car)
<<<HAHAH JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING>>>
Where is this cafe anyway?
(Check’s Google maps)
It says Chinatown but it looks like industrial Chinatown.
If this was night time I’d be afraid to stop.
Oh good. Here we are! A tiny strip mall next to a huge wholesale complex.
(Wait’s to make a left into the plaza until after the police car drives past. Holds up left hand to show left turn)
I’m such a good girl.
Ooh. Cafe. Here you are.
(Walks into cafe)
Face. Not melted.
Back out. Iced coffee please.
(Looks up at menu)
Green tea brick toast?! Yes!
(Looks up at staff. All hipster white guys.)
Whachoo know ‘bout brick toast?!
(Young Filipina lady walks behind the counter from a table in the cafe with an empty pyrex glass container)
Oh. She works here. BRICK TOAST, PLEASE.