The Bike

6 Oct

The pressure is on. I have to be at work and I have Devon with me.

One day I leave him by himself at the Sunset Boulevard hotel we’re booked into. My company has a barter arrangement so I’m getting two nights free of charge. I give Devon $10 and a card for a complimentary cappuccino in the lobby. Devon aces the day, dealing with being alone and wandering a block from the hotel to buy a burrito from a panel truck selling cheap meals to Mexicans.

The second day I drive him 60 miles to Ventura. I give him $20 and tell him to make it last and meet me at Tony’s pizzeria at 6:30. It’s a weird day, wondering if I’m being crazy and irresponsible. Ann would kill me if she knew.

When I drive up to Tony’s that evening Devon is waiting for me. He’s got a rattle-trap bike he bought for $12. He tells me he spent the whole day riding around Ventura. Bought a paperback for a buck. Met a few colorful characters. And when he got hassled by a posse of kids he turned the tables by using his verbal wit, confusing them until they fled.

I took my first deep breath of the day.

(2005)

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