Candy Metallic Transport March 29, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
The bicycle leaned up against the side of the house at the back of the side alley: two flat tires, one of the struts that hold the fender missing its bolt, handle bars akimbo: cast out of its home in the back shed to join me in bachelor quarters among its new friends the cast-off couch and other odd bits of furniture; TV trays from which I ate childhood’s Swanson TV dinners while watching Flintstone reruns, unraveling canvas Jazz Fest chairs, a stained and vaguely aromatic white folding crawfish table now desk, the new futon and the finicky bedside touch lamp that flickers like a ghost detector through its three way settings as I pass.
Against the muted colors of Home Depot’s cheapest carpet and the vaguely yellow walls the gaudy whitewalls and pearlescent frame glow faintly, suggesting something toxic from another planet. The shade of green is a ghastly metallic last seen on a 1970s Plymouth Road Runner, an intentionally distant, mobile home cousin of the avocado appliance. The combination of the color and the gleaming chrome certainly makes a statement; one I’m entirely sure I agree with but—having made it—must live with.
There is nothing to do but up end the bike on its handlebars, look for a bolt for the disconnected strut, and pump up the tires. The wheels spin true as best I can tell with an untrained eye but the brakes are a mess, almost impossible to adjust so that they do not rub and still stop but I’ll have to make another attempt. Things come to me lately–the gifts of art that fills the walls, an opulent convection toaster oven from my sister, the genuine FEMA trailer couch—to fill my simple needs. I had thought about the bike, considered buying a better one than this Wal-Mart monstrosity as soon as this week when I got the call telling me to pick it up or it would go on the curb.
Something or someone means me to ride this bike, and I might as well see where it takes me.