I’m sure a lot of things bent but luckily nothing broke when I went over the handlebars of my bicycle. I began riding a bicycle again three years ago. I had ridden, as have most, as a child, but gave it up as it wasn’t cool after age 12. So it was 52 years later that that I took it up again. And it is cool now, if you ride the right bike and wear the right clothes. When doing research on bicycles after I had purchased mine, I found I had the type you weren’t supposed to get. Other riders seemed to feel sorry about the whole thing as if they'd heard my whole family had died in a fire.
Even if I had a cool bike, I couldn’t be cool because high sixties, and I’m not talking temperature here, isn’t cool. You would think that with a helmet and sunglasses, your age would be difficult to ascertain, but as an inebriated Canadian Indian gentleman I rode by said, “Hey old guy!” He likely wanted to discuss the upcoming election, but I wisely rode on.
As a result of the fall, (both shins scraped, shoulder scraped and bruised, three fingers bloody, very sore knee), I have a limp. It will go away in a few days I hope, but today I had to go to the hardware store. I really didn’t want to limp in public. I’m almost 70, so I’m sometimes treated like I haven’t known what day it was for some time. It is true that sometimes I don’t know what day it is, but I’m retired and have learned that it is no longer important to know what day it is as well as what time it is, or how many cookies I’ve had. But I feared that, with the limp, it would look like I was lost, or had stolen away from an old folks home, or was shopping for a TV guide. I haven’t been this self-conscious since I would get noticeable erections in my tight jeans in high school. Of course, the tight jeans are a thing of the past.
So, when the limp goes away, I will continue to pretend I’m not old really. I will pretend I don’t hear what the waitress says because she mumbles. I will pretend I can’t remember the word “ pelican” because they don’t even live around here and it’s a dumb name for a bird anyway, and it’s very close to penguin which I can remember. I will pretend I watch Lawrence Welk each week because it’s a traffic accident. And I will continue to pretend I’m still young enough to ride a bicycle.