Trick bikes are dangerous

I've been quite nostalgic lately. Especially about my brother, he is planning to move away soon. This is something that has been in the works for quite some time but the closer it gets, the stranger this fact is to comprehend.

We grew up as frenemies, we would love each other one minute, and the next minute I was showing my mom the wedgie he gave saying, 'look at what he did'. We would have the best of times and then end up in a screaming match. Mostly it was me doing the screaming. Best friends, and best enemies. We eventually grew out of that, and out of my parents' house.

He moved out before I did, because he is older than me. And if I have another person guess that he is younger, I may get botox. Honestly, he has two years and about a hundred more grey hairs than I do. He moved to the big city, and I followed after graduation, and of course we lived together. We thought it would be a temporary thing. I thought I was going to teach abroad, and I don't think he had ever planned on living in this city as long as he has. What we thought was temporary turned into ten years. It's hard to not have a few memories carved out of a total of 26 years of being roomies.

Through living together he taught me not to yell in an argument, and I taught him that the dishes can wait. He taught me patience and that a cool head will make a hot head lose it, I taught him that sleeping in is a wonderful gift from God. Ok, so it sounds like he teaches the better lessons, yet people continue to think he is younger than me (baffling).

What we both have entrenched deep within us is pride. We are both very stubborn people, he is quietly, and I'm pretty vocal about it. Our pride got the better of us even in our youth while we were out riding our other brother's trick bike.

This trick bike was the coveted piece of equipment in our house. It had pegs on the front so you could pop a wheelie and stand on the front tire. The brakes were put on by back pedalling, and there were also stands on the back wheels for doing some other cool tricks. But for us, it was great for doubling.

The roads in town had just been gravelled. This was the sign of summer. We were out riding the bike on main street. He was pedalling and I was on the back wheel standing up. It was the epitome of freedom at 9 and 11 years old. Such enjoyment and laughter put us in a blissful sense of invincibility. Then we went to turn around on the pavement, but he took it wide, hit the fresh gravel and spun out. We skidded down onto our sides in slow motion and got wicked road rash. There were a few high school kids near by that saw us wipe out. I think I saw one laugh, and when they asked if we were ok I read them as disingenuine and chose to refuse any aid. Through gritted teeth and blinding tears I said we were fine.

We were hobbling home and the town garbage man drove along side of us, by this time I was bawling as though my leg required amputation. He asked if we wanted a ride home, and our pride took over. We said, no, we're fine. I don't think I was very convincing as I sobbed the words out. Slightly screaming between breath and words. My brother walked the bike and used it as a crutch, his road rash had ripped up his hip, he couldn't see it, but the view of the mash of blood and gravel that was my calf made his hip sting more.

By the time we got home the garbage man had been by to warn my mom of the two wounded soldiers that would be arriving on her step shortly. I think I was in some form of shock because my mind draws a blank as to how we walked home. I know for certain we didn't take the ride offered to us, but somehow we made it home. I had big tears staining my face, and my poor brother had to listen to me sob as we cleaned out the wound.

After we cleaned up, we parked ourselves in front of the TV with popsicles. But because it was summer and all we had was peasant vision, COPS was the only thing on. Any time a perp got taken down our wounds would sting us, but neither of us got up to change the channel.

Oh, to be young again.

That's all.


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