I left the house early with a backpack full of food. I wanted that mental edge that I was going hard before everyone else. It was cold and the streets were empty as I went through the city, then I hit the incline and started up. There’s a big difference between a little bit of push, sometimes. When you let the tension out you save what you need and don’t lose anything really.
I heard a bike coming behind me and a guy blew past me and up the hill. He was going fast. The back of his shirt said in big letters NO ONE IS ILLEGAL ON STOLEN LAND. He had cleats and I only had Velcro over my feet. I kept my pace, though. I wasn’t going to catch him and I had a long way to go. I stayed like that up the first climb. I wished I was running, but my body was breaking down.
I got near the top of the first peak and I saw the Stolen Land guy round a bend ahead of me. I didn’t understand. He should’ve been way farther up. I decided to push the pace a little. I could cut it back later.
I got to the last incline and he was there inching up the hill. As I got closer I could see what I’d taken for muscle was really a bulky kind of chubbiness. He had all the fancy gear. I closed in on him and I could hear him wheezing. As I got alongside him he slowed down more to show me he wasn’t trying.
“Pussy.” I said as I passed. I was going too fast for him to respond. My feet beat up the pedals. I made the turn and started on the next leg. The road was well paved. I made it over that leg and up to the next one and then I was at the top of the hills looking down. I’d been up here so many times it’d lost its beauty a bit. It made me kind of sad. When I was sixteen I could come up here for hours and sit with a book and stare.
I hit the fountain. There were groups of people out, mostly with kids, who wanted to ride the little trains up here. I saw a young mother with a toddler and a man. The man put his arm around the woman’s waist. I biked out. I started down. It was kind of cold because I was sweaty. I decided to go out farther than I’d gone before.
I biked all the way down the other side of the hills until I was on a road nobody used. I felt low after looking at that young mom. I’m just going to be homeless. No money or woman or way to have a family. A loner in a lonely maze. I hate this shit. The road was rough and my balls kept hitting the seat. I had to pee but I knew I might need to drink my piss later so I held it.
I thought about a girl I’d argued with. I’d said her and her friends were fucking weak and she said her and her friends weren’t ‘tough like you are’, but then she explained that there are ‘different types of toughness’. I need to push until I’ve found whatever’s farthest away from these people. Something out past the brink.
‘Quirky’ people. ‘Weird’, ‘different’, ‘non-normative’—it’s all bullshit. No one is different until they do something. Get ambitious, get willpower and introspection flowing into whatever half-way qualities they do have. That’s when it’s not an arm-punch. Go on a journey—video games on one end and superman on the other. I’m not going back. Everyone’s about the same until they hit that brink. ‘Quirky’ people are riddled with anxiety that they’re actually boring.
I biked over some more hills and then I hit these bends and started down. I’m always a wimp with sharp turns but I ask myself, If I don’t slow down on this one right here, am I going to crash? and I can keep it objective that way.
I felt bitter and lonesome. My water wasn’t looking great after a few stops and neither was my food. I didn’t know how far I was going to go out anyway. Just until I got to something.
I looked at my bottle under my seat. Some people use pills and other people jump off of buildings. I don’t know any addicts and I’m afraid of heights. Running to exhaustion and dehydration on a hot day. That’s how to do it. Go get lost on the trails forever.
I saw Candice for what she was. Of course I did. It was that I was drawn to how obviously she was lying—how everything about her was rejoicing in dishonesty. There was an infinite enemy there. I’d never run out of the need to destroy her. I’m really going to kill this bitch, I thought. That’s my quest.
I got to a crossroads and took the unmarked route. I started down a steep incline. I didn’t know where the fuck I was. The sun was low in the sky.
No one gives a fuck about soul, I thought. I’m willing to die for this shit and no one even knows what the fuck I’m talking about. They don’t care.
I went Nagasaki and hit a freeway that went east-west. I biked alongside it toward the sunset until it got dark. I kept going that way until I was back home. I was cold and it was really fucking late and I put my bike in the garage and went to bed.