This piece is by Rose, a new addition to the PDXX Collection and our resident yoga rock star and student of life. Stay tuned for more contributions from Rose about her Portland discoveries.
The following is a flash of biking wisdom from her:
Despite that it could be way more dire, it’s colder than I’ve prepared for and so I’m grateful to move my body up this hill; gratitude for the internal heat I can generate as we glide together, my bike and me, up the asphalt incline.
A hipster kid passes me, but he’s not a jerk about it and, well, I ride slowly sometimes. My bike doesn’t fit me perfectly and I’m inclined, generally, towards a more leisurely way of being. This life pace is a little slower than most it sometimes seems, but one where I can actually feel experiences and permit myself time and space to interpret the incessant reception of sensory data. It’s a luxury, I know, but I often wonder how people manage to live otherwise.
I keep pace with him pretty naturally and the whimsy of traffic lights links us together, past the bus stop outside of Tiny’s, past the kung fu studio where the class is full of a melange of people sparring and laughing, past that big Burnside intersection where if you don’t up gears, you might just lose the light at Couch.
I am studying him now and falling in love with his vintage Adidas, his white sports socks capped with navy strips and his blue, orange, and yellow color block jacket. He’s wearing shorts out here, but he bikes like he’s learned how to build heat too. There are skills one must develop to survive here on the frontier.
I used to have a jacket like that, when I was five, maybe, in the early 80s, when I didn’t know a thing about just how much the world can kick your ass sometimes.
I miss the light as he sails through. I know nothing of this stranger besides my rearview admiration. And the seamless severing of the momentary rhythm we shared enlivens my resolve to tell him how much I appreciate his thoughtful ensemble, should we have the good fortune to once again meet up.
We reunite around the tennis courts, across from the Franz factory where the redolent scent issuing from it makes me want to just lie down in a warm pillow of dough–gluten intolerance be damned–and I casually offer, “Hey, I really like your jacket.”
He turns back for a moment, looks me in the eye and smiles. “Hey, thanks. Really.”
Fifty more feet and he’s turning the corner. “Have a good one,” a last well wish before we part ways.
“You as well, sir.” I give him a salute and carry on my way.