It would seem that I found my new bicycle in a swamp but I actually bought it from my neighbor. Atiya and I sat on his couch silently, which he had requested through a series of exaggerated gestures, while he loudly consoled a movie director over the phone.
"It's not your vision, you know? You feel pressure to go with them because they're the first to bite, but, you know, if they were so quick to jump on the project they'll still be interested later. If they're not who you want, they're not who you want. I'm working on a project right now, sort of a lower budget thing, and we're in talks with Jerry Stiller, you know, you never know who's gonna be interested."
Atiya and I listened intently and then mouthed jokes about his furniture. To be fair, he had nice armoires and shelving units and an old set of Thesaurus-and-Rhyme-Dictionary, but he also had a small framed poster of The Fountainhead, whose lighthearted end-moral about compromising your morals and artistic drive for the sake of true happiness [by way of cashing-in] contradicted what we were overhearing.
"O.K. girls," he said when he eventually retrieved us. He lead us to his shed, out of which he was selling 20 or 25 old roadsters. Atiya coo-ed at the sight one of the yellow bicycles. "This is a little project I got on the side with my friend Jimmy," he explained.
"Cool, Jimmy," I thought. "I'll bring it up to him next time I see him."
"But yeah," he continued, "I'm pretty sure this is the only bike I have at that price."
The one I'd come for was the cheapest, heaviest, and although not necessarily the oldest, it certainly had the most rust per alumina.
It's a 1973 or 1974 Schwinn Suburban and it rides like its wheels are made out of smooth boulders. At a slight incline, the pedals resist as though I'm riding it out of the swamp for the very first time. Although it's probably dangerous for long distances, it's excellent as a non-stationary exercise machine.
Today I stopped the bike to let a neighbor cross the street in front of me. I'd never seen him before but upon hearing the bicycle stop he remarked, "Quiet bike."
Get it? Get it? It's because the breaks sound like a newborn banshee.