Martina tapped the monocycle into first and released her grip on the clutch like it was a branding iron hoping she’d timed the gas well enough. It was a slick move she executed all the time from second to third on her bike, but first from a stand still on the mike. Her maneuver worked, and she throttled up afraid she would wobble out on the sand if she didn’t get some speed. The acceleration pulled her seat forward and she found herself watching the horizon past her thighs till her velocity flattened out and she settled back to level. Martina didn’t hear Franklin calling after her.
She expected steering to be impossible or at least hard, but once she was rolling she found keeping the hoop on a straight course was the challenge. She leaned into a wide right circle without dropping speed, sat up straight, then leaned to the left to bring the monocycle back to her original direction. Martina wanted to skid the thing to a stop but already had enough experience to know doing so wouldn’t end well. Instead she slipped her hand off the throttle and felt the momentum suck her up into the wheel to where she was looking at the ground past her toes this time.
Can’t hardly write a prelude one day without writing the actual lude the next.
The sign outside the shop said “Fat Bert’s Hoops”. A brass bell on a string clingled when Dad opened the door and held it for me to go in.
The showroom displayed hoops up front. The best models against the windows circling left and right of our entrance with an aisle between them. Three rows of hoops to the left on the short side of the showroom. Four rows of hoops on the right with a few treads at the back. The shop arranged the wheels like church pews going up to a parts counter that served as the alter. Deep-from-the-earth smells of grease, oil, and rubber lingered like incense.
“I’ll be with you in a moment,” the man behind the counter intoned. Dad half-waved and nodded like he knew what he was doing. I did too.
My attention lighted on the nearest hoop: a sleek street racer with a yellow body and pulse red highlights. These are the ones you lay down in with your chest on the tank and your face in the vid.
“No way, kiddo.”
“I know Dad, but we’ve got all afternoon to look.”
“Look! The vid even has a chase-cam view. I read about how they do that. Blending the fore and aft cams on the fly to produce a 3d view that looks like it’s from above and behind the hoop.”
I’m not too proud of the last day’s effort. I’ve also not been in the mood. Early on I would muddled through, but these past many weeks I’ve given up, given in, or plain not given a shit. I’ve moved on.
Not altogether. Not for good. Just at that time I’ve moved on. A variety of uninteresting things conspired lately to make that easier for me. I let them.
The first object I meant to paint with words here goes untouched. Not a post, not a sentence, not an allusion, not a word exists to suggest I ever held the idea. I keep the object hidden from view uninked untyped so I don’t mar the object and so that you don’t read my marring.
Protecting the object makes sense. Leaving it unintroduced allows me to write it when I finally feel up to the task. Till when I finally feel good enough to paint it well with the words of an experienced writer. Except one thousand days never meant to be about safety or keeping any topic untouched. What I’m doing here meant to uncork a new bottle of interesting each day, swig it down, then move on. Why would one vintage remain unopened for so long?
Some topics reside in my thoughts as hybrids between feelings and pictures. A picture I can translate into a scene. Same with a snip of dialogue. Or even a name. These hybrids—there are more than the one at hand—trip me up because they are potent seeds. Special seeds unlimited to a single plant. Seeds meant to grow a whole forest or glade or garden or patch, but not just one simple thing. I’d rather not waste them.
Which is dumb.
I’m wasting them now by hording them.
But I’m wasting quite a few. Each one of the half-stories, scenes, or paragraphs here that trail off after a flourish of writing are the same as these hybrids. They just got further along before I recognized their potential and shutdown to protect them from my stubby clumsy words.
Lately and long ago I read that writing is about taking risks. I don’t know what that means. Using big words? Using strange tenses? Atypical persons? Risque topics? Swear words when you know you Mom is reading? Writing humor when you know you’re not funny? Romance when you’re satisfied? Writing about one thing instead of one thousand?
I’ll drag these precious hybrids into the light. Tear them up or tear them down. Maybe that’s a risk. Maybe it’ll be worth taking.