Phew. What a mother of a week. Student Teaching application is now in and done. Three books read and their respective papers written, though not to my ideal standards. My personal life is a birthday party on a boat above a blood bath feeding frenzy. Might just get my suit wet. 

But here we are! Smiling, eating, breathing (sort of, re:smoke) and probably maybe sort of I think partaking in plenty of other infinitives!

Onto our first Daddy No-Woe, a (hopefully) regular column in which my father offers me advice and/or heading-worthy quotes, either for a specific situation via request or just spontaneously and at 3AM as he often does. This piece will be largely autonomous, thanks be to pa.

"I shart myself while riding my bike..."

Phone conversations with my father are brief and often one-sided. The man is excitable, he likes to talk. I'm the introvert, my mother's child. So when we spoke a few days ago, the few words I got in were, roughly paraphrased, "Gotta oil my bike. Squeaking like shit." A few days pass, and I receive the above text, dated September 22nd, 8:43AM. 

Only once have I nearly experienced a bicycle shit. We were on a family biking trip outside of Deer Lodge near Peterson Creek. My sister and I decided to take the dog and bike up the road a ways. We cover a decent distance, nearly out of the brush and see the valley open up before us. The only shrubbery around lines the roads, a popular place for the roaming cows to eat. 

Which is why I wasn't really surprised our Retriever took off into the brush. I thought he was just trying to make friends. Then that dark hump stood up. I thought I heard my sister fart before she screamed. A quick *poot* to precede and instigate her vocal cords and legs into a screaming, bicycling frenzy. The bear took off at the *poot* with a fear not unlike a reaction to the echoed clap of a gunshot. I never asked, but I'll always wonder this: Who shot first?

Fear was no precedent for my father's bicycle shit. The details of which, I know not. I imagine him: glossed maroon helmet, sweat cascading from nowhere, everywhere, legs true and intent, pedaling with the lurch of integrity, and eyes, eyes up above it all, fixated on a destination. 

Then he reaches said destination, sits down and catches his breath. He has a moment of clarity, the endorphin receptors, though less efficient than ever, have given him a gift: the text. 

Eighty miles away, my phone buzzes and I read it aloud. These are a regularity, but a regularity that arrives with an inherent newness each time. Step outside and see the mountains again for the first time. A text about bicycle shits. Same ballpark.

Comment