Tales of a Bike Shop: Wrath and Urgency

Tales of a Bike Shop: Wrath and Urgency

A Story by RLHJ

At least when it’s busy, you don’t think about the nice weather waiting on the other side of that door. There’s not much time to think; even staying angry at morons can take more time or energy than you have.

 

If you show up half an hour before you’re supposed to open, maybe you’re lucky enough to miss most of the a******s that can’t read posted hours. They tug on the locked door. They scream “F**k!” They peer through the window, press their greasy faces against the glass.

 

If you’re unlucky, they see you, bang on the door, want you to open it up for them.

 

“Oh, I just need a tune-up.”

 

Doesn’t matter that you’ve been backed up with repairs for over a week. Doesn’t matter that you can’t get it done in fifteen minutes.

 

Doesn’t even matter to them that you’re not even open. And that you’re getting things done that you have to have done before the drunks, and bourgeoisie from the neighboring towns, start to gather in anticipation of click and thunk of the lock�"doesn’t matter.

 

The annoying drunks come by bike, sometimes on foot. Some of them might not be drunks. Maybe they’re drug addicts. Maybe they’re just crazy.

 

The ones you have to look out for�"they always come by car. The rich ones, the addicts, the mentally unstable religious zealots; everyone wants to talk down to you because you’re young, you’re unshaven, and sometimes you have long hair. Every one of them doesn’t want to believe a word that comes out of your mouth because they see you the same way they a used car salesman, or a hooker, working a lot.

 

Sell, sell, sell.

 

One day, I tell guy that I’m sorry, but we can’t do the work on his bike because it’s unsafe to ride. I explain that we could do the work, but we’ll have to do additional work as well. He tells us how in his country they know how to make things work.

 

I tell him I’m sorry and that I get that, because I’ve lived in other countries as well, and people are much better at stretching the limitations of a budget; better at making things work, rather than throwing things away and buying something new. I understand that a disposable society this is. I understand that the American Dream has different meaning for the haves and the have-nots. My father came from another country. He’s worked construction into his fifties, and he does what he can for my brother and I. So yeah, I get it.

 

This wild-eyed man with the bicycle, he tells me I don’t understand. He yells that the wrath of god will strike me down. I tell him there are no gods I believe in and that life is simply a series of interactions.

 

I call the police.

© 2011 RLHJ


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Added on September 29, 2011
Last Updated on September 29, 2011

Author

RLHJ
RLHJ

Grand Rapids



About
Bikes. Pictures. Words. These are a few of my favorite things. In the last three years, I've moved about five times in three different states. I hate people from California. I'm from Michigan. I li.. more..

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A Story by RLHJ


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A Story by RLHJ


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A Story by RLHJ