I saw a foreign man riding a bicycle in my neighborhood, and it inspired this post:
One summer day, a Dutch man put on his jean shorts and went for a bike ride. Out the wicker gate he flew, peddling as fast as he could, unimpeded by inclines and worries on this bright morning. He waved to his neighbors as he whizzed past: “Hallo Greta! Hallo Pieter! Hallo Klaas!” Off he sped into the calm tilled farmland of the low country, a collage of yellow and varied greens underneath a familiar powder blue sky.
He slowed down once he made it past the last obvious vestiges of civilization and was left to silent contemplation of the surrounding cultivated greenery. The questions that had seemed so important to him in the city faded away as he was confronted with the unchanging cycle of the world around him, a rhythm that would precede and outlast him by millennia. Who was he on this green earth, a peach colored pinpoint in a landscape that stretched beyond the crusty surface of the world and into the stars? The wind tickled the tops of the green things all around, and the world answered his question very clearly in a language he could never understand.
His bike rolled along lazily, savoring the pavement. He came upon an intersection. He looked both ways and then proceeded to pass through it. At that very moment he was sucked into a vortex more powerful than both time and space, and was teleported to Zoharia Street in Mohandiseen, Cairo, along with his name brand sunglasses and jean shorts. 20 feet away and at the same time, I was returning with toilet paper from our local mini-mart and I saw this foreign apparition as he sailed along on his bike, oblivious to the world around him. No doubt he hadn’t time to recognize the sudden change of scenery or had so completely engrossed himself in contemplation of tree fluffiness that he was incapable of seeing the reality around him.
I distinctly remember he was not whistling. But still, he carried a whistle-y air about him, something that made everything else seem like an afterthought. Away he passed, out of sight and back to the re-entrance vortex where he could once again continue his summer thoughts. I thought I saw the air shimmer around him with the last preserved summer rays, but then the moment was gone, and I went home, trudged up the 5 flights stairs with my toilet paper, and began making dinner.