Solitude : Timed Writing
I spend most days alone. I work at home adding features or fixing bugs on Web sites. I do not have to speak or get dressed. Staff sends screenshots of bugs, I generally reply with a link to the fix. If I really tried, I could get through an entire day without speaking or typing English.
I try to take a break to ride my bicycle for an hour. I ride 8 or 10 miles through sparsely populated neighborhoods of expansive private homes. When I was a teenager, I rode laps around semi-dangerous Prospect Park with a group of fellows. I would rather ride alone. I want to be able to stop when I want, coast when I want.
My worst bicycle injury was not caused by riding. I tried to move a tree that was blocking my path. It was a large tree that fell in a storm. I studied it. How many pounds of force were needed? I imagined this problem on a Physics I exam. Alas, I had no scale, fulcrum or slide rule.
I was alone in Lakeside Park on a wet weekday morning. I felt exceptionally good. I rubbed the top of my new haircut. I get the sides evened out, just like Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil is younger and larger than me, but what would he do? I decided that he would ask his chauffeur to move it. My rumimations were broken by a new drizzle. I inspected the log again. It was surrounded by mud. Although I wear a brace, I could hurt my reconstructed knee. However, it was near the top of a slope. It would roll itself away if I moved it a few inches. I kneeled down. I kept my spine straight. I took a deep breath, pushed as I exhaled.
I did not observe any movement. I saw white light. I was blinded by pain. I felt something tear in my lower back. I instinctively rubbed the painful area. When I touched the back of my bicycle shirt, I realized that I had forgotten my phone. I walked slowly, bent over, wheeling my bicycle to the nearest house. I rang the bell, thinking that nobody would answer in Brooklyn. In Lexington, I sat on a nice fellow’s front step and used his phone to call my daughter’s boyfriend. Boyfriend put my bicycle in the back of his pickup truck and drove me to the UK emergency room. Nothing was torn. I felt better after a shot. I felt worse when I received the bill. I will never try to move a log again.