He saw the bike through the bus window. Not locked; just sitting there perched on one of those 'V' kickstands in front of a store. Somebody could steal that, he thought. I could steal that, if I weren't on this bus.

Then he grinned impishly. Why not?

The bus was immobile, stuck behind a line of cars. This gave him the time to focus his attention and make a link.

First he lifted up the kickstand, and braced the bike to keep it from falling over. Then, gently, he started it moving forward. It was a few steps above the sidewalk, so it rolled bumpily down to that level before he turned it to follow the bus, which had started to move again.

No, that wouldn't do. He envisioned pedestrians screaming and diving out of the way; he didn't know if his control was delicate enough, and he was just having a little harmless fun and didn't want to hurt anybody. Time to do the "E.T." thing.

Pedestrians screamed and dove out of the way anyway, because he couldn't lift the bike fast enough, and then had to frantically redirect it when the bus turned the corner. But soon it was above head level. He took it up another ten feet just to be safe, even though he had to twist his neck to see it and maintain the link. He couldn't safely bring it up any farther without dropping it, which he certainly didn't want to do.

It had started to gather some attention, mostly from pedestrians, but a few motorists were craning their heads out of windows, some even getting out of their cars. He took care to keep it out of sight of the bus driver, though, so they continued to make fairly steady progress.

He was enjoying this, but it was hard work. Beads of sweat were running down his forehead. He opened the window the few inches allowed, even though he hated wind blowing in his eyes.

What was he to do with it? It would make him a bit conspicuous if it just settled down beside him and he complacently got on and rode off; on the other hand, he didn't want someone else to see it. Of course, he did happen to be carrying a bike-lock with him, newly purchased for his wife's hand-me-down bike, so he could lock it up himself, but then he'd have to get another bike lock.

Then he saw the new, half-constructed Arts Center. Of course. As the bus sat at a stoplight, he genty lofted the bike across the intersection, up another couple of stories, and into a so-far-roofless room. Not as likely to get stolen there, he reasoned.

He made his transfer at the university as usual. When someone told him about reports of a flying bicycle later, he reacted with amused skepticism.

Back to my talk.bizarre page...

The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /