joker... F-ing Joker!

Monday was the first day of school for my boys
we took our bikes... we rode a short ride to school and a longer ride home

it was not the "perfect moment" that I was trying to create
there had been some conflict with my younger son and my self over something that happened at the Ice Cream Truck that showed up at the park
it was a misunderstanding
his emotions were real but unfounded
yet these emotions caused enough strife that our post school bike ride was less than pleasant
it was nothing but the time between Point A and Point B
the normal tendency is to enjoy the ride home
there was no pleasure to be had on this ride

half way home... just after we crossed the Duke Ellington Bridge feeding into Adams Morgan we stopped at a convenience store
there I tried to set things straight
it is too much to get into... it was not a bribe... it was... it was
oh... never mind... it was a pint of ice cream

the dispute was settled
but no ice cream was eaten on the spot
Grant bought the ice cream for later
the ice cream could be eaten after dinner for desert

with issues settled we pedaled on
this put me more at ease
not so much because of my son's feelings or the fact that we were at odds
but because I felt that he would be riding more safely and more responsive to my instructions

we rode forward mixing sidewalks and streets
riding where things were more safe
riding where things made more sense
sharing the space while trying to move fluidly

when we hit the Mount Pleasant main street the boys rode on the red brick sidewalk while I rode in the street
it can be congested on the sidewalk
but my boys can move through pretty well

in fact... my kids are more aware of their surroundings than those around them
cell phones... and head phones
illogical footsteps
my kids weave through it all

I ride in the street spotting for them
riding just ahead and making sure that they can pass over alleyways and drive ways without stopping
there is the instruction to stop at each corner
unless I call out that it is free and clear

at the corner of Lamont and Mount Pleasant my boys take a left on the sidewalk in front of Don Juan's
the sidewalk madness was behind us
we moved past the people milling about on the main street and rolled into the neighborhood
in the crosswalk I call out to the kids to keep rolling because there are no cars coming
then onto Lamont Street I ask the boys if they want take the alley or the street

Dean and Grant opt for the alley and I select the street
in this era of the helicopter parent I try to give my boys some space
as stressful as it can be... I let my boys out of my sight
I stay on Lamont Street and they ride in the alleyway between Lamont Street and Park Road

as we part ways Grant calls out saying it is a race
we each separate and accelerate in our own directions
I pass in front of the house I lived in with Lisa when we first got married and the boys pass behind it
they pass behind it without me so they do not have to hear me say... "I used to live there"
I do not go that fast... I am not really racing... I am not trying to beat them
yes... I picked up the pace
but I did not try to win this race

right onto 18th Street
then halfway down the block
I get to the alleyway at the same time as Dean
it is declared A TIE!

Grant was right on Dean's tale so we called it a three way tie.

here the boys stay on the sidewalk while I am in the street
but when we get to the red light at the corner of 18th Street and Park Road I call the boys to take the space by my side
as we watch traffic zip by I alert them to the time on the crosswalk
letting them know when it will be out time to go

we get ready
we wait for the light
but when the light changes I make sure that the boys know to not only pay attention to the light being Green but also to it being safe and clear to go

as we pass the house that my friend Norm grew up in
the same house I saw Madhouse play in when Norm turned 16
we got ready to split off again
there is another alley

just as the boys were about to turn left a cyclist split the three of us

the boys peel away... no blood... no foul...
I do not alter my pace
but I continue on my way
I look at the cyclist in front of me

he turns left which is the direction I am headed anyway
I look at his helmetless head
I look at his running shoes on his Speedplay pedals
I look at his business casual on the saddle of a very clean and new road bike

he looked like a clean cut frat boy joker
like an extra on the cast of friends
okay... he looked like someone I did not like
because... because I did not like him

I did not like how he passed us
I did not like how close he was to me on my bike
I especially did not like how close he was to my kids on their bikes

he pulled off and got on the sidewalk
I yelled something...
he said something back...
I said something about passing my kids

I tried to not let my heart rate get up
I tried to put him behind me before I got to the kids
when I got to the boys I asked them if they saw the guy on the red bike
not sure if they had noticed
but basically... had I turned left we would have crashed and collided
under no situation would that be an intelligent pass

neither racing nor riding

in no case would his pass make sense

enough on this
I am going to crack open another beer and play with some images

not sure... saw a guy on a similar bike tonight in a Kelly Strategies jersey
wanted to see if it was him
wanted to ask him if he knew if he was a total JOKER or not

in raising my kids...
I am trying to raise my kids so when they drive a car... when they ride a bike.... when they walk down the sidewalk
that they do not behave like the idiots and assholes I deal with every day

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