Sarcasm in the Underworld
In Which I Somehow Get Lost One Mile From My HouseThere are few things on Earth crueler than a 5:30 am January bike ride.
It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s early. You’re tired. No one is out, except for the one vehicle necessary to run you over in the middle of the dark because neither of you can see, think, or care about another human being properly. No knowledge of Earth-saving or gas-saving or “I have to do this or I’m not going to have a locker for second semester” are sufficient to make the ride bearable.
Also, I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to make “Party in the USA” standard 5 am radio fare, but it’s stuck in my head, and I hate all of you.
In my everlasting brilliance, I’d forgotten a jacket and the light for my bike. Thus my thoughts ping-ponged between my hatred of myself, hatred of my school, hatred of biking, hatred of winter, hatred of Miley Cyrus, hatred of morning, hatred of lockers, hatred of bunnies and rainbows and happiness and did I mention that I hate my school?
This left me very little thinking room for where I was going.
There are exactly three turns in my ride to school. Go on B and turn onto Coloma. Go on Coloma and turn onto H. Go on H and turn onto I. A retarded six-year old could find their way through this. I know this, because I’d been going the same route since kindergarten. But I missed my turn onto H, and what do you know, I was lost.
I wasn’t even two miles from my house.
I slowed to a stop once I realized I’d missed my turn onto H, and was now well past J street. Lovely. I didn’t spend a lot of time past J Street, and it was dark, and I was too blind to see a white elephant tango parade, let alone a street sign.
Just turn around, Styles. Find H Street. This is not rocket science. This is not GPS-requiring activity. This is “Can you follow a straight line?” thinking.
But that’s how I think three weeks after the tragedy on ten hours of sleep. This is more how my thought process works on five hours of sleep:
Wow, I’m way past J Street. I think. What street am I on? Did I pass J? How the hell did I pass J Street without noticing it? It’s got four lanes of traffic and three-hour stoplights. There’s no way I’m that unobservant.
Yes. Yes, you are. Just admit it and move on.
I need to find a street sign.
It’s 5:45 am and you need to be at school in ten minutes. YOU DO NOT NEED A STREET SIGN.
I’m going to follow this random street twenty minutes away from my school until I find an intersection with a street sign.
The sad part is how this is just the begining of my Odyssey of Stupidity.
So, I started going in the general direction of my school, although on the wrong street, so of course I had to hit a dead end. The world just loves me that much.
I started to turn around, brilliantly lodged my front tire in a curbside drain, jerked up onto the handlebars, flipped over the handlebars, landed on my palm, which slid until I crashed onto my back, and just watched as my bike collapsed onto my face.
I think that morning was just 13 years of pent-up karma, right there.
I shoved my bike off my face and just sort of lay there for a good two minutes, knowing that I needed to stand up but in far too much pain to do much about that knowledge. My palm, wrist, arm, back, and most of my face were all vying to win “Most Ridiculously Painful,” but the “I’m Not Really That Stupid” part of my brain left them all in the dust.
At least I still had an arm.
I finally gained the courage to open my eyes and start to stand up. But everything looked the same.
Either the sun had died, or my bike had blinded me. Blinded me. I was...no. No way. I was not going to deal with this.
I thrust my hands in front of my face and could just barely see them, because apparently I’m so white I’m even visible to the blind. No. That was ridiculous. I wasn’t blind. My eyes didn’t even hurt; the bike had mostly scratched up my cheek and bashed up my nose.
So, we’re going to go with the “I blew up the sun” theory.
I stood up and pulled at my bike and started to walk forward very carefully. I couldn’t see much, but I could hear the difference. My footsteps echoed off a hollow, non-asphault-sounding ground, my bike chain rattled and echoed as well, and there were no sounds of cars, streetlights, buses, anything...silence. Everything sounded smaller and emptier.
Then there was light.