Ode to the Beltline
Once I raced you there. I had only had my car a couple of days, and you were almost ready to leave your bike for a semester at school, and we raced there. It was fifteen minutes or so before I had to be at work, and my hair was up, my collar was popped. The radio was off and the windows were down. I could hear your engine behind me, in front of me, beside me, and I could feel you sneering through the tinted plexi-glass of your “badass” helmet. You won.
Once I decided to always drive all the way down. Decided to drive down past the exit for North Ave Beaches and under the Colchester bridge. I know that it’s out of my way, that in reality it is a waste of gas and a cause for pollution, but I do it every time. I always go all the way down. You told me it was faster once and even though I know that is not true I still believed you. I still go that way. I still take the long way home, no matter how tired I am or where I am coming from or where that little red lever is dancing over that ominous “E” on my dash. I go all the way to that light at the end every time.
Once I rode there with your mom. The first time I was out so late I couldn’t just walk back or call my mom. I rode down with your mom, to the North Ave Beaches exit ramp and we talked about the weather and how quickly fall was coming and how early it was getting dark. She and I were all alone, both covering up our secrets and telling ourselves our reasons at fifty miles an hour. She didn’t want to think that you and I are a different breed of people, she didn’t want to know that even though there are only four miles between your house and mine we live in completely different worlds. She didn’t really want to leave her bold and stylish South End home for another one of those off-white paneled house on the other side of that road.
Once I fell in love with you. Then again, and again and again. And once you became so comfortable, and so exciting all at the same time, that you became my tires kissing the yellow line, at fifty miles an hour.