It is morning. You are slow-rolling off the exit ramp, nearing the end of the long-ass commute from your suburban enclave. You have seen the rise of the city grow larger and larger in your windshield as you crawled through sixteen miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic. You foolishly believed that, now that you are in the city, your hellish morning drive is coming to an end.
Just then! I emerge from nowhere to whirr past you at twenty-two fucking miles per hour, passing twelve carlengths to the stoplight that has kept you prisoner for three cycles of green-yellow-red. The second the light says go, I am GOING, flying, leaving your sensible, American, normal vehicle in my dust.
You seethe in anger that is righteous and right and patriotic.
I am a cyclist. I am here to fuck you up.
Here’s how I’m doing it: I am squeezing between your passenger side door and the curb. I am riding a hill slower than you would like me to. I am taking a second to gain momentum at the stop sign. I am doing all of this on purpose, to make you hit me, so you will be late again and it will be my fault. That is my goal, dream, purpose, the thing for which I was thrust from the womb and into this blinding sunlit world. I will only be happy when my bones are ground to dust in the road and my flesh has adhered to the asphalt and you are late for your 9:00 Meeting with the Board.
I will smile as I die literally and you die figuratively and miss your chance at that Promotion from the Board.
I am chaos. I am hell. I am on two wheels, and you are on four, and that makes me different, and that makes me an asshole. I am not in a car. I am an enemy.
We will take a corner too fast, and organic rutabagas will come jetting out of our messenger bags like missiles. They will fly through your driver’s side window, shatter the brand new laminated safety glass, hit you in the temple, damage your brain, and make you a vegan. The rutabagas will explode into shards of starchy shrapnel, and they will pierce the arms and legs of your family, and they will become vegan also.
“Lentils, not livers,” you will mutter as you emerge from your reverie, blinking wildly. “Bulgur wheat, not bulgur meat.”
Thanksgiving will be ruined and over. Fourth of July will also be cancelled. They are meat-based and American and I have destroyed them. I would run over them, if I could. I would run them over with the wheels of my bicycle. But they are days and thus abstractions and unfortunately cannot be literally destroyed that way.
Here is a list of other things I run over, when I get the chance:
(1) private school children
(2) your practical Lexus SUV
(3) loving white couples visiting the city from Nicechester or Cuddleville or wherever it is that you live
(4) loving elderly white couples visiting the city from the retirement community also in Nicechester or Cuddleville
(4a) aka, versions of you, when you get old
(4b) this may be the elderly couple’s last visit to the city before a calm, unmedicated American death, and I am eager to ruin it
(5) swing-state moderates who have recently googled Scott Walker.
(6) beloved family Labradors
(7) the Christlike
Got that? Keeping up? I don’t care. I am moving too quickly to care.
Because now, it’s quiz time!
Question 1. Ding-ding-ding! Say now, what’s that sound? Coming from directly behind you? Could it be:
(A) me, informing you without words that you and your children have exited your sensible Lexus SUV and have chosen to congregate in my bike lane, where I am currently operating a vehicle? Or!
(B) Literal hell’s bells. I am last-minute summoning Satan, who will drag you into eternal fire after I crush your bones beneath my mighty wheels.
Question 2. Tk-tk-tk-tk-tk! Say now, what’s that sound? Coming from behind and slightly to the right? Could it be:
(A) the sound of me pedaling past you in the designated bike lane? Or!
(B) Morse code to summon hundreds of my communist, socialist, anarchist, antichrist peers to ruin your day by also being on bicycles near your practical Lexus SUV?
The answer to both is B.
Yes; the whirr of our wheels is the sound of the wingbeats of a thousand locusts. We are swarm. We are coming. From the north, from the south, from the east, from the west. To be near you, and to be not in a car.
To dismantle life as you know it.