Friday, January 08, 2010

El Fuego

It was a night of firsts:

• First time I ever had a guy in a car heckle me on my bike as he drove by with the exclamation, “Smells nice!”

• First time I ever affixed the top of a noble fir to my trailer flag and first time I ever carried more than one—make it three!—Christmas trees in the Haulin’ Colin trailer, (and I probably could have done one more if I’d have had more bungees).

• First time I’ve ever seen a parade of trees on bikes stretched out before me for hundreds of yards, pointy tops swaying, branches fluttering, and trunks, on at least one occasion, sounding a bass drum on a car mirror extending too far into the road.

• First time I ever got to see in person the conflagration that ensues when the dried remnants of the holiday season are piled together and set aflame and first time, from what I hear, that Lee refrained from restraining the pyromaniacal impulses of the Jobies so that it all went hotter and higher than ever before.

• First time the kid ever got to toss a dry pine onto an outdoor fire and stand back as the flames shot up into the air, igniting a showering plume of sparks to descend like ochre snowflakes against the backdrop of charcoal sky.

• First time I ever got to mingle not only with the bike gang but the family, too—and later fellow teachers—on a Thursday night mayhem; such abundance is rare.

• First time I’ve ever had anybody ask for my autograph on a photo of me—something I could sort of get used to, although I’d draw the line at carrying my own Sharpies.

And a night of nonsense of which I’m quite familiar but just never tire of:

• Douchecock sonzabitches pedaling like mad, drinking too much, wreaking havoc (to themselves, mostly), burning brighter and brighter, on fire.


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