Dream flash:

I’m forty,

maybe forty five,

and I’m pumping.


I’m definitely pumping –

eighty pounds,

five speeds,

on a bike so heavy you gotta pedal downhill.

“Messenger,” they call it.

Me? I call it klunker.

In real life it’s a Schwinn.


Big baskets.

Klunker’s got big baskets.

My stuff

is in those baskets.

And I’m pedaling.


I’m also imagining.

I’m imagining I’m David Fulcher –

big Black guy,

used to play safety for the Bengals.

I’m imagining

while pedaling



that people are looking at me

and they’re saying,

“Look, Dude!

It’s David Fulcher!

On a Schwinn!”


Only older…


and shorter…


and white.


“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a…” little Black kid

who sprints into the street,

hops a-straddle of the klunker’s rear rack,

sings “Ya da yad ya da yah da, yada yada yah dah”

in a melody I know I know from somewhere,

and then –

in what passes for old lady falsetto on a nine year old boy –

he shouts in my ear for the whole world to hear,

“And your little dog, too, white man!”


Before I can think of anything to say,

the kid hops off and runs away.