well I’ve never been to heaven but I’ve been to Oklahoma…
I have never been to Louisiana but I have been to the Bike Works warehouse sale which is where I got this Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve souvenir water bottle for less than 50 cents (NWT)
Since I purchased the water bottle I learned a bit about Mr. Jean Lafitte but what really interests me is how things like this end up at a small nonprofit bike shop, chucked in a box with all the other shit nobody wants and then sold at the annual warehouse sale or just shipped off to the landfill.
Did somebody get this from their grandma in New Orleans? Did somebody buy this for their grandma when they took a field trip to the historic park and preserve?
It’s not such a great water bottle in the context of cycling but it is translucent purple plastic and it makes me laugh and it can teach you a tiny little bit about Jean Lafitte and supply chain logistics.
Rolling off the hill around 8am that day in the snow the streets were quiet but I heard a solitary voice in the distance yell “Matt” I looked over and yelled “Steve?” We cautiously rode down toward the 98101 but pulled over at 300 E. Pike and pressed our faces to the window and who did we see behind the bar but Krista, one of the all time greatest bartenders ever, prepping to open up in a few hours. She unlocked the door and let us in. I have to say it was a good day or at least it was a good morning in the rose colored nostalgic retrospect that 11+ years allows one to smooth things over with and remember what they choose to remember.
In my mind I see Professor David Gerard (economist) and Professor Jeffrey Kidder (sociologist) walk into a bar. I’m already sitting at my favorite stool in the corner, close enough to hear their conversation but not really contribute too much to it. Just in observation mode I take detailed mental notes but forget half of them. The bartender is playing Yo La Tengo's "I'm not afraid of you and I will beat your ass" at just the right volume. Gerard a former rugby player doesn’t drink anymore so he’s having a soda water. Kidder a former bike messenger may or may not have a beer. But they’ll both have some interesting commentary on the situation and they both ride bikes.
The anxiety manifests in a dream taking place in the basement of a medium sized mid century apartment building where all the action apparently happens in a large windowless room filled with antiquated mismatched coin-op laundry machines. Your load is in the wash almost finished and you cannot find an available dryer. You also have another load to wash and there’s a lot of competition from the 14 other people milling around who seem to be in the same boat. They’re all characters from your past. Some vaguely familiar. Some disturbingly close to home and all up in your face.
color safe bleach
slathered in scotch tape
OUT OF ORDER
dim digital readouts
spin cycles rocking
timers counting down
It’s all just an extension of sound transit’s anxiety inducing connect 2020. Bikes restricted at the Pioneer Square station where all passengers must exit to continue their trip and there’s no fucking way you’ll get back on with a bike at the International District stop and good luck at University Street. Crush capacity 4-car trains every 12 minutes somehow do not equal 3-car trains every 6 minutes bro. And to top it all off their new recorded messages being barked loudly repeatedly repeated in an annoying middle manager type trying to be authoritative white guy voice telling me to stand behind the yellow line and show proof of payment and not to even think about bikes in Pioneer Square. I prefer the non descript computer generated female voice clearly clear of the uncanny valley. I had the commute dialed in like clockwork and now it’s not and my clothes are wet and there don't seem to be any dryers available and there are so many people up in my face.
dig if you will the picture of a picture in late December when a spot of sunlight makes it all the way to the basement through a doorway and down a narrow stairway onto the wall onto a castoff print of a mellow non-objective non-controversial non-confrontational composition seen in places like dentist offices that cater to older clientele a print framed in uv-resistant glass that hasn’t seen the sun for 30 years as it’s been reflecting the fluorescent light radiating from government issue fixtures in a basement office until now where it’s lined up to be set free as surplus property and that spot of sunlight is just a taste of what’s out there.