I’m pedalling, hog-wild, good for the cellulite I guess. Urban grand-heat and I’m staring, gazing, wiping my glowing forehead. No time for pondering, biker on my right, pedi-cab on the left, nueveou-rich four-wheelers in front and behind. Fast, through the orange light, almost there, almost in. No, stop, my tyre’s melted on the asphalt. It is scorching here, init? One on you, global warming! I get off, I’m a sloth, shuffling into a nearby lane, unfamiliar and steaming. Excuse me, ni hao, hello ma’am, where do you do repairs? That way, lady, that’s your guy over there. Smells like a village at a community pig slaughtering. Nah, not here, white girl, but we sell pumps. 28 yuan. Hell, why not. I’m puffing, blowing up this rubber bastardo, nothing. I’m sweating through my fingernails.
I push it to another lane. Taking my time, gazing at the drying lingerie and rusty buckets, I’m way too late now anyway. No worries, life’s simple, one must always remember that. I’m lamenting, thinking of a newspaper article, watching the flies prancing on the pavement and notice, from the corner of my eyes, how he’s deconstructing my bike, bit by bit, with his old, wrinkled hands. Oil’s trembling off his turtle-like palms. There goes the chain, the brake flew across my face 5 minutes ago. We’re standing in the street, no shade, ooh, those guys over there are moving, their trucks’ve arrived. Awakens me from my coma the iron lock that he throws on my foot by chance. I’m massaged in oil since the wheels and on me at one point. I’m embraced by these metal parts, hot and grimy. Strangely, the tools come alive, they decide to prance around in the heat and some of the tiny ones land on my glowing body. And they stick to my wet skin. Perhaps I am gradually turning into a bicycle. My private satire.
Ready, I get back on one more time. I’m too late from class so I decide to shamble along slowly, looking at my steaming shadow and I’m saved by this paced-out rhythm, which is not my usual style: the entire thing falls apart, this heavy-metal-monster. I spring off it, I shove it next to me one more time. They are watching me. They are listening to the cacophony of these elements. Cheerful looking chap peering from under a wooden gate. Good day, Sir. He saves me. Smiles. With and at me. Of course. Flips it up, fast, no staggering here only some old-school expertise. He at once flashes his snazzy little tools, he patches and fastens on what is left. A blink of an eye.
I come home. I need a shower. My love, Shanghai.