I try to live green as much as possible these days. So, figuring I had some movies to drop off from Netflix, I decided to put some air into the knobby tires of my old Mongoose BMX and take it out for a ride to the Post Office.
It had been quite some time since I last took it out—at least 6-8 months. But it’s always fun to ride, and it’s even better to run into (not literally) people that recognize it as a true vintage ’80s set of wheels. Well it’s actually pretty hard to miss, given that it’s fitted with a number plate, adorned with a big prismatic no. 7 and several stickers surrounding it. That is something you never see these days.
So yeah, it’s great to ride, but while riding I realize how old I really am, despite the joyful juvenile refreshment it offers. For example, I know that when I was young, I would ride at top speed through any and all streets, taking every opportunity to go off any embankment to catch air. Man, this afternoon I must have been going 1/10th that speed, slowing down at every driveway and intersection to make sure there were no oncoming cars, also keeping an eye out for shady characters and juvenile delinquents who just might want to take my bike from me for the hell of it.
It’s pretty sad if you think about it. Why is it that when we grow older, we become so much more paranoid, hesitant and cautionary? Is it because we’ve accumulated the wisdom of all the terrible things that this world has in store for us, instead of embracing its beauty and bountiful opportunities, however numerous and/or scarce they may be?
Having a kid makes this realization all the more vivid. It’s amazing how much imagination and creativity we have at our earliest stages. I mean, as a kid I used to explore the universe (my living room) in my two-stage rocketship (the big cardboard boxes from the Sears washer & dryer), even packing a lunch for my travels through the galaxy. I would think that our imagination and creativity would expand as much as our waistlines over the years. But no, it’s the total opposite. Is this also a result of the realization of reality?