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Ride No More

The sun keeps him company.

The sky’s blue-gray – opaque and oppressive. The clouds can’t even seem to stand up to it, because they’re ghostly – unreal – their dark bottoms devoured by that steely background.

Heh. Have to remember that. Sounds like a good opening for a story.

I’ve got a nice view of it, not that I want it. The narrow rock shelf I’m lying on doesn’t give me much else to look at, other than the crumbled remains of the significantly narrower bike trail above.

I suppose I’m better off than my bike. It’s somewhere down there. I might be able to see it, if I could move. Things are broken, that’s for sure. I can’t even pinpoint what, because the one time I was stupid enough to try to shift position, the mind-numbing agony made me wish I’d followed my bike.

 One last ride. That’s what I told her. Guess I didn’t know how right I was. No mountain trails to ride where we’re going. Wonder how my auction’s doing? Doubt the as is disclaimer covers what’s left of it down there. So much for the listing fee and my perfect feedback rating.

Sweat’s dripping into my eyes, and I can’t do any thing about it. Thank heavens I remembered to put on deodorant. The air’s so stagnant and thick that I’d probably be stuck in a cloud of my own stink, otherwise.

Then again, maybe that’s blood and not sweat. Feels a little thick for sweat. Guess it doesn’t really matter. It all burns.

Speaking of burning – I know it’s summer, but this heat is fucking ridiculous. Maybe I should demand to see someone about it when I get to the pearly gates. It’s bad enough that I’m laying here dying, but do I have to simmer in my own juices while I’m at it?

Or maybe I’m going to the other place, and this is a preview of coming attractions. Thrills, chills, and spills. Red-hot summer action. I did covet my neighbor’s wife – well, girlfriend. I coveted her a lot. Must have done a pretty good job of coveting her, because she moved in with me.

She’s going to be so pissed when I’m not home by two. I’d sleep on the couch or even in the doghouse right now with a smile on my face. Beats taking a dirt nap on this rock.

Great. Now the sun’s directly overhead, shining in my eyes. Wait a minute. It was only about eight when I last looked at my watch. It’s a Timex. I wonder if it’s still ticking? You don’t get much more of a licking than this.

Except last night. Damn, Karen, where did you learn to do that? It was like Gene Simmons down there.

Man, that’s creepy.

The sun even seems to be having problems with this angry sky. It’s indistinct, a hazy ball hanging overhead. Then again, maybe the sky and the sun are cooperating. I can turn my head – just a little – and the glare from that bright yellow corona is boring into my brain.

Hey, some shade. That’s one big fucking bird. Wonder if it’s a hawk or an eagle? Probably a vulture. Piss off. I’m not dead yet. I think I’ll go for a walk. Nonsense, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.

Stone dead – heh. Two points, two flats, and a packet of gravel. I’ll raise you this boulder I’m laying on. Checkmate, honey – beat you at your own damn game.

This heat really is ridiculous. It’s like Satan’s fucking breath. I could do one of those ‘this is your brain on drugs’ commercials without the egg right now. At least I’ve stopped sweating.

That’s probably not a good thing, come to think of it.

What is with the sun? Now it’s clear over there. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get up to eighty-eight miles per hour. I’d be going the other way, anyhow. Go back and leave my bike on top of the car. Go down to the waterpark with Karen like she wanted.

No, I had to get in one last ride. Fucking stupid. Should have took the hint when Ron and Greg told me no fucking way because the heat index was going to be a hundred-twenty degrees.

Can’t be more than a hundred-fourteen.

I could be sitting in the pool with her right now. Her in that little bitty bikini that makes all the guys drool and all the girls scowl.

Should have listened to her. Wonder if she’ll carve I told you so on my tombstone?

Is it getting dark? No. The sun’s jumped again, but it’s right over there. It’s getting darker. I guess this is it. Shouldn’t I be scared? I’m not. A little pissed at myself, but not scared. Did I skip a step, or am I on schedule?

Am I floating? I am. Angels sure have loud wings. Freaking whump, whump, whump. God, that wind feels good. Still hurts, though. What’s the point of being dead if it still fucking hurts? I really am going to complain when I get up there. Wonder if there will be a line?

There’s the light. Guess I don’t have to move toward it – it’s coming to me. That’s convenient. There’s someone there. Looks like a girl. Wonder if it’s Mom? Maybe Grandma? Probably take the switch to me for being such an idiot.

I’m sorry, Karen. I’ve got to go.

"Shh. You’re not going anywhere."

Karen?

"But if you ever scare me like that again, I’ll kill you myself."

Don’t worry, baby. Never more to ride. Never more to roam. This ol’ boy is staying home – with you.

"Those must be really good drugs they’re putting in your I.V."

A kiss. Fuck the drugs. That’s the medicine I need.

And can you turn off that light?

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