I wasn’t looking for Kurtz but just trying to commute to work along the river. On the road along the river you know never know what to expect. Things could change at any minute.
One week I found a turtle. I stopped, picked up and tossed it into the Arakawa River. It surfaced after a while and looked at me and went under and disappeared. Last week, which was the last week of school I saw a dead body in some grass underneath an underpass. There were cops all around. It’s a spot just before the public golf course. It seemed like he was dead because I thought by that time they would have been trying to help him up and he’d be put into an ambulance or something like that. He wasn’t moving and more police and people were coming. At that moment I had the urge to take a picture but I was late for work. To make time I kept going but it maybe think about my life and how important time is. I should have taken a picture. Stay on the road and keep going.
I see a lot of things along the river. People practicing Tai Chi underneath bridges with Chinese Swords, old men with golf clubs too cheap to pay for time at the public course, people shadow boxing, homeless men screaming at some imaginary person, joggers, fathers practicing baseball or soccer with their sons, power walkers, junior or high school students practicing dance routines, dog walkers and other cyclists. Sometimes I race other cyclists and sometimes they never come back. I had to stay focused. Sometimes people or dogs or kids or something get in the way. Maybe I’ll have a flat but I have to get back on the road and keep going. I don’t know what is ahead or in the tall grass along the edges of the road but I just had to keep pedaling. It was hard, sometimes you want to stop or give up.
I wasn’t expecting to see a dead body just like I don’t expect to see some old man peeing on the side of the road along the river but it’s the river. It’s where people go to get away or get to imaginary place or space. It’s how I get to work. It’s where we all expect to be free from the city, our jobs, friends or problems. I’m glad I can ride my bicycle to work. I hate the train and I can’t get a Japanese drivers license. I tried three times and the situation transformed me into a cyclist. Now I’m at the Dura Ace level. I never thought I would make it but it feels good just like it feel good to be alive and cycling along the river.
Its best to stay on the road.