Today, on the way to campus, the long-desired finally happened.
I saw another bicyclist.
I cut across the 7-11 Citgo parking lot as usual, weaving my way through the gasoline stink of burbling behemoths, snarling SUVs, and humongous hummers. Confused carnivores yammering into cell-phones looked up to the posted prices: $ 3.71, $ 3.81, and $ 3.91, with diesel at the nearby Shell at $ 4.21. A behemoth suddenly backed away from the pump. I stared at a giant incoming bumper: support-our-troops-and-jesus-saves. Gripped the handlebar brakes.
When I looked up again, I saw him.
A slim human was bicycling. Gracefully he cut across the lot in the other direction. He had dark eyes and a black beard. He was clad in white and wore a turban. While he looked warily at gringo-machines, he maintained an air of peace.
Respectfully we greeted each other.
the solar promissory note 2008:
In the same vein, I wish that one day -- in Tampa, the Temple Terrace patch between university and river -- I can record the first ever sighting of the first ever solar panel in the Sunshine State. Wouldn't that be something? Imagine: gringo roofs with solar panels! But ah, Mad Hun, solar energy in the sunshine state? Crazy kraut!
postscript 10 June 2008:
Since this post one month ago, there had been no other bicyclist. Gas is now at $ 4.21 and diesel at $ 4.79. It seems I remain the only velocipedaling commuter along Fletcher Avenue and 56th Street. Was the respectfully greeted Sikh gentleman just an apparition?
I am still "The One".
postscript 26 September 2008:
I saw a bicyclist today!