I was riding my bike down the busy street last evening.
Suddenly, I caught the somewhat aromatic odour of a cigarillo. I came up to a red light and stopped. I glanced to my right. I was waiting beside a blonde on a bike, smoking a cigarillo. I looked away and waited for the light.
The light turned green and I pedaled into the intersection and away from her. I rode on in silence and contemplative thought. I felt there was something odd about the blonde girl I’d just passed. A few blocks later, I heard the sound of a bike behind me.
I turned to my right to look at my reflection in the store windows. I saw the blonde on the bike gaining on me. As she pulled up on my left, I heard her say, “Did you pass me because I’m a girl?”
I looked at her and she looked back at me. She was cute. She had facial piercings. She was much younger than me. She was smoking a cigarillo.
She was wearing a helmet.
We both continued pedaling, side-by-side. I looked at her. I said, “Did I pass you because you’re a girl?” She looked at me. She said, “Yeah. Did you?”
I suspected that this could be a trap. I looked at her again. I chose my next few words carefully. I said, “Well, not intentionally, no.”
She looked back at me and with a smile, said, “I have a ‘smokie’ in here and I’m smoking this.”
She gestured to her shirt in her stomach area. The cigarillo was in her hand. I looked at her shirt in her stomach area and said, “You have a ‘smokie’ in there?”
She took a puff of her cigarillo and said, “Yeah. It’s a gourmet one.”
I looked at her. She looked back at me. I looked away. I thought about this. She had a gourmet “smokie” in her shirt, in her stomach area. I looked back at her. I said, “So you’re keeping it warm?”
We continued to ride.
Then she said, “Do you think I can go faster than you?”
I looked at her and said, “I think you can try.”
She looked back at me and said, “You don’t think I can beat you?”
We were still pedaling side-by-side. Traffic was whizzing past us on the left. I looked at her. She looked at me. I said, “Well, you do have gears and I don’t.”
She smiled and stood up to pedal faster. I kept my pace. I was pretty much going as fast as I could. Plus, I had already lost my chain twice on the ride so far. I didn’t want to push it. This could get quite embarrassing, if not dangerous to my self-esteem.
As she began to pass me, she looked back and she said, “Hey, wanna race?”
I knew I could not keep up. She had gears. She was cute. She had facial piercings. She was much younger than me. She was smoking a cigarillo. She had a gourmet “smokie” in her shirt, in her stomach area.
I watched her get farther away from me and I shouted, “You do know that I am being gracious here. I am letting you win—a solid gentleman!”
She looked back once more and knew that she had already won.
She was 10 feet in front of me.
She thrust her hands straight up over her head and into the air and shouted, “Yaaayyy!”
And off ahead of me, she continued to ride, leaving puffs of her cigarillo behind.
Keeping her smokie warm. In her shirt. In her stomach area. As I turned off the busy street and down the side street towards my home, I was struck by this moment and how it had left me feeling that I had just been smoked by the girl with the “smokie,” smoking the cigarillo.
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Assistant Ed: Steph Richard/Ed: Bryonie Wise