#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 34

#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 34

Day 34

My head full of words I walked down the stairs to the living room.

‘Do you want to come on a walk with me?’

My partner raises her head from the screen of her phone where a fierce Scrabble battle is unfolding.

‘No, I’m alright.’

‘Okay,’ I reply unsure what to do next. I stand by the sofa looking at the bicycle lying in the grass, the front wheel poking at the sky.

I want to get out but I do not really want to go for a walk. The rhythm of a walk too often help unravel my thoughts and I have thought enough for the day. Two lectures and hours of revising my writing has scrambled my brain. What I need is the speed of my bicycle, the wind in my hair, and the soothing thoughtlessness of a ride. But I can’t.

My partner glances up at me from her digital board. ‘You okay?’


‘You okay?’

‘Yeah.’ I reply. ‘I’m okay.’ And I am. I have just remember I have another set of wheels.

I exit the living room and drag my longboard from under the stairs. The pile of shoes and bike lights sitting atop of it fall to the floor in a cacophony of plastic and rubber. I grab my keys, open the door and jump on the board. One kick at the ground and I’m off, my legs vibrating under the stress of a badly paved road.

I kick again and I’m flying. I hop on and off pavements to avoid cars and pedestrians until I reach a deserted street. The asphalt is smooth under my badly maintained wheels, the wind pushing at my back. I push off the ground and settle on the board, my body remembering how to balance. Adrenaline courses through my me as the board gathers more and more speed. I’m still not very good at braking and I don’t want to wreck the shoes I’m wearing. I swing the board left and right in an attempt to slow it down, my body twisting in half remembered shapes.

A woman by a door looks at me quizzically. I wave at her. She hesitantly waves back as I disappear around the bend. I’m back within minutes, pushing my way up the hill, my breathing heavy. I smile, too much effort involved in waving. She smiles back.

I step off the board as I reach the train station, the narrow pavement below the bridge not suited for a pandemic. I cross the road, drop the board to the ground and join the quiet street by the college. It’s deserted. People walking, running, and cycling have chosen to stick to the wide pavement.

I follow the road from one end of the college to the other, my knees bending to prepare to the rise above sleeping policemen. I kick at the ground, pump on the board, and laugh out loud. A bus pass me by, empty save for one person. The leaves tickle my calves as I wait for car to turn into the main road. I switch my front foot, my stance awkward and unbalanced. I really need to practice riding switch but now is not the time. It requires too much effort and concentration. Now is time to glide.

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