a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for September 6, 2012

immaculate misconception

< by JHK >

At the end of summer, mom finally gave us permission to bike to Walgreens.

We had rehearsed the route dozens of times, memorizing every bump, curve, and road sign. After each trial run, our parents delivered a lecture: Wear your helmets. Look both ways. 

When Wallgreens-day arrived, we dutifully latched our helmets and shimmied them into place. With mini-backpacks on our shoulders, we navigated 3.1 miles of narrow, forested avenues. We were two girls on a mission — a mission to purchase nail polish.

Upon arrival, we locked our bikes and headed inside. An hour later, our backpacks clinking with bottles, we returned to our bikes.

Ann noticed them first — long, stretchy tubes of some sort, weaved into our spokes. I kneeled down for a closer inspection. They felt slimy and smelled like balloons.

“Get them off!” Ann yelled.

“No way, you do it!” I yelled back. We glanced around, suddenly realizing that our bikes had been vandalized. We wheeled away from the rack and started pedaling. As air filled the mysterious objects, it clicked: They’re windsocks!

We cruised down the road, wheels flailing with six-inch, rubber windsocks. One by one, they blew away.

Two years later, in Ms. Iverson’s 5th-grade class, I watched a slideshow called “Growing Up and Maturing.” As Ms. Iverson clicked between slides, she showed an image of a windsock — except she called it a condom.