Death Must Wait For Another Day
This story begins very much like how it will end, with me riding my bicycle. If you are offended by bicycles then please stop reading now because it will only get more graphic from this point forward.
And there I was, riding my bicycle up to the liquor store. But was I riding up to the liquor store or down to the liquor store? I am not sure how you determine when to use up or down in instances such as this. But for now, let us just assume that I was indeed riding “up” to the liquor store. Another thing that I like to point out is the fact that I like to use the comma quite a bit. Again, I am not sure if I always apply the comma correctly but fuck it, I like the way it looks and it does not distract the reader in any discernible way. One more thing, I try to write using common, easy to understand words but I have a large vocabulary so I sometimes get the urge to drop in a word or two that might sound all fancy and shit but it is not meant to trip you up or make you feel inferior. Shit, I just used the word discernible not two sentences ago and you probably didn’t even notice.
And once again I find that I have digressed. I was telling you that I was riding my bicycle up to the liquor store but I hadn’t yet gotten around to telling you why I was going there or what I was going to purchase. It might also help if I tell you what time of day it was and what the weather was like. Well, now I am feeling a bit overwhelmed when I think about how much information I need to dispense to you but I am going to give it my best shot.
Vodka. I was riding my bicycle up to the liquor store because I need to replenish my supply of vodka. Normally I drink beer and whiskey but during this particular moment in my life I had taken to drinking vodka and cranberry juice on a nightly basis. It sounds bad when I put it that way, “on a nightly basis” but I assure you that I was drinking in moderation. No more than three drinks a night and never to the point that I was getting inebriated. Hmmm, I used the word inebriated because it sounds less bad than saying that I was not getting drunk. The important thing is that I was drinking vodka and that led me to be on my bicycle riding up to the liquor store in order to buy more vodka so that I would be able to continue drinking vodka and cranberry juice each night. We’ll deal with the replenishment of the cranberry juice another time. It was fall and I was living in Minneapolis. If you have ever lived in Minneapolis or the Midwest in general then you have some idea what the weather is like in the late afternoon and if you have never been here then I will tell you that it is mostly pleasant, a little cool but comfortable and the leaves on the trees are changing color from green to yellows, oranges and reds. I lived just a few blocks from the liquor store so I knew it was going to be a quick trip. When I left the house I was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt but I threw on a flannel because it was starting to get late and the temperature was dropping. If you know me then you know that when I ride my bike I always bring my lights just in case I am still on the road when the sun sets and even though I had over an hour of daylight left I made sure that I stuck my lights in my backpack.
The one thing that still sticks in my memory was the fact that nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was just a typical day and this was going to be just your typical bike ride. Little did I know that this is exactly what was going to happen.
I unlocked my bicycle and then walked out the front gate and then got on and started pedaling towards the liquor store. I came to the intersection around the corner from my house and turned right, into the bike lane and headed up the street. About two blocks from there I came to another intersection with traffic lights. The light was red so I waited for it to turn green and when it did I turned left onto the next street. This street did not have a dedicated bike lane but that didn’t matter because there weren’t very many cars in the area on this particular day. From where I made that left turn it was only another block until I reached the liquor store. I turned up onto the sidewalk and then stopped at the bike rack. I was not out of breath because I had only ridden three and half blocks at a moderate pace but there was definitely a bit of anxiety building up inside of me as I stood in front of the liquor store. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it was as bad as the first time that I entered a liquor store but it wasn’t. I knew that there was something that had to be done before I went through those doors. It was this primal urge that I could not ignore so I didn’t. I reached into my backpack and pulled out my u-lock and locked my bike to the rack. Now, with my bicycle firmly secured to the bike rack I was beginning to feel as though I might just make it home in one piece. Anywho, I am going to assume that most of you who are reading this have both been inside a liquor store and also been sodomized so I will skip over the part about me actually going in, grabbing a bottle of Stoli, paying for it and then exiting the liquor store. That all happened pretty quickly and the next thing I knew I was back outside standing next to my bike.
At this point in the story it does start to get a little hairy because I still had to ride home. I took a deep breath and assessed the situation. I was three and half blocks away from my house and I had a fifth of Stoli in a brown paper bag. I had to make due with the tools at hand so I decided to put the bag with the vodka into my backpack and then I bent over to unlock my bike and finally I placed the u-lock back inside of my backpack, careful not to break the bottle of vodka. It was then that I realized that I had nothing else left to do but mount my bicycle and ride home. True to my word, this story ends just like it began. With me riding my bicycle.