The yellow Tern Verge bicycle first caught my attention, then his craggy grin. He was tall, wild looking, with a woolly jaw. The bike was a $2000 beauty, yellow and black, like a meadowlark. He wouldn’t let me take a picture, saying I could get one on the Internet. He suggested I buy a Tern Verge for myself, dismissing my assertion that I have a bicycle. This one folds up, he blithely pointed out, and it has a 30-speed drivetrain.
“It’s fast,” he said. “I can get to La Quinta in an hour and a half—faster than the bus.”
Then he started about putting rockets on it, yes, here on either side of the seat post, and making his own hydrogen fuel, flying away, and landing on the flat roof of the house, which is covered with solar panels. Houses will soon be clad with solar skin, you know.
“We have all this technology now, but the big oil companies don’t want us to use it.”
He followed me into Von’s, pushing the bike along, and when he waved his right arm in making a point about 3-D printers, which allow you to make this very bicycle in your own home, the automatic doors reopened behind him. We advanced further into the store. Too far, actually. He had now transitioned to stem cell therapy. We don’t need doctors any longer. We can do it all ourselves: teeth, hair, hydrogen assist for people with wonky limbs. The VA is sending you out on your own. Obamacare? Useless.
I made a getaway, later thinking I should’ve asked his opinion of orgone therapy. celiac disease, electric cars. And whether someday his picture will be taken without his knowledge.
When I checked out, the cashier said he’s a regular, and she laughed when I rolled my eyes. He was standing at the end of Aisle Two, having accosted today’s lucky shopper.