Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Can't Stop, Won't Stop: Imagined Monologue of the New DC

Oh, I don't believe in stop signs. Don't exist.

I know the red, white-edged octagons with the white all caps letters S-T-O-P are posted at many intersections.

I don't believe what they're telling me.

I know they're telling me that this is a place where legally some, but not all, moving things should stop moving.

So, OK. I grant you. Stop signs exist. They're there.

But I meant that there may be these things out there made of metal, thrown in the ground by municipal workers.

I just don't believe what these municipal workers are telling me.

It's funny how everyone does believe them. Municipal workers, you know?

I don't have anything against them. That's a good living, and you get a fair amount of elbow-on-shovel time it looks like.

But why should I believe them?

I know they're acting on behalf of some traffic engineers or some city hall civic authority. Whatever. I don't believe what they're trying to tell me.

I'm a cyclist. I'm really fast. I have Strava. It takes a lot to get rolling, what with my panniers and my gigantic flat pedals made of chromium or some shit. Just gleams. But suuuuper heavy.

So why should I believe some chump up in an office somewhere saying that "Stop" stuff? I mean, what does he know about life on the streets?

I'm down here every day, usually, rain, snow, shine, wind, gentrification, doggy doo doo bin failure to make in garbage truck, Great Squashed Rat in Street Epidemic of 2012. You name it. I'M on these streets. And not from behind some windshield with the air conditioner on. Listening to Coldplay or some shit.

I'm ripping around on my Muhammed Ali Limited Edition Arrow, out with the people, hearing the tick of the timers in the traffic lights and ignoring the fuck out of them. Watching the crowds hit up Warby Parker with fake prescriptions, then setting their nutsacks down for a Middle Eastern cocktail at the all-Muslim, all-ironic, bacon, jihad 'n booze pop-up.

I believe in Bernie Sanders. He's a trustworthy old man. Not at all like a steel, heartless octagon telling me to hit the brakes on life. Not me. I'm rolling through.

I don't believe in fitness. If you flow with life, life will flow through you. Right? Those people with sickness and ill health just didn't eat enough kale or acai, or whatever I feel like is really the secret vegan hot shit today.

I never check my chain or my tires. And I know you know I know I never check my brake pads, because if you don't believe in stop signs, it doesn't take a wizard to know you don't never need brakes.

What gives with these old black people going to church here? Angry about bike lanes? Not that I believe in bike lanes, but I sure don't see why anyone would get angry about a couple of stripes down the road. Really pisses me off. I'm getting so angry about these old black people being angry about something that just isn't really important.

Nothing I like more than to point this $2,300 functionally inferior status symbol down toward H Street and wonder when they'll rip up all the stop signs and put bike lines everywhere through the middle of people's yards and down into bathrooms and into streetcars and right into women's pants. That'll be great, when DC wakes up, when Bernie Sanders becomes king and the laws of thermodynamics become nothing more than an uncomfortable myth, something we tell our children to scare them at night.

I mean, conservation of energy, man. Why should we ever stop if, by law, we conserve energy? But that's all beside the point. Screw you, municipality man, and screw you octagons. I gotta get to brunch.