Jeni’s on a bike in front of me, which is an odd position to find myself in. For one thing, I rarely ride a bike. For another, I haven’t seen Jeni in months, and I certainly didn’t arrange this meeting. Her long, perfectly trimmed blonde hair is my focal point. The trees are bleeding sunlight through their branches as we pedal with no destination in mind.
I’m holding a stick and I want to reach and press it into her back. Before I can, her face is looking back at me. She smiles coyly and says, “Hey.” As if she knew my plan of attack.
“Hey,” I say back. The stick isn’t in my hand anymore.
She continues to pedal ahead, I can’t keep up with her steady and quick pace. I’m growing tired and it’s rather warm.
I don’t usually ride a bike.
Her hair flips back and she’s looking at me with the same smirk in her first greeting. She doesn’t say anything, looks away from me, and pedals harder.
I feel annoyed and lost as I shrink back. Her hair becomes a memory.
When I wake up I think of her driven, almost hardened behavior as my second boss. No one much cared for her (seemingly) self-serving way of directing us, but we kept our mouths shut and (sometimes) did as we were told. She volunteered for many organizations, she helped run a terribly cool bar in a terribly cool part of town, she lived alone with a black lab, and she seemed to have all the time in the world for project after project. All while smartly running a coffee shop.
I drown in my lack of drive, and think of pedaling harder.