Squinting into the rain, I lower my head, straighten my back, and pedal hard down Queen, careful not to tip my thin wheels on the slick-wet surface. I check my breaks and they squeak. My breaks squeak because the wheel-case is wet and when it is wet my pathetic breaks squeak.
A man in front of me, who I look to avoid, walks slow as he crosses the street. Takes his time. I manoeuvre out of the way, head-down, eyes-up and slits to avoid the rain. He looks at me like I am it. He sticks his hand out mock-clothesline when I pass.
“Fuck! What the—fuck?” I consider going back, but don’t really. The man is insane. The city is trying to kill me, and my breaks are bad, and squeak. I turn down to the bike lane, stopping to slip my hood under my helmet, adjusting it so that it is tight. If I crash, I crash on grass, not under-car or into-arm. I have a wife. I have a wife.
It rains hard and I am all-over wet. I am soaked and the rain is thick and I think of all the times I ran in the mud, in cleats. How I didn’t really mind. And I wonder what kind of man I am now. The day is covered in soft fog. My thin jacket and pants, soaked, flap in the bike-wind like a heavy flag.