My sliced finger salved and bandaged, wiping cat gak off my bare foot, it was about then I remembered my promise to learn to ride the unicycle before my next birthday, so I went outside, snatched up my son’s helmet from the fake stove in the playhouse and put it on, the chin strap, let out as far as it could go, cutting into the swatch of skin I’m pretty positive will one day be referred to as wattle. Hanging onto a post on the patio, I heaved myself onto the clownish seat. It swiveled, throwing me. Actually throwing me. I went back inside for knee pads and tried again and of course the seat moved because once they start moving they move with quickening ease and a tool is required to keep them on the straight and narrow. So down I went, using handblocks and feeling like an idiot and limped into the house for another unicycle YouTube tutorial after which I decided to ignore all advice and bypass the patio post and just get out there, on the lawn, push myself up and go for it—at which point the seat moved and I fell and went into the garage for a tarp which I laid out on the grass in the freaky 80 degree weather we’re having in winter and I tried again and the seat moved, etc. I was avoiding the fix-the-seat tool because I have no idea where it lives, only that it is somewhere deep in the meticulously placed boxes of the man-cave, a non-insulated realm I enter only to use the stationary bike, or fetch kid’s birthday wrapping paper. I decided to utilize the swingset for balance and positioned the tarp and myself and when things started creaking, I panicked and a half pedal later slammed into the gazebo, denting the front corner stand and almost bringing the whole thing down, windsock, delightfully stretched canopy the blue of a Greek Orthodox church, glass butterfly on a decorative spring, and all. It was about then I realized I was going to have to wait until he returned and manhandled the man-cave himself and that was a relief, that thought. I went inside and poured a glass of cranberry lemon juice. I drank, surviving tartness. Sunblock, I said, distracted by poems (other people’s) until it was time to fetch the boy from pre-K. When we returned, the dog was sleeping outside on the tarp, his head cushioned on the seat of the unicycle, a cat (not, for once, gakking) posing Egyptian style in the sun, watching, watching.
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PB Rides The Unicycle!UPDATE from Feb., 2013: 3 years later, the unicycle leans against a distant patio corner. When I remember (usually when watering the fern near tarnishing silver spokes), I tell it I will return. And I will. But not today. July 2017: Not sure where unicycle is...July 12th, 2017
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