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Night Riding

Night Riding

 

images-7Today is so balmy for winter I pull on my fuzzy blue sweater and ride my bike to work for the matinee for fun. Plus, parking is six bucks and I need the exercise. For those of you who don’t live in Vancouver, our mayor has been adamant about putting in bike trails (unlike Rob Ford in Toronto who demolishes bike trails, but that’s a whole other story) and it is now very easy and safe for me and others to cross the city.

 

I get to ride through the lovely heritage part of Strathcona, skooch around the outskirts of China town and then curve along the seawall all the way to the Round House. The ride is exhilarating and takes me only five minutes longer than the car.

 

By evening I have so much energy I don’t even need a cat nap between shows. I look out at the Vancouver cityscape and wish I could also ride my bike at night, like Robert does. But alas, I’m a woman. I start to wheel my bike into the garage and stop.

 

The trail is well populated, it’s well lit, it’s a short ride, people are all around in homes and shops and busy roads, I have lights, I have a helmet…

 

Before I was assaulted three years ago, I didn’t live recklessly, but I also didn’t live in fear. After the assault…it’s taken me a while to reclaim my independence. Step by step:

 

I can walk out of the house.

I can get into a car.

I can remove the furniture blocking my bedroom door.

I can stop gasping with any sudden movement.

I can audition.

I can look in the mirror without wincing.

I can wear a dress.

I can use the lower register of my voice.

I can wear things around my neck.

I can ride my bike after sunset.

 

I click on my blinkers and load up my back pack. If someone attacks me I have all sorts of options. First I scream, then I butt them with my helmet. I could stab them in the groin or eye with my keys. I pick up my bike and smash it over their head. Then I leave. Then I call 911. Okay. I think I just freaked myself out even more but we have a plan.

 

I sail through Strathcona and all the Heritage homes have their wonderful vintage light fixtures on all doll house and gingerbread lovely. Men in cranes at the end of their City Worker shift, are stringing the last bit of Christmas lights onto large park trees. The Skytrain caterpillars past, very pleased with its own efficiency. Underneath the tracks, as the sun sets, skater boys spill out from the cement boarding bowl like insects clicking and clacking their boards, an extension of their body: exoskeleton.

 

Science world’s round disco ball lights up a perfect reflection in the harbor making a sparkly double 8.  Sleepy boats bob in the water. I fly under aorta Cambie. The Casino is well lit with its indignant lions, its oversized planter pots and its line of poles all missing allegiance to any sort of scrap of flag. I bump into a friend! Lovely David Nykl, who manages to get even better looking with age. I pass condos and well-dressed mothers out walking their manicured children and their designer miniature dogs under gloominous lanterns. The sea stretches out elegantly, turning all kinds of blushy blue. It must know I am staring at it, unabashedly.

 

I am here. My city. My bike. My home.images-6

 

 

 

 

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4 comments

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  1. lb

    wonderful.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      xo

  2. Johnna

    And another piece of your life – yourself – reclaimed. I deeply respect your courage LF.

    1. Lucia Frangione

      xo Johnna thank you for the beautiful blog to write it in and for your own “disgusting dinners”!

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