This is all right. My tires slice through puddles.
Rain, rain, pouring rain. Drumming against my helmet. Dripping from my visor. This is okay. This is rather peaceful. The roads are all mine.
Meadow, meadow, forest, farm. Farm, farm, forest.
But darn, what's this. Country road, traffic backed up around the bend. I pedal carefully along the shoulder.
Endless line of cars, deep puddles, feet clipped in, water pouring down my face off the soggy visor, thinking "This is crazy," feeling calm, humming to myself.
A woman driver in a pickup rolls down her window. She points to my bike, then points to the back of her truck. I half-raise my hand in a half-wave like "I'm good, thanks." She shakes her head and smiles. I pass her in traffic.
Pedal, pedal, pedal. Rain, rain, rain. Cars, cars. Honking. Brake lights.
Two teenage boys in a Jeep roll down their window and lean over. "Cool bike! Cool braids!" Thumbs up to me from the teenage boys.
There is a soggy book on the grassy side of the road. Tossed by a kid out of a car window? Kittens on the cover. Bloated, wet kittens.
Let's see, what is going on at the front of all this backed up traffic...
A broken light. A ditch at the intersection filled with deep water. The bigger cars rolling though it slowly. The smaller cars frantically flashing their signals, making U-turns.
I pass them all and turn right. No one else wants to go there. What's wrong with right?
No matter. An end to the chaos. A silent empty road. Trees, trees. Darkness at noon. Streams of water across the pavement. Rain.
This is okay. This is all right. This is rather peaceful. The road is all mine. My shoe touches water on the downstroke.
And then I smell the flowers. A deep, heavy scent, almost an odor. The raindrops carry it, like perfume oil. A low-hanging branch of blossoms. I grab it and pedal home.
My bike is upside down in the kitchen. My flower, my prize is on the table. The rain has stopped, like none of it had ever happened. But water droplets glisten on the petals. And on the pedals.