Fixing A Flat
When I woke up and walked towards Central Park, the sun was struggling to break through low, fast-moving maritime clouds. Rain felt imminent. By the time I finished the NYRRC’s Rabbit Run 5k (in 23:22), the clouds had burned off, leaving only the brilliant blue sky punctuated by the warmest sun I’ve felt in months. Later, we sat at the island in the middle of Broadway at 76th Street, sipping coffee and watching New York pass by (not without comment, of course).
Around noon, I started riding downtown to visit Battery Park City at the southernmost tip of Manhattan. I used to ride there all the time and write in my journal as the sun fell over the New York Bay, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty just off over the water. But somewhere below the West Side Heliport, I felt the cracks in the road below growing bigger and realized the inevitable: I had a flat tire.
Typically, bike repair is not my strong suit. Generally, as a little brother, it’s the kind of thing I never had to do. But fortunately, I’ve seen Domanski change a tire or two, so that helped. I wrestled with a new tube for at least fifteen minutes, just a few paces from some arguing homeless fellas, but the knobby tire, worn from age, wouldn’t slip back on the rim. I figured my new tube was the wrong size, so removed the whole thing and started from scratch on the punctured tube. I patched it up, and opted to ride back to my apartment rather than risk another flat. I made it back to Hell’s Kitchen a-ok. I know it sounds stupid, but little things like fixing a flat, renting a car, or getting a hotel room, or whatever, always make me feel like, ‘Geez, I guess I’m adult now.’
I know it’s not very rocknroll to be an adult, or to feel like an adult, but more and more, I’m ok with not being 18-years-old. For years I’ve felt like I’m still in high school, and what with working at MTV and wearing jeans every day and listening to music and making music, I still feel young. But then I go and fix a flat all by myself, and it’s all a little bit different, a little bit better.