Monday, January 27, 1992
The summer I turned twelve, I took Dad's bike out every evening and rode all over Monroeton. They were perfect golden-green evenings--complete peace. Usually I rode out the highway--past a sheep farm, I remember--and then I'd double back through Monroeton's quiet streets. Sometimes I would wander around by the river. It never really mattered what I did. Many nights, I stopped in the deserted parking lot of The Yum Yum Tree and worked on teaching myself how to ride the bike with no hands. And when I'd mastered it--when I could make it up and down the slopes in the lot without wobbling or panicking--I thought to myself that I could be good at anything that I tried hard at.
The way I felt in that moment and the way I felt all those trips around the block is something I need to keep inside myself. I need to keep it in plain sight, where I can pick it up and look it over and remember what it was to feel so certain of myself.