The Last Fishfinger
Working odd hours I’ve invariably got the road to myself, that’s both good and bad. Good in that tin-tops are few and far between, bad in that I’m isolated from fellow riders, a cycle-commuting outcast.
I’m that last unwanted fishfinger, sitting in a smear of ketchup on a stone cold plate. Abandoned overnight on the kitchen counter while the rest of the crockery sleeps warm & snug in the dishwasher.
At 5.30am this morning I was about to have some company, no longer a lonely fish on frozen streets. There they were, fishtailing down Beach Rd towards me at breakneck speed, eyes blazing like headlights, sodium glare reflecting off their shiny skins.
The whir of a well-oiled chain, the buzz of a freewheel, that’s all you hear in the still of the night. And that’s all I heard as the first roadie passed, close enough to touch, close enough to smell last night’s tartare sauce. On his wheel Roadie #2, another mute. Slipstreaming or fighting for the lead he had nothing to say, no greeting, nod or grunt. “What’s wrong with these people?”, I thought to myself, “aren’t we all swimming in the same direction?”
I was visibly bristling when Roadie #3 pulled alongside. “Nice lights” broke the silence. “Thanks”, I hurriedly replied before he careered into the darkness. Then Roadies 4, 5 & 6 said g’day as they glided past and my cold heart warmed, maybe I’m not so alone in this sea of cars after all?