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Poetry Magnum Opus

The Multi-Tasker

Ben Brashear

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Ben Brashear

A periodic fixture on the corner of Thompson and Emerson, there's a man I drive by on days when the weather is nice and the afternoon traffic stagnates to a near stalemate

He rides a bicycle backwards, perched on the handlebars while twirling 2 batons with acrobatic precision and bobbing to the music playing in his ear phones

Exuberantly embodying the ability of a human, with honed skills to do many tasks at one time in a performance that always makes me smile and snaps me out of my mental absorptions

No one is standing around or bestowing accolades or grand praise, and there's no tip jar, but he's always joyful nonetheless and its contagious to witness

On a few occasions, I've honked my horn and cheered in support, but his focus never once wavers and he keeps pedaling and twirling and bouncing

Twirling-bicycle man had become my favorite fair weather distraction, and I'd drive out of the way on a few occasions and into a heavier stream of traffic, just to see him do his thing

I recall a day recently when the rain stopped and the sun came out and how fortunate it was to hit a red light at the corner to see his performance

I took a moment to glance around at the other drivers with an "Are you seeing this too?' kinda look.

Every single person, young and old was looking down at their phones. Some texting, some scrolling with thumbs. No one was paying attention, mostly lost in thoughts and the daily multi-tasking of a human mind that robs us all of so many beautiful moments

The light turned green, and a cacophony of horns resounded when I failed to immediately accelerate on with my life

Unaware of anything but the music and the balance, bicycle man didn't miss a beat. I caught myself taking one last glance of him as the bright, natural sun beat down and evaporated his reflection in the nearby rain puddle

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In a city I used to frequent, there was a man, dressed all in white, who walked on the islands dividing a certain four lane road while carrying and swinging a flag. He did this often, I would say full time. He was known as "Flag Man." 

20 hours ago, Ben Brashear said:

… He rides a bicycle backwards ...

I'm wondering if he actually rode backwards or if he was coasting forward while pedaling backwards, freewheeling.

In any case, I'm not sure how I feel about you noticing Bicycle Man. Shouldn't you be looking at your phone? :tongue:

Welcome to PMO,

Tony :-8)

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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