Friday, February 17, 2012

Timed Writing: 2/17/2012

Time: 10 minutes
Source Photo: Barcelona by Alexandr Kulikov

The dock stretched long and straight before me. At the far end was a bicycle -- and a man.

The stacked leather heels of my boots beat a low marcato rhythm from the tympanic boards of the walk as I approached him. A hot wind sang through the taut cables of a minimalist barricades on either side. The bicycle leaned against a railing, facing the man. The man faced the ocean. He sat on the edge of the dock, silhouetted against the horizon, where the almost white of the blue sky met the almost black of the blue water. He made no movement nor gave any indication that he perceived my approach. He was expecting me though. He'd been expecting me for a very long time -- he and his bicycle.

I first met Guy at a party in Lausanne -- a party in my honor. I had been working all summer in an immunology laboratory at the Institut de Biochimie, and before I departed, Hans, the PI, hosted a farewell party for me. Most of the people in attendance were postdocs and techs in Hans's, but there were people I'd met from other labs as well. Guy was a new graduate student, who would start his rotation with Hans the following week, and since he'd just arrived in town, Hans invited him to join the party. His name was Guillermo and he was from Barcelona, but he preferred to be called Guy. Like Guy Ritchie, he'd say, standing up tall and trying to look tough, not like Guy de Maupassant.

Guy arrived at Hans's home, a few kilometers southwest of the city, by bicycle. It was an off-road bike -- the kind with a straight handlebar and rough, knobbly tires. It was appropriate only for the final hundred meters of the trip -- Hans's steep, gravel drive -- but he didn't ride it up the driveway. I know because I was on the veranda when Guy arrived, and I watched him stop at the open gate, dismount, and walk the bicycle all the way to the house.

(about my timed writing exercises)

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