20 Miles and a Moment

I went on a bike ride today, just 20 miles, 10 each way.  It was such a beautiful day.  Sunny not humid, only 85 degrees, just warm enough your skin.  It was really a perfect day.

I made it 10 miles and was ready to  turn around.  It’s one of my favorite places to be, the intersection of the Prairie Path and Great Western Trail, surrounded by grasslands of which the Midwest are famous for.  The grasses and flowers just ebbed and flowed like an ocean.  It looks like you can just jump in and swim to your destination.

There’s an old factory there, red brick, something you’d see in a photo shoot for an old school rock album or maybe a fashion shoot for blue jeans.  There’s not anything else there, except a parking lot about 25 feet down from this intersection.  Maybe one day I’ll do one of my photo shoots in front of that factory.

Today, there was a young boy, marching 2 bikes through the lot of this factory across the street from me.  I pull to a stop to drink some water and then turned around to go home.  I only got a few feet before I turned around to go back and cross the street.  I went up to this little boy and asked if he needed help.  He looked at me, explained his bike was stolen and he had bought a new bike and the second was given the other and needed to call his parents to pick him up.  Both were interesting, put together with bits and pieces, one with a handle bar made from from a pipe, the other had various bits and pieces put together.

I gave him my phone and his dad picked up but asked “Are you o.k. to drive?  I need to be picked up.”  He hung up after his father assured him he was coming, told me thanks, gave my phone back and started talking to me.  He might have just been a talkative kid, but there was just something about the way he acted and spoke to me, he just seemed to be very lonely.

He told me he was 14 and reminded me a bit of Jerry O’Connell from Stand by Me, his character Vern.  He was still a little chubby, not quite grown into his own skin, short spiky blonde hair, bright, lively blue eyes and freckles, freckles freckles.

He talked to me about his raft he connected to a trolling motor, information of muskrats, how he liked to work with engines and was eagerly awaiting his driver’s permit.  I couldn’t help but smile with everything he told me, he just lit up.  He just talked and talked non-stop for about 5 minutes until he said his dad was probably there because they lived close and sure enough a car pulled up headed to the parking lot.  He told me that was his dad, thanked me again and wished me a good day.

It was  a strange moment, so short but I just can’t stop thinking about it, the question he asked his father on the phone at 4 in the afternoon and how happy he seemed when he was telling me anything and everything about himself.

You never really know the entire story of someone, what their life is, what it was.  There are only feelings you can get and of course I could be completely over analyzing everything, but it was just a time when you get a gut feeling and it’s so hard to just look past that.

It’s like I said in my very first post, always give kindness to people because you could make their day.  If he was a lonely kid, hopefully he enjoyed that time, I know I enjoyed meeting him.  His energy and joy about whatever he talked about definitely brought a little more joy to me.

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