It was a cool day and blowing, and I started out riding into it. Then back towards the lake, when it should have been with me, I road into a lake wind. The wind catches in your panniers and grabs at you and and though it was cool, and chilled me through my jersey, the cold wind is an other sort of challenge. But it is still the summer. The cold winds come later.


Schwinn Stardust Planetary Cruiser

Took a rusted little girl's Schwinn, disassembled it and soaked all parts in oxalic acid; removed decals; filed off braze-ons; cleaned and repacked front hub and bottom bracket; then rebuilt with 44t chainring and Sturmey Archer coaster brake (13t sprocket), 15" seatpost, and Raleigh 20 seat and handlebars.


Fortune Reverses

The boom produces impoverishment. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration. The individual is always ready to ascribe his good luck to his own efficiency and to take it as a well-deserved reward for his talent, application, and probity. But reverses of fortune he always charges to other people, and most of all to the absurdity of social and political institutions. He does not blame the authorities for having fostered the boom. He reviles them for the inevitable collapse.

--from Human Action


Final and Total Catastrophe

The wavelike movement affecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression, is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion. There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

--from Human Action


A Man In Uniform

He pulled up beside the racer at the light.
The racer wore a bright pink synthetic shirt and shorts covered in advertisements. His helmet and goggles were the same bright pink color.
“How was your race this morning?” he asked him.
“What race?” said the man dressed in pink.
“But you are dressed as a racer, non?” Maybe it was some joke.
“Yes,” said the racer.
“But where is your team now?”
“What team?”
“Certainly a man in uniform is not in uniform alone?”
“I am riding alone. I’m not sure I understand your question.”
Maybe it was a language problem. Or maybe he had been dropped. The team had abandoned him. He would be careful not to push this any further. He did not want to further damage his confidence.
“One cannot expect to have a top vitesse each day,” he said to the racer. He hoped to encourage him.
"Tiens, some water?" He offered his bidon to the racer.
"No. I have my own."
“There will be other races," he assured him. "And you will train harder for them.”
“I am training today, right now.”
“Yes. Of course you are training,” he said to the racer. That was one way to look at it.
The light went green and he let the racer ride ahead.
A racer's confidence can be a brittle thing.

A Boy and Girl Affair

She said, “Don’t.” “Stop it,” she said.
He turned away and for awhile they didn’t say anything. He lay in her bed listening to the rain falling softly. His heart beat hard and the sick feeling was in his stomach.
The girl whispered, “I’m so glad we can still be together, Boy.”
“So am I,” he said quietly.
“It’s not common, the way things are with us.”
“What do you think, Boy? What do you think about us?”
“We’re pretty uncommon.”
“That’s why I’m the Girl and you’re the Boy.”
“Come closer to me, Boy.”
He slid up behind her under the covers. The girl faced the wall. He put his face in her hair. He put his arm around her. He held her against him.
“Remember how we used to lay like this?”
“I do,” he whispered in her ear.
“It’s been so long but it feels the same for me, Boy. It feels just like it used to.” She held his arm around her.
“It’s not the same for me at all though,” he spoke. He sounded unnaturally loud in the quiet.
“But it’s just a different apartment, Boy.”
He said, “That’s not it and you know it.”
He said, “I don’t know how you got me here. And we’re even in bed together.”
“We’re just in the same bed, Boy. We’re not doing anything.”
“Does he know I’m here?”
“Yes, Boy. I told him we were going to sleep together.”
“And that’s okay with him?”
“Everything I do is okay with him,” she said.
“I’m sure it is. Only I’m not sleeping with you tonight,” he moved to get up but she held his arm around her.
“Oh yes you are, Boy,” the girl said. She did not let go.
He fell back against the pillow. There was only the steady falling of the rain.
“Those flowers are from him, aren’t they?”
“Yes,” she said. “When I told him you were coming he started sending them.”
“He must really love you.”
“He would do anything for me,” she said.
“Do you like my apartment, Boy?” she asked.
“I told you before I did.”
“I made sure to have lots of things to remember when it was the Girl and the Boy.” She pushed back against him.
“I’m sure you both think of me all the time.”
“When I cook I use your pots and pans. I work at your desk. When I listen to music, sometimes I listen to Eric Dolphy—“
“You never liked Dolphy.”
“No, but I like you.”
The man pressed against the girl from behind.
He whispered in her ear, “I never would have gone if I had understood my feelings then.”
She rubbed back against him.
“Oh Boy, I missed you so much. I needed you so much then.”
“I want us to be together again one day, Boy. Because we never really stopped.”
“No. I just went away.”
“Say my name, Boy.”
“You’re the Girl,” the man said.
“Yes. I’m the Girl and you’re my Boy.”
He pulled her against him strongly.
He said to her, “I loved you when I came back more than anything.”
“I know Boy.”
“Do you love him?”
“Of course not,” she said.
“Then why didn’t you come back with me?”
“Remember you left me. I never thought you would leave me. I needed someone for me.”
“Why didn’t you wait? You could have waited a few weeks at least?”
He kissed her hair. She felt him beginning behind her.
“I’m sorry.”
He freed his hand from hers and moved his hand down her stomach, down.
He said, “You took something out of me, Girl.”
He pulled back her hair and began to kiss her neck. She wasn’t stopping him.
“Boy,” she whispered.
The man was trying something under the covers.
The man whispered in her ear, “Girl, Girl, Girl.”
She tightened up to stop his hand on her.
“Do you still love me?”
“Yes,” said the man. He was working his hand forcefully to get it somewhere.
“Do you think of me every day? Does it hurt to think of me with him?”
“I want you so bad,” the man said and he got his hand there, working it around.
The man worked around on her under the covers and then he pulled hers down and then his.
“Don’t. You can’t,” she said.
The man was positioning so that he could.
“We’ve got to Girl. We’ve got to. I’m the Boy and you’re the Girl.”
“No,” she said. “You won’t do this,” she said and then, when, “Yes, do it to me, do it,” and under the covers the man had her, moving into her, he from behind her.
Then it was over and he lay back on the bed. She was crying softly.
The man moved over her. Her hands were covering her face crying.
He said to her, “I’m the Boy and you’re the Girl.”
He got up and went from the bedroom.
It was more towards morning now, the rain still softly falling.
That was how he left it.
Copyright © Moraline Free