Pioneer Square Pergola. You're standing there: Aberrant 6 p.m. A passing bicycle-taxi asks you three times if you want a ride. You reply, “No thanks. No thanks. And no.” The fourth time he asks, you say, “The only way I’ll do your pedicab is if you let me drive you." It’s a slow day, no Mariners game. He says, “Okay. Five dollars for five minutes. No going downhill and no stunts.” You give him the cash, he gets in the back, and you mount up on the piloting seat. You’ve always wanted to drive one of these things. For the first few pedals, you’re buoyant. You pass someone and ask if they need a ride. They deny you, but that’s okay. You feel slightly high, and old timey. A natural high. It’s basically an adult tricycle. You pass a woman and say, with an ol' tip of the hat, “Evening ma’am, care for a ride in my carriage?” You hope she gets in because you’d like to talk about old-timey things, like life in the logging village. She doesn’t even look at you, though. There’s not really room in the back anyway with the pedicab guy sitting there. He probably doesn’t know shit about logging villages.
Then the world turns into a mooseknuckle, with you as its unformed antler. If this is a natural high, it’s extremely natural. Or did the cookie you ate out of your bag thirty minutes before contain some complex strain of crystalized marijuana? Jesus Christ.
Earlier it had rained. Then the clouds cleared and late afternoon sun lit the mist a bright sepia. “Did you hear they found another Earth 500 hundred light-years away,” you say to the pedicab man for some small talk. [In your head, the sound of the word light-years echoes seven times in seven voices as if seven people yelled it into separate ravines. You shouldn’t have eaten the cookie. Never eat cookies you don’t remember putting in your bag.]
The pedicabbist says something about the planet, but it sounds like he’s in a ravine. Then an inkling memory of when you were conceived flashes through your wet brain—when your biological father’s one sperm won the sprint to the egg. You look back at your passenger and instead of pupils in his eyes, you see sperm cells. He blinks and they become tadpoles, squirming with identical tails. You’re pissed about eating the cookie. You keep going though, you have to get your five-dollars worth of bike taxi.
The street bubbles inward, and your vision looks out of a fisheye lens. God it feels good to stretch the legs. You’re asking people if they want rides, in your early-1900s-logging-village-voice, but no one gets on. There’s a cop on a Segway and you play-race him for twenty yards, then give him a tip of the ol' hat. But fuck that guy. It feels so fucking good being out here, doing this. Like honey in the city’s veins. Like Meliae, the Greek goddess of honey. Meliae that nursed the infant Zeus with honey in the Cretan cave of Dikte. Out in Elliot Bay, a large baby Zeus splashes around the sound like it’s a bathtub. In a teething fit he chews away West Seattle.
You stop the bike taxi and give the pedicab guy another five dollars. You tell him you need more pedaling time. He asks, “Where are we going?” Over your shoulder you see the pergola. You’ve only gone like a block and a half.
“We’re going to Hades, to hell,” you say. “Or Kent. I’m pedaling you to Kent.” (20 miles.) You hand him your belt, and take off your shirt, continuing, “There’s another fiver in this for you if you whip me like a motherfucking ox.” To the right the viaduct vies and crumbles. A pile driver heaves its steel penis into the earthcrust. You vie and heave. Traffic coagulates. No veo nada aqui. You hear him say, “STOP THE PEDICAB RIGHT NOW.” He tries to stand up. You pedal harder. He’s not whipping you. Maybe there was more than weed in the cookie.
A smattering of clapping applauses in your ears. There's a sticker of the Mariner Moose on the handlebar of the bike and it inflates. Then the Mariner Moose is sitting in the back and he’s reaching for you, but you’re going too fast. Or not. The smattering of applause becomes a smattering of mooseknuckles and mini Jackie Hell fairies dancing and doing a demolition derby in the air around your head. The Mariner Moose is yelling for you to stop. But he’s muffled inside the suit and far away in a ravine. Deep within the oval tires and spokes you spin, baby Zeuses bathe in dodecahedron webs of honey, and mooseknuckles collide with mini Jackie Hells.
The Mariner Moose is grabbing your shoulder. You try to tell him to get the fuck off you, but he’s insistent. After another block, you stop. You need to get away from the moose. You take your belt back and jog away from the pedicab to the safety of Revolution Books. For two hours you stare at two pages of John Steinbeck’s Log from the Sea of Cortez. Chapter 11, March 20th Entry. He's talking about manta rays and their effortless speed. The thought of the rays moving through water is comforting. Early in the morning Steinbeck had sailed from his shelter under Pescadero Point. Effects of the cookie have mostly subsided. No more ravines. Zeus's teeth have all come in. The bookstore is closing and you have to leave. You'll never eat a stray cookie again.