by Adam Strong

What a beautiful day it was, what a wonderful day to lose one's mind. This is what you think going into it, that it is all a wonderful dream come true, and sure I'll have my hands full, but at the end of the day it will be worth something. If I hang in long enough, I'll have it made.

You pedal down the road, with two kids strapped to your back, an 80 pound weight, and these kids are fighting, because one of them leans towards the other, and elbows the other in the chest. This causes the other one to shriek, loud enough for everyone on the ride to hear you, as if the profuse sweat tumbling down your chest and wetting your t-shirt didn't already make them think you were a heroin addict enough already, you think, let them win, I can picture the self help group, the people that inject 300 ml or whatever it is into their veins, just to cope, just to get away.

And then later on, you find it, that reason why pedaling with the two of them strapped to the back of your bike was so goddamned hard, the wheel, had nested itself, yes, a tire can nest, can force it to mate with the steel around it, and so here you are, fit as you are, 8ks are nothing for you, playing soccer with 10 grown men for 90 minutes doesn't hurt you, but pedaling a squeaky bicycle for 30 minutes does.

You feel like a goddamn clown riding this thing, you feel the rage well up in you, blissed-out, and diluted like the drugs you are bad ass enough to think you want but at the end of the day know you couldn't handle, so you wait until the kids go to bed, and you drink two beers, maybe even have one or two before they're in bed, just to make them think their father isn't fucking Charles Bukowski, at least that's what you are thinking now, when it's 7:15 PM exactly, and you are upstairs from putting the older one to bed, like you always do, and you pop a beer and sit at your desk, and think about watching the highlights of the day, English Premiere League, Soccer, a strange thing to get hooked on, but when the goal is right and the kids are distracted, watching a beautiful goal is like stepping off the edge of a cliff casually, with one foot, just for a second, you can always go back to your old life, but man is it fun to imagine what if.

You write sentences, you write paragraphs that when put together can hope to explain this life to someone who has never had kids, this wonderful moment, on the cliff, the same as soccer, to watch these two creatures, these two girls play or sit, the most mundane moment can turn into absolute transcendence, just like soccer, the acrobats don't know they're acrobats until they are ten feet in the air. And for now, just for now, it is enough.