But when we went out into the garage after a good, intense session of Okami, we discovered that the van was gone and the Passat still had its roof off. John's been trying to fix the roof, but a snafu with the parts has kept it slower than hoped. So we pretty much had to use our bikes. We talked about it a bit, and I offered that we could just stay home and cook noodles and Jet said that that would be okay, but he'd be okay with riding our bikes.
Right at that moment, the Western sun was shining hard into the garage and the garage, warmed by the afternoon sun, was really warm. I wallowed about for a bit, and had to call someone that was in the next neighborhood over to see if we could drop off a coupon book that Jet had sold her as a fundraiser for school, and then I had to pump up my tires and put the third wheel onto my bike. When I finished the sun touched the tops of the mountains.
Before we even got to the friends' house, I had to take off my sunglasses and I was chilly in my sleeveless tank top. The sun left our world a much colder place, and Jet shivered a little when he spoke. But we found the house and went inside and it smelled of roast chicken and dressing. My stomach growled, but they invited us in to sit down and talk and see their photographs of their son's wedding from recently. Jet helped with the pictures as they were in a very cool sliding frame that moved from picture to picture. But when he finished the pictures he crawled into my lap and snuggled in close and quiet. Hungry.
So we made our farewells and they gave us some quick instructions on how to get to the bike path, and we were off. A few yards into it Jet said, "I don't want to ride back..." and I panicked a little and said, "Well, we should just go home, then, so we don't have to ride the whole way back in the dark." But Jet said, "No, no, I'll be okay. We should do what you want... and I'll be able to do my turbo boost if I eat something."
So we made our way through the path, the park, and a deserted parking lot for an industrial complex. Air conditioners blew hot air at us as we passed by. I was tempted to stop at the outlet of one for a bit just to warm up. But Jet said, "We'll warm up if we pedal hard." So we pedaled hard and got there very quickly. The parking lot frightened me as there were so many cars going so quickly compared to a black bicycle. And I don't have lights on my bike, as I didn't plan on riding in the dark much. We parked, and went inside and Jet ordered his usual buttered noodles with Parmesan and no seasoning and I felt like I deserved the Mushroom Stroganoff with braised beef, so I had that. I could eat the extremely tender beef and actually chew it enough even with my tender teeth. Happy me.
Jet ate fast. I guess he was so hungry he just inhaled his food, along with most of a piece of flat bread with plenty of butter on it. He drank an IBC root beer, and shared some of it with me. Both of us enjoyed the fact that the pop had been newly sprung from a box, so it hadn't chilled in the cooler by very much. Jet stopped shivering by the time we were done.
Jet burped three times before we got on the bike and complained about having eaten a bit too fast. But he bounced on the balls of his feet as four smaller kids rushed by. "They're playing tag!" he said happily, bounced a few more times and then followed me and the bike. We walked through the worst of the parking lot and then got on the bike and headed back home.
The harvest moon rose behind us, bathing the world in silver, wavering light. Jet watched it with his neck craned around as he pedaled. "Mom! Mom! It's the moon lighting our way! Even without lights, it's light!" The park was pitch dark, with no path lights or anything, and I squinted a bit, as if that made it better, to see things. But the moon did light our way when our eyes adjusted to it, and there were no cars on the more deserted roads I took to get us to the sidewalk/walking path by our neighborhood.
We pedaled along and Jet said, "This isn't very fun, is it?"
"I think it is kind of an adventure," I said, not too confidently.
"It's not much of an adventure," declared my son, decisively.
"Well... it's dark and we're under the moon, and it's kind of beautiful out, isn't it?"
I felt the bike tip a little as Jet looked around, "Well... the moon is beautiful. I think the moon's light is dark while the sun's light is white..."
Poet, I thought, but didn't say.
"You warm enough?"
"Yeah. I'm good with it, Mom. I'm good."