Colours seep together as the intense white of the sun obliterates my perception. Within this washed-out world I push down on hot aluminium pedals, rubber tyres already beginning to roll along hot tarmac. As the bike gathers pace I squeeze the frame with my thighs and ride with no hands, tangling and untangling the headphone chord with my fingers. Slipping the buds into my ears I press down buttons that pulse the electricity that begins the music. As my hands grip the handlebars and my back arches down, the beats lay down the sinews of a framework upon which my mind can construct reality.
A shower has just passed and the clouds in the distance tell a short story of rain that has gone and rain that will come. All around me the spent water is evaporating into the ether as the sun’s hot rays vaporise its molecules into upward movement. I split this migration of hydration, puncturing the long trails of moisture as they re-begin their long journey upwards. Overhead, new clouds race along tracks of azure sky, eager to add to an ever enclosing encirclement of grey. It will rain again very soon.
Ahead of me the traffic lights are changing from amber to red. I can see the orange shades darkening into ochre as time slows and everything seems to pause. A bass beat of music pulsates through me, underlining the rhythm of the cars as they vibrate slowly behind painted lines, impatient drivers scowling as their feet begin to push down upon pedals. Everywhere water hangs in the air, a melody of molecules refracting the rays of the sun as they play towards a sky in which a kestrel floats, blown upwards on the heat that rises from the hot tarmac below. As quickly as it slowed, time resumes it’s normal speed and I accelerate, piercing the intersection at a tangent to the floods of cars that career through seconds later, front ranks of drivers angrily honking their horns.
Up ahead is a congestion of traffic. I overtake a lorry as it begins to slow down, running parallel to it as the spray from its wheels combines with the sweat from my forehead. I look up and smile at the driver as he looks down and glares at me. I swerve between stationary cars, signing my brief existence into the rising water and falling light with a flourish of liquid synergy. Thoughts rise and fall within my mind as I breathe in and out. I am one with the flow of the movement. The motionless will take care of themselves.
Suddenly I escape from the bottleneck, shooting out into an empty road like a single raindrop squeezed from a bruised cloud, falling into a blue sky. As I look to the road ahead the music stops as it pauses between tracks. My mind settles and re-focuses even though its edges remain blurred. Sometimes I’m not sure where the stationary objects stop and the flowing movement begins. Enclosed, as we are, in a mind of pulsing electricity driven by a heart that beats on a planet that spins in a universe that is expanding and contracting into eternity, who does? A new beat begins as I pedal on, the sky above me steadily darkening, my fingers tapping on the handlebars without pause.
© 2012 Thomas Halvë
N.B. Four Tet ‘Pause‘