Mike Schumer's Sunset Ride
Last Thursday, at two a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Mike Schumer shucked off his oxygen tubes, turned his back on the monitors, grabbed his cap and his cane, and rose from his bed at Berniece’s Adult Family Home.
Night nurse Lloyd Amoha’s gaze shifted off the QVC’s diamonds and glommed onto Mike. “You’re walking?”
“Yeah.” With each listing, three-legged step, Mike lost frailty. He tossed the cane. “And I ditched the Depends, too.” His speech was no longer slurred. His face had lost its droop. He loped across the multi-purpose room and surveyed the wreckage of his Yamaha 250. He shook his head. “Un-fucking-believable.” All the dents had been hammered out. He leaned low and blew off decades of dust.
He hoisted a pajamaed leg over; flexed the handlebars. The machine put-putted. He tilted his tweed news boy cap low. His Dearfoams scuffled along the linoleum.
Lloyd lifted his butt off the La-Z-Boy. “Wait! You don’t have a helmet! Your head’s not on straight!”
“I don’t have time to worry about helmets or not helmets.” Mike spoke with disdain.
A piece of sky was opening between the Thomas Kinkaid reprints and a dog-eared stack of Steven Kings and Dean Koontz. Mike kicked the 250 up to cruising tempo and faded from sight.
About the Author: Novelist and fictional anthropologist Kathy McMullen has been studying the slightly peculiar yet strangely familiar folks of Pleasant Arms and The Cinderblocks, Pleasant Arms’ neighboring poor relation, for many years. Both communities form part of a “fictional belt” surrounding Seattle, Washington. Some of McMullen’s researches may be found at The Maine Review and Second Hand Stories. Miscellaneous field notes may be found at her blog https://neighborsnorth.wordpress.com. She invites you to drop by.