Clash of Cyclist and Green-Van Man

302
SHORT, SHORT; STORY:

Clash of Cyclist and Green-Van Man

On a relatively busy street named East Port Street, a cyclist came from a side road at the speed of a car in a cosmopolitan city and a green-van man drove his van at the speed of a cyclist in the countryside, and they clashed.

Hampus Runsteen the cyclist crashed his bicycle into the middle of a green van. The cyclist was not crushed. He fell off unlike a ripe fruit. His head hit the tarmac road. If he would not have worn the helmet, his head would have bled. He shook himself up, and stood up. It was not unusual for him to hit against vehicles. When he saw the front wheel of his bicycle folded neatly in a symmetrical way, anger stirred up and flew out of his head in the place of blood.

Because the driver of green van stopped the vehicle, Hampus rushed towards the front side of the van, and hurled distasteful words.

Per Forsberg the driver was alone in the green van. He sat in his seat and watched the cyclist rant at him unrestrainedly.

Hampus realized his swear words were not reaching the ears of Per for he was inside the van with windows on both sides clearly raised up without allowing an atom to pass in to his zone of security.

Autumn had established firmly and winter was touching with a hint of cold weather: chilly winds.

Walkers and onlookers and pedestrians walked past without intervening for it was their time to sort it off for the crash was not deathly.

Feeling annoyed for not able to elicit a response from the driver of green-van man, Hampus displayed his middle finger in the righthand.

The green-van man’s ire arose. Ears pricked. Earlobes turned redder. Per felt to get out of the van and confront the cyclist but forced himself to sit, and considered to call the police or drive off.

Hampus searched for his mobile phone in his garments and realized it was in his backpack but the backpack was not his back. He rushed to the spot where the cycle lay next to the van. He found the backpack in the fold of his front wheel. Hurriedly, he took it and started taking photos of the van and the bicycle.

The sight of cyclist taking photos of the van made Per the driver to get out of his seat. He jumped out of the van and said, “You know who is wrong.”

“Instead of saying sorry, you …” Hampus the cyclist said and started reiterating all those distasteful words he had aired at him earlier and went unheard. Per the driver heard what he did not want to hear. He had not heard such swear words for more three decades. He suppressed his urge to retaliate. He succeeded. He felt a sense of responsibility for he was on duty and doing a job in the interest of the public. The green van showcased to the world on its back and sides:

WE PUT GOTHENBURG IN MOTION WITH AN EMOTION

Per felt the cyclist not only drove into his van, but behaving aggressively for no reason for he would have had insured his bicycle. From his Swedish accent he found out that he was not from Gothenburg, and he tiptoed to the spot where the bicycle lay on the ground.

“See, see, what the f*** you have done,” Hampus shouted.

Per the driver knew about the make of the bicycle: one of those 1000 custom-made bicycles sold at a premium price for middle-income cyclists or for those with lower incomes but have a taste for a vintage bicycle. He said, “Why waste your energy, you have an insurance, ah?”

“It is not an ordinary bicycle,” Hampus shouted, “f- like you don’t know about this.”

Per was cocksure, the cyclist would have stolen the bicycle or bought the stolen one but he wanted to be decent, “What happened —”

Hampus was uninterested to listen to Per but started taking photos of the driver.

Unable to decide what to do with Hampus, Per unzipped his trousers and lowered it, along with his underwear, and turned around and showed his buttocks to the cyclist: take photographs. Glowering in anger, and feeling relief for expressing himself, Per zipped up, and drove off.

—Lucinda Palme