Dangerous Compassions

bike hippies

“Hey, lover.  We were at Trader Joe’s the other day.  And there was this couple, bike hippies–they had a lot of tattoos.  I think they might have had backpacks.  Do you remember them?  I think they were white people,” I said.

“No, I don’t remember them,” he said.

“Well, I was looking at those people.  They made me think of when I was at the co-op in Sacramento.  And there would be someone who came to shop on bike, and they might be wearing their bike helmet and would have a backpack.  I always thought they were cool.  I wanted to be like that–riding a bike, to save a car trip, to love Mother Earth.  Save the air.  And I thought we would be like that.”

Ming was driving, as I sat in the passenger seat.  He was taking in what I was saying.

“I always thought we could get bikes, and we could ride our bikes places.  It’s just a drop in the bucket.  But I thought it would feel good, to make just a tiny difference.  Do you day, could we be bike hippies like that?”

“Yeah!” Ming said.

“A few times we rode over to the Worker.  But only a few times.  I wish we could ride lots of places.”

“We could!  There are just not grocery stores nearby,” Ming said.

worst grocery store

“Yeah, only Fresh & Less.  That’s the worst grocery store I ever saw,” I said.

“Fresh & Less?” Ming asked.

“Fresh & Less.  That place that used to be Buy Low?”

Ming seemed not to know what I was talking about.  I doubted myself, like I had misremembered the name.

“It’s not Fresh & Less anymore,” he said.  “Now it’s some other place.”

“What?” I asked.

“I think it’s a liquor store now,” Ming said.

“What?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Ming said.

“I never saw that!  How long ago did it change?”

“A few month ago,” he said.

“I don’t believe you!” I said.  “When I updated the handout for the Rice Room, you never told me it had a new name.”

“Well, it didn’t matter,” Ming said.

I was surprised because Ming is usually a stickler for accuracy.  “Well, Fresh & Less was bad anyway.  Really, a liquor store?”


Let’s be bike hippies.  One day, if we live a place more bikeable, let’s do it.

Let’s help the air be one tiny bit cleaner, to protect the lungs and health of children, babies, elders, teenagers, smokers, non-smokers, immuno-compromised people, asthmatics, homeless people, housed people, and all people.  Also for the health of animals and plants.  Mother Earth deserves all the love we can give.

bike hippies

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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