I was at the mall the other day and I saw these guys outside tooling around on unicycles. It was pretty awesome. Their cycles had massive dirt-bike-looking tires, and they were using them to jump up on rocks and walls that were like four feet tall. And I had a total flash-back to being a teenager in Germany.
One of my sisters had saved up and bought a unicycle. And it became the family thing. We all learned how to ride it. I remember spending hours, first figuring out how to get upright on the cycle without holding onto the side of the house, and then learning how to pedal more than three times without eating driveway.
Turns out it's kind of like riding a bike (go figure). You just all of a sudden get it. And once you do, you're off! We rode that sucker all around our village. Up and down the hills around our block; even into the neighboring village to buy chocolate and gummi treats at the local bakery. And we got all kinds of attention from the Germans, so it was pretty cool for our little teenaged egos.
Then we moved back to the States and the unicycle came along. My brother and I continued to ride the daylights out of it. He even rode four and a half miles to the mall, and I think once even the 7 miles to the university. It was like our own little bit of celebrity when we rode it. People honked and waved like we were a one person parade. It pretty much rocked tire-tread.
So these boys at the mall–they seemed like nice kids, but definitely different from your run-of-the-mill me. Lips were pierced, hair was long, attitude was edgy. But I stood there and watched anyway. And when I told them they were totally cool to jump those rocks like they were doing and that I used to have one of those things, they said, "You wanna try it?"
Wha? Me? English-Irish-American-chick-with years-of-marriage-and-passels-of-kids-ride-goth-emo-boy's-unicycle?
And guess what? It was just like riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget. I took off and felt young and cool and almost emo again.
And then I fell off.
But so what? I now have three new friends. The Unicycle had unified. And they were seriously nice boys. They even gave me a website address so I could buy my own unicycle.
And dude. I'm totally going to.