I am currently reading (or technically re-reading) “Big Sur and the Oranges Of Heironymus Bosch” by Henry Miller. If this sounds pretentious, please note that the only reason I picked it up was that I was running to the bathroom and it happened to be the closest piece of printed matter to hand. Had there been a copy of Mad next to it I can assure you I’ve gone with that instead.
Anyway, I’m still reading it, even though I’ve finished going to the bathroom, and in so doing I was amused to come across the following:
Only now am I noticing the typo in the word “fortune.” That notwithstanding, two things occur to me:
- I read this book once before like, I dunno, 30 years ago? To my knowledge, this is the first instance in modern prose of using the price of a used fixed-gear as a measure of inflation, and I wonder if it subconsciously inspired my creation of the PistaDex;
- The used track bike Henry Miller bought from a six-day racer is the Holy Grail of hipster bikes, and easily the most important bicycle in 20th century literature–even moreso than George Plimpton’s Y-Foil:
Contemplating this, I wondered to what extent bicycles played a role in Henry Miller’s life, and was surprised to find the following:
Wait, is that Rivendell’s Instagram? No! It’s Henry Miller and his bike!
This is Rivendell’s Instagram:
As you can see, they’re virtually indistinguishable. And just imagine Rivendell had been able to get their hands on Henry Miller’s bare bars…
They sure do love twine over there. I bet they even use it on their toothbrush handles.
As for the bike, is it possible that’s the used six-day fixie outfitted with a coaster brake?
I’m sure someone who’s either: A) An expert on vintage bikes; II) 118 years old; or 3) Henry Miller’s ghost will weigh in with an opinion.
Regardless, the man did not fuck around when it came to pant-cuff retention. And speaking of literary figures and bikes, it’s probably a good thing this bicycle-themed fever dream never hit the big screen:
Though I think I may have just found the source material for David Byrne’s next Broadway show.
Moving on from prose to the prosaic, I continue my regimen of early morning road rides:
Which frees me up for a day of half-assed parenting:
It ain’t Big Sur, but it’ll have to do.