Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
November 2018
Written by
Nino Gugunishvili
November 2018


   Despite the angry protests from my mom, every morning, after a cup of coffee, no, actually with the first cup of coffee, I’m headed to my apartment balcony to have a quick cigarette. She’s complaining, I’m in early menopause, I’m lacking calcium, my hair is getting thin, and my smile, is not what you’d see on the covers of the glossy magazines. But I don’t listen. I ignore. I step on the balcony and inhale and then I see it, and it irritates me. The shiny, new bicycle left on a tiny balcony just in front of my apartment building, of the old brick house, which, according to the date engraved on one of its red bricks, was built back in 1901. That lonely, shiny bicycle waiting for its owner, covered with plastic, somehow infuriates me, every time I see it.  In all its glorious newness, it reminds me, of things that will never happen again, the things, that I will never do, the things that are late to be done already.  

You may always learn to ride a bicycle even if you’re 44, someone with a brighter and more positive attitude would argue, but for me, riding a bicycle is an epitome of childhood. Broken noses, stitched knees, and torn jeans, it all belongs to childhood. It sends me back to a narrow village street, with I fall, my knees and hands bleeding, and my 70 year old nanny, running towards me,with a  horror on her wrinkled face, washing my wounds with soap and water and helping me to sit on a couch on a little veranda of our summer house.

‘‘You’re much better with reading books, seated here,’’ she tells me, applying that horrible greenish liquid to my wounds. I obey her. I was never a rebellious child. I start reading.  Corners of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer pages are now colored in green too, as I touch them with my hands.

 My nanny, content that at least I’m with her, hurries to the street searching for my elder brother and my cousin, who’re much more skilled with riding their damned bikes.

 “Dinner’s ready! ’’ I hear her shouting into an empty street, as the familiar smell of burned, round meat pies hit my nostrils. Happiness. 




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