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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

Temporary adddress:
2101 Maywill St., Richmond, VA 23230
Currently open by appointment only
artspaceorg@gmail.com | (804) 232-6464

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September 18 - October 18, 2015

Bicycle Stories

artspace and Richmond Young Writers

Plant Zero Project Space Hallway Galleries

Kate Oelkers, Age 16
illustrated by LEW LOTT

He came wearing only a faded t-shirt, jeans that limply hugged his underdeveloped calf and thigh muscles, and a pair of soleless sneakers. Four dollars and thirty-one cents sat sunken in the gaping recess of his front-right pocket.

He smiled at passerby as his feet pounded the littered sidewalk. But parents held their children close and prejudiced hands grasped onto privileged wallets as if the dark gaps between the manís teeth indicated some lack of light within.

Sensing unwarranted discomfort, the man closed his lips and concealed the rotting string of pearls inside. He shifted his eyes downward and traced the cracks in the concrete with his gaze. Grass began to shoot from the pavement and then engulf it, making the ground one homogenous greenish-brown carpet, the color of a childís muddy watercolors. A layer of black permanent marker was added to the painting as the smooth, curved lines of thin tires interrupted the landscape. Raising his face to confront the difference, the man followed the tires up to the blemished frame from which they hung. Chain, handlebars, and seat followed. Stepping over other unwanted kitsch that covered the yard, the man ran up to the squat woman on the porch. He displayed the crumpled bills and coins that had suddenly leapt from their deep, cotton cave. The woman accepted them and apathetically shoved her revenue into a blue-tinted pencil box.

The manís feet felt lighter as he stepped away from the porch and turned to deliver a grateful salute. He swung a leg over the peeling seat cover and grasped the handlebars. The chain clicked into motion. The wheels spun, imparting energy as they revolved, spinning, crushing fragile days and years. With his chin pointed towards some supreme power in the clouds, the man allowed his lips to part and free a sound of pure ecstasy. I couldnít hear the screamóneither could you. But it continues to echo between his ears.

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8/17/2015 3:59:21 PM