Knobby tires hiss against the asphalt, spraying rooster trails of leftover rain in the wake of our bikes. Tucking, we squeeze every bit of momentum out of the hills until gravity captures us and the burn returns as our legs pump like pistons to crest the next.
Its Saturday, and we are off to see a body.
Sliding to a halt atop the bridge that spans the river, we peer into the swollen brown murk that churns below. Damp ocher leaves slip through our fingers, pinwheeling into the current, becoming battle ships in an invading armada.
Thwip. Thwip. Thwip.
Rocks and pebbles crack the surface around the ships making their way down the watercourse. Yipping with each hit, high fives and smiles make their way around the group. Frankie leans over the concrete rail, hanging precariously as he gathers spit for the perfect release. It seems to hang in the air forever, before slipping quietly into the flow.
A little piece of him, making its way to the ocean.
We stand and watch the little white bubbles until they are out of sight, then one at a time we find our bikes to continue the quest, into the bright blue sky.
Forever was a whole lot easier to understand back then, before life became so temporary. Frankie disappeared not too many years later, after he released a little too much of himself, becoming a daddy. Jimmy went off to war, now throwing more than rocks, we pray for him each night. John's no longer married, now living with his parents.
We never find our body, only bleached white deer bones, cast off in the ditch by the side of the road. Pedaling faster as we roll by darkened houses, cars in the drive, no life in sight, wondering what happened to all the people.
Its Saturday, and we have the rest of our lives in front of us.