At 14, I had already begun to feel like an outcast in both my personal and professional lives. My “professional” life was school, of course, and having recently turned the corner from matriculating lacrosse player into alienating BMX bike rider, it felt like I had disaligned with the prominent, acceptable political party. At the time, the two worlds did not cleanly overlap, and all but a few of my friends from one ran for the hills when I began to prioritize the other.
One carry-over was a popular kid, a sports stand-out, and the son of the football coach. He was a lifer in the conventional system, but had an affinity for the fringes where I now resided. He rode BMX with me whenever he could, and was good at it, and in my opinion him doing so was one of the only reasons that I wasn’t even more severely ostracized.
We got along well- causing trouble wherever we could find it, listening to Suicidal Tendencies on near-constant repeat, and riding bikes like we were being paid to do so. Being a sports kid in a sports family, I believed that things like football and lacrosse must have felt almost like jobs to him, and bike riding (especially with me) must have felt like a nearly-supreme rebellion.