David pulled into the first available parking spot, right alongside the western side of the building and kicked down the kickstand on his bike. He gently leaned the bike onto the narrow metal support and lifted his leg over and across the back wheel of the bike, like a cowboy descending from a high equine mount. With both hands he pulled his electric purple helmet over his head, releasing a cloud of unkempt blond shag which he shook out as he laid the helmet on the motorcycle seat. David ran a hand through his hair, fingers splayed for maximum coverage, and then turned to unhook the saddle bag from the side of the skewed bike. It was already warm, even at 7:45 in the morning, and the shade from the tall two-story building did little to shield him from the hot July sun. His thick riding jacket clung to his neck and he unzipped the front to let in whatever chance breeze might cool him off.

David thought summer was the hardest season for his commute: in the winter he could catch the bus in whatever he planned to wear during the work day, and in the spring and fall the protective jacket provided an added layer of warmth. In the summer, though, he left home on his motorcycle more or less certain that he would have to spend five or ten minutes freshening up his appearance after a hot twenty-five mile ride in to work. It was hard enough to be convincing around the office, with his unruly hair and unlikely cacography and uncharacteristically loud laugh–a sweaty librarian on a motorcycle simply didn’t seem plausible.

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