This post is 5 weeks overdue. Did you have fun reading about my adventures around town? I guess… I never wanted the dream to end. But as time continues to pass me by, I can no longer afford to stall this last post of Biking to the City of My Dreams.
Although the time has passed, I still remember that day clearer than I remember yesterday.
Alviso Branch is the farthest away from home. I took the lightrail to downtown but as I approached the Metro/Airport station, I had to BOUNCE as soon as I saw the police coming to check for tickets!
(Yes I didn’t pay that morning. Bad Linh!) So I shot out as soon as they walked in.
Good thing? They didn’t catch me.
Bad thing? I now have to bike the rest of the 5 mile road down North First Street to reach the library.
Good thing? I get to ride the rest of the 5 mile road down North First to the library (:
At some point I realized I was reaching a new threshold to another world. As I crossed the bridge from one country to another, the land welcomed me with a gushing breeze.
There’s not much to see here, it’s a small population of San Jose.
It’s on the edge of my universe.
There’s much to see here, the Guadalupe River Trail starts here.
The peaceful grains of dead grass sway with the wind.
The sky was never so blue, the sun never so bright.
I’m sorry, I accidentally mistook that temple for an ice cream place….
Finally, the Alviso Branch Library.
It’s a small-town library. Unlike Educational Park or Almaden, it’s not grand or sophisticated or anything like that.
It’s small and sweet. From the outside, I see the paint peel off the bottom. Inside, the library is probably as big as the Carnegie branch. It’s great though.
I wanted to end my trips in a grand way, in a grand place. But, despite its size and age, it still is a grand library.
Someone posted on Bascom that a library shouldn’t be judged by its looks or feel, but by the content of its books.
At the Alviso Branch, I read this great book called Deadline by Chris Crutcher.
[synopsis: Given the medical diagnosis of one year to live, high school senior Ben Wolf decides to fulfill his greatest fantasies, ponders his life’s purpose and legacy, and converses through dreams with a spiritual guide known as “Hey-Soos.”]
The story resonated in my mind so much that I later bought my own copy. You guys should check it out. Crutcher manages to be funny while also keeping a reflective, thoughtful tone.
After I left the library, I toured around the area.
I don’t know where the road leads me to. I could flow down into a great sea or I could trickle into a dead end.
But, like water, like time, as a biker and a person, I can’t help but just keep going. No matter where the road takes me.
This trip was quiet. Today was quiet. Most endings are quiet.
As I bound for the road home, the streets silently embrace me in familiarity and strangeness. This beautiful place I never knew is already leaving me so fast.
Have you ever had that feeling? That something so simple could move you so easily?
So. I’ve been to all twenty-three libraries in San Jose. I’ve breathed in some really good memories and been through some crazy ride all this time, but I actually did it guys.
(And don’t worry, I paid the fare for the ride home)
Every library has a different concept, but they all have the same theme:
Be it fluttering butterflies, falling leaves, or doves taking flight, the central concept of flying was introduced in every library.
Many animals fly, but humans can’t. Not literally of course, but figuratively, we can soar as high as Mount Olympus if we wanted to. If we tried hard enough.
After two months of trudging through stairs, bridges, dirt, and San Jose, I’ve finally started to fly.
My first challenge has already been accomplished. I finally biked to all 23 libraries.
The second? I finally got my bike up on the rack this time.
What’s my third challenge you ask? Figuring out how to write a poignant personal statement out of the best summer adventure/challenge ever.
Right now, I’ve barely reached the base of the mountain. Tomorrow begins the uncertain climb and the rest of my life I might be dangling off a dangerous cliff until the inevitable fall, but to not let that happen, I grab the handholds tightly and take a new step each day until I reach the top.
Thank you, reader, for joining me on this journey across the San Jose Public Libraries this summer. It really was a ride I will never forget.