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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

And so The Bean was born.

This all started at 4:30 in the morning. Face ground into the carpet (I was sleeping on a friend’s floor), body heavy from four hours of sleep, I slammed my hand onto my raging cellphone alarm. Why am I awake? Right! Last day of high school, my friends and I made a plan to ride bikes to school. Ten miles: it was to be a formidable challenge. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since age twelve. Five years later I was going to try a ten mile trek over Massachusetts roads with absolutely no cardio endurance to my name. Right.

Jump scene we’re all in front of my friend’s house with bikes and water bottles at the ready. There were five of us, including myself. For storytelling purposes, we’ll call my friends Jukebox, San, Z, and Red. I am the Bean. You’ll know why soon enough.

The house was San’s. She was gracious enough to let me borrow a bike and teach me how to ride it. We were all waiting for Red, the last minute edition to our convoy. Once he arrived, and we forced the twenty year old tires on his bike into working order, we set off.

It was obvious who was ready for this and who was not. Jukebox, San, and Z all rode bikes regularly. Red and I did not. Every time we’d hit one of the rolling hills in our rural area, Red and I would fall behind because his bike was ancient, and I tend to spend more time making plans to exercise than actually doing it.  

On one particularly long stretch of hilly hell, Red had an idea.

“Hey!” He yelled from behind me. I made a shaky stop and turned.

“What’s up?” I jumped off the bike and walked towards him.

“I know a detour that will be way easier than the route the others are going. I’ll call Z and tell him that we’ll meet up at the school.”

So we took the detour and eventually made it thirty minutes later than everyone else. We parked the bikes in Red’s spot, and I limped towards the mass of thrilled seniors meeting up behind the school. Jukebox, San, and Z had met up with all our other friends and were sitting in a circle where some students and faculty were serving breakfast to everyone. The whole class of 2013 was heading to the beach for our last day, and the school was giving us free breakfast and lunch.

“What road did you guys take to get here? You’re way late!” Z asked.

Red set his bag down on the grass. “River road. We took the scenic route.”

The whole circle exploded! “Why would you go that way?! Are you insane?? That was a terrible idea!”

“Why is that way so bad?” I asked. I shouldn’t have, but I did.

My friend Blondie, who was not one of the bikers, looked up at me laughing.

“River road is an extra five miles.”

I face planted into the grass. “ERnfdsfdsdsfds. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”

So we got on the bus and Blondie gave me her red plaid blanket to keep warm at the chilly New England beach. I was exhausted. My muscles were shaking, I was brain dead, and I was in a really bad mood from the news that I’d ridden five more unnecessary miles on four hours of sleep and not a single cup of coffee. We all found our spot on the beach and put towels down on the sand. I took my new favorite blanket, wrapped it completely around my body, and collapsed onto the towel in the fetal position.

A few minutes later a girl approached our group and was talking with everyone. Someone cracked a joke, and I started laughing.

            “Oh my God! Is that a person?” She shouted.
We all laughed some more. Apparently I looked like a shaking bundle of I-don’t-know-what and not an actual person. My position became a running joke after that. We decided I looked like a bean and the name stuck. We pulled the joke on a few more people that day and ever since then, every day I’ve spent with my friends has involved some sort of bean pun.

 So, long story long, I am the Bean. And this is my blog about Bean’ Alive. 

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