Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 This Machine Cures Melancholia  Peter Gelman  With an illustration by Neal Skorpen     As it didn't rain, the January sky didn't need clouds: that stranger, Yellow Face, peaked down from the top of Mount Hood. Jake, Antonia and I agreed to bike toward the Columbia River on the path that traced highway 205. 'I put in new brake pads, finally,' Jake told me unhappily. 'The kind you recommended, with the little tooth that dries the rim.'   I nodded cautiously, suspecting that Jake and Antonia had been bickering before I arrived in my own bad mood. 'In about five minutes we'll all be happy,' I told them. An- tonia half-smiled because I always say that when we start out; then she was racing past me.   I caught up, and told her: 'Think about what Spanish word you want to teach me today, okay?'   'Okay!' she nodded, preparing to begin the lesson, but I interrupted-'but not now, wait twelve and a half min- utes'-'Why twelve and a half minutes?'-'Because twelve and a half minutes on a bike puts anyone into a good mood.'   She scoffed, 'It will take at least twenty minutes today.'                             82
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