At the right moment he lifted off of the edge of the ramp.
He flipped upside-down.
Angelo Cannelloni didn’t know beans about life, but performed magic behind the handle bars of his BMX racing bike. He was an exhibitionist at heart and it all started when he was a boy.
Angelo used to prop planks and rails upon a rickety stack of cinder blocks and take his Huffy with the chopper fork and banana seat sailing in mid air. The showman in him charged a nickle a jump to watch his feats of daring do. There was no obstacle around that instilled the fear of God in Angelo. With the possible exception of Mamma Cannelloni.
Blocking the street with his intricate series of ramps, Angelo went halfway down the block to gain enough speed to make his jumps. He’d pedal his ass off and launch his make-shift rocket bike only to land softly on the other side. Once, even mamma paid the nickle and Angelo wanted to give her her money’s worth.
He fastened his Grand-father’s (Grandpa was in Anzio) army helmet under his chin. He squinted over his thumb to line the front wheel with the ramp. Angelo saluted the “crowd” with that same thumb. And off he’d go.
The daredevil lifted off the platform and was airborne. Angelo threw both arms skyward shouting;
“Look Ma, no hands!”
The widow Cannelloni clutched a hand to her heart feigning a heart attack, crying out.
“ANGELO, YOU SON-OF-A-BITCH!!!”
When he landed, the show was over. He was grounded.
Now in his demonstration all these years later Angelo dazzled the crowd with his exciting jumps. On his last jump, he wanted to pay tribute to Mamma who had passed away from a fatal attack when he was 19. Eyes over thumb. A salute to the crowd. Thumb aloft to the heavens.
Angelo revved his monster bike with a mighty howl. He let out the clutch and gave her gas. He fired down the runway crouched over his handle bar. At the right moment he lifted off of the edge of the ramp. He flipped upside-down, thinking to himself, “Look Ma, no seat!”
The racer landed in a heap on the other side, but there was no sight of its rider. In mid-jump, Angelo was plucked from his seat. Mamma reached down from heaven to snap him up. That Son-of-a-bitch was in for it now!