A letter to my Road King
Dear Beater Bike,
I don’t know where you are or how to find you. Maybe you don’t want to be found. I suspect you aren’t far. You’ve always loved Montreal in the summertime, and I am sure you still do, without me.
I was surprised how you left in the middle of the night; I thought I’d given you the security you needed. Now I’m left lacking closure and sometimes I find it hard to leave my house. Daily life has slowed without you, and it takes me twice as long to get anywhere, to do anything. It’s hard to pretend things are normal.
It’s not that you were the only bike in the world for me. I mean, I’ve had rides in better shape than you, slicker and younger, but I was willing to work it out. But you? What did you do for “us”? Sure we went everywhere together, but do you remember how you hurt me?
When we decided you were ready to let your chain guard go, I thought things were getting better. We were finally able to enjoy a special silence; things were going smoothly. You looked and felt ten years younger. But, it wasn’t long before remnants of your sordid past resurfaced, and you let me slip on your broken pedal and gouge my ankle on your useless, rusted parts. When I suggested we get professional help for these, the last of your hang-ups, you proved to be a difficult case. After that, I wasn’t sure you wanted the help. It wasn’t my fault you were scarred, yet it was me who paid the price. I hope you know that I did everything I could for you. I couldn’t afford to give more. We were good together.
Don’t you remember what a mess you were in when I found you? You were rusting in the snow, twisted and broken by a sidewalk plow hit-and-run, a junkie standing over you, anxious to snatch you away. Your fate was so uncertain. Had I not left the bar at exactly the right time, who knows what might have happened to you that night.
I did everything I could to get you back on the street again. How could you leave like this after all I’ve done for you? I want to think you couldn’t help yourself, or that you’ve gone off to serve a greater purpose. But, I met someone who saw you leave. He said you sold yourself for the cost of a hit.
Loving you was risky, but I’d hoped I’d be able to care for you in a way that could keep you from getting sucked back in by the junkies and crack whores who seemed to know you, and your kind, so well.
I would like to think that you’re enjoying the sunshine somewhere, rolling down a bike path not far from here. I half expect to see you to ride past me, some other girl on your saddle. Just know that I still want you. And, if I find you, I’ll want to chain you up and keep you with me forever. You’ll always be my Road King.