Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Bicycle

On Tuesday, I bought myself a new bicycle. It's butter yellow and looks like a bike from the 50's--a retro cruiser bike! It's beautiful. I don't normally buy things for myself. I purchase clothes when the need arises, shoes when things catch my eye, and jewelry...never. But, this bike called out to me. Sitting in front of the bike shop with a dozen other bikes waiting eagerly for owners. They resembled puppies in a pet store whining at passersby to "pick me, pick me."

The shop owner approaches quietly, not wanting to disturb my reverential inspection. "It rides like a dream," he says finally. "Want to try it out?"

Do I want to try it out? Of course I do!

He unlocks the security chain and I hand him my purse and parcels. As I push off into the parking lot, I feel foolish. I'm a bit past middle age and this isn't 19th century England where genteel school teachers go peddling the countryside unnoticed. This is a 21st century strip mall parking lot with gawking customers getting sensibly into cars and SUV's.

Interestingly, the moment I pick up speed and the wind hits my face, I don't care a fig about appearances or propriety. I'm young again in my bib overalls and Mary Jane's, piggy tail braids flapping in the breeze as I fly down the hill on my cobalt blue Schwinn.

I return to the shop owner, take out my credit card, and buy my butter yellow bicycle (which turns out to be very reasonably priced). I chuckle at myself for not checking earlier, but actually, I don't care how much it costs. I would have been willing to pay a bundle. After all, what price is bliss?

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