For some reason, I am keeping my old bicycle. Both tires are flat, but the leather seat is still intact and all of the gears still work. Several spokes are broken and hang at cock-eyed angles like broken arms on a football player.
Why am I keeping this bicycle? At one point, I thought of moving it to the back yard and filling its basket with colorful geraniums.
But I couldn’t abandon it to a graveyard of rust and Kansas dirt bombs, of insects burrowing into the leather seat and planting their eggs for the next buggy harvest.
One day,I stared at my bicycle, safely ensconced in my basement and asked myself, “Self, why are you keeping this bicycle and waiting for some day when….”
And then I knew. My bicycle is my attempt to resurrect my dream. I want to live like Jessica Fletcher.
Do you remember Jessica? Angela Lansbury played this fictional character in the television show, “Murder She Wrote.” They were cozy mysteries, usually fairly easy to solve, and Jessica always did solve them – after the last commercial.
What I liked about the show was that Jessica was an older woman who lived in a lovely Victorian in Cabot Cove. She never drove a car, but pedaled around town on her bicycle. I wanted to have that sort of life.
Long before my dad’s dementia and my mother’s Alzheimer’s shadowed our lives, I dreamed of a cottage in a small town or on the edge of a country estate. I would be the eccentric little old lady, writing books at her desk by the window and then pedaling her bicycle into town for a loaf of bread or a cup of coffee with the locals.
No worries about memory loss or plaque depositing its death on temporal lobes. No fears that someday I might also forget how to track my name across a legal document.
Just a carefree existence, doing the thing I love best, writing and sharing my words with the world.
That’s why I save my bicycle. Somewhere in the depths of my quiet-starved soul, I yearn for another time when bicycles, geraniums and cottages represented beauty and safety. Somehow, I am naïve enough to believe it might still happen.
I pray that someday I might be privileged to regress into a simpler time in history where even murder mysteries are no longer frightening – a time where bicycles represent what is sweet and decent, the serene and safe life I long for.
©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo