Wednesday, April 27, 2011

what love is all about

I love my bike.

I'm certain I make this clear to all.

but the other day I didn't much care for it, in fact, wanted to hand it off to someone else, perhaps permanently. not exactly a love-hate relationship, but a love-exasperation relationship. at the moment I'm contemplating hauling it into my house and dealing with what needs to be dealt with. I donwanna.

see, what I desire is a bike that will take care of itself: is self-cleaning, self-correcting, and flat-proof. when it's dirty, greasy, muddy, and in need of a new tube and a new tire, I want it to just go fix itself.
which reminds me of what I said to a former partner when he was a mess: go fix yourself.

the difference is this: although I desire my bike to take care of itself, I understand that it cannot. I will clean it, I will wipe the mud off, I will take the old tire off and dispose of it and put a new tube and tire on. I will dry my bike, I will pump the new tire up, and before I ride it again I will lube the chain.
a bike is inanimate--obviously--and incapable of fixing itself.

the partner I guided, I sat with, I shared with, I directed and advised and empathized and through it all, loved. but there came a point where I couldn't clean, repair, and fix him all by myself. animate creatures have to participate; they can't just rest on a rack and wait to be cared for.

ruby is resting right now, awaiting my ministrations. I will eventually go get her, bring her inside where it's more comfortable, and start to work on her. (yes, I know she's really an "it.") I donwanna. but just like in relationship, my choice is to participate, or to be left without a partner.

the other day I was stranded in a snowstorm, wet and chattery, soggy and disheartened, when ruby's tire flatted and the new tube I installed wouldn't play nicely with my CO2 cartridge. nine miles from home, I was ready to hand ruby off to anyone who would take her and fix her and bring her back all better.

but we are true partners, and it's my turn to show what I'm made of.

right now, that's going to be latex (as in gloves), cotton (towels and rags), elbow grease, degreaser, and a thick portion of determination.

I donwanna, but I hafta.

because that's what love is all about.

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