Did I tell you about the time some wastie spacie stole my back tyre in January this year? Took the whole thing clean off (rim, spokes, sprocket, wheel- errthing!). ‘Okay,’ you could say, ‘you should have locked both tires in’. Fair enough. Point taken. When I finally got the bike fixed about 3 weeks ago, I was so glad to be back on the road. Getting fit again -I was doing an average 12 miles a day – and saving so much on transport. When you are earning millions like I am, this sort of opportunity to save feels like a godsend. And you feel you are doing you (teeny tiny) bit for the environment.
I didn’t mind too much that most of the people I was sharing the road with shouldn’t be allowed to wield a spoon, let alone drive a car. I didn’t mind the stiffness and aches now and then. Or getting so geared up before every journey that I was one strap short of a proton pack (Was that a Ghostbusters reference? Tut tut- Showing age). I didn’t even complain too much (though I was suitably irritated) when I would come out and see that the punters from the neighbouring clubs had used my bike basket as a bin (or even sink for emptying their sticky beverages)- I mean, it’s not their fault that they were probably dragged up by rats and therefore have to get completely senseless to escape the painful dichotomy of living in a human body with the sensibilities of an animal (particularly, a rodent). But I won’t lie; I felt hurt and a bit violated when I saw my tire was gone in January. I got over that and, when I fixed the bike and got back on the road a few weeks ago, I continued dealing with the general foolishness that comes with cycling (as noted above) with reasonable equanimity, because I had the big picture in sight and I was just grateful to enjoy the benefits.
But what happened this morning, really made me upset. I despaired of humanity on a serious level. I had geared up, gone out and undone my locks (2 now for each wheel because I have learnt). I started to pull out and felt a dead resistance. I thought perhaps I had left one of the locks on. I knew I hadn’t, of course. So I look down and see that some sphincter of a dog has now bent my back tire. The brand new one. As I always do when I come across some silliness on my bike, I look around at the bikes parked around or on the same dock, and I see they are all normal. As usual. So it’s just me? I don’t want to sound like a pitiful ‘why me!?’ whiner but ‘Why the hell me?!’
I was so disgusted with the thing that could have done this. I tried to straighten it but I couldn’t. Someone must have made a serious effort to do this because those wheels are stronger than you think (I guess they would have to be considering the weight they carry- not necessarily speaking of my weight in particular (ahem)). At that point, it all felt very, very personal. I was ready to go get a voodoo doll and stick a toothpick up its nether regions. Continuously. For a few days.
There is just no cause or excuse for this sort of beyond dysfunctional behaviuor. I would blame their mother but I know they don’t have one and probably never had. Unlike before, I couldn’t even bring myself to be sorry for the poor excuse for a human that would have done this. Aside from feeling personally assaulted, I was incensed at the health and financial loss that I would now have to bear because of this unwashed, diseased backside of a person.
Many, many dark(er) thoughts passed through me as I went back upstairs, changed and then headed out for the bus. It was a real struggle to not take it so personally. After all, they knew they were doing it to another human being. That’s personal enough.
But ultimately, I had to get over the inconvenience, irritation, the personal affront, and the frustrating feeling of utter helplessness (as I will never probably know the thing(s) that did this or see them come to some justice). Above all the negative fallouts listed above, I hated the fact that this thing was getting the better of me in such an intense way. So after much logical and spiritual rationalisation/supposition (‘These are just things’. ‘Maybe I would have had an accident if I got on the bike today or maybe it’s making my back problems worse’ etc.), I just came to the realisation that it is what it is. And, yes, they (the perpetrator(s)) are what they are but thank God, I am what I am and as they continue down their pointless, twisted existence, I need not be stained by the crossing of our paths. It was an interesting exercise in adjusting perspective, with (honest, almost, rant-like – not pius) prayer to shake it off and have faith in the greater (positive) plan for my life.
Maybe in 2 years, I will have become so kind, caring and insightful that I really will feel nothing but sympathy for someone who does something like this and want to reach out to them or pray good things for them but for now, it’s all I can do to assign this to a hole in the ground after spitting on it. So this is me just scraping of the last of what’s at the bottom of my shoe.
That’s life. I guess.