Call it a cop-out, part four.

For those playing along, you’re up to speed on my month-end installment of the feature I did for the now defunct Paved Magazine. For those who aren’t, click on that link up there and you soon will be.
Photo by David Reddick.

Fall 2011
I slowly walked out of the emergency veterinary office after visiting my four legged companion for what might be the final time and was immediately overcome with a torrid of thoughts rushing through my head about the complexity of heartbreak. The tears were still wet on my face when I swung my elastic band around on my wrist and flipped the attached key into my hand. Inserting it into the lock’s barrel, I released that which has led to my own salvation thousands of times before. I slowly and reluctantly rolled away, choking back another wave of emotion and pointed my bike in the direction of anywhere but there.

As the road opens up before me, and my legs began to turn in circles, again I reflect on life, and love and the dedication to another being. “The hurt is almost enough” I began to think- “… almost enough to make me want to live my life as an island.” The wind fills my ears and the world turns into a passing blur, allowing the absurdity of that observation to be made clear. That is the cruel irony of giving your heart to another.

The fact that as human beings, we thrive on giving and receiving love, yet ultimately we will all be dealt the crushing blow when facing the reality of those to whom we have committed that love are not impervious to life’s cycle.

The mechanics of my bike’s drive train moves to the forefront of my consciousness as I shift down through the gears and continue to pick up speed. Though my thoughts are with this little being who has been my compatriot for a decade, the brake hoods in my hands and the pedals attached to my feet deliver me from a place of somber reflection to one of solace.

I breathe deeper and pick up speed. The faster I go, the lighter the weight on my shoulders becomes. Despite the fact that when this ride is over I will have to face reality again, there is something about the magic of movement that makes this situation, at least for the moment, somehow almost seem bearable.

My bike has delivered me from despair on more occasions than I can stand to remember, though conversely transported me to pleasures I don’t dare forget. It has given me strength in times when I had none and with every high and low that life will ultimately deliver, it’s provided me the tools with which to handle it with strength.

The bitterness of this pill will never lessen, but the freedom of the ride certainly makes it easier to swallow.

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8 Responses to “Call it a cop-out, part four.”

  1. SweetCheetah December 29, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Animals are better than people most of the time. They know nothing but unconditional love.

  2. Victor December 29, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    it is amazing how an object like a bike helps to keep us moving forward on the path of lufe not just physically but mentally as well and one of the best places to heal a broken heart and soul…

  3. Mrs. Husby December 29, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Steve, this is most definitely not a cop-out. For those of us who didn’t have the pleasure of reading these posts when originally written, it has been a journey down memory lane with you, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I know I’m not alone when I say that your gift of storytelling, writing and actually getting thoughts onto paper is pretty amazing to read.

    Cheers to you as you say so long to 2014 and hello to new adventures in 2015. I can’t wait to read all about it.


  4. somedudeinFLA December 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I gotta go hug my puppy. Then I gotta go hug my bike. I owe them both so much.

  5. Monroadie December 29, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    My condolences, and positive thoughts sent in your direction.

  6. m December 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Yes, broken bones are so much easier to take than a broken heart will ever be.

    So sorry to hear about all this and while nothing I can say will reduce the pain of your loss, remember that you opened your home and gave a four-legged creature a life that was full of love, attention, and affection. The love that you gave & the warm home that you provided to your four-legged friend is real and lasting and can not be changed.

    But none of that above blahblahblah will ever truly diminish your pain. Sorry to hear about all of this. Best wishes.

  7. Crank December 31, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    Let go, let dog.

  8. Allen Berrien January 1, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are,