I stumbled into the house, numb hands barely able to operate the key. I was cast aside, hopeless, adrift, and wearing two wristwatches. I took them both off, then went into the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror. I could not bear the sight of my own face.
I paced from the front of my apartment to the back, looking for a place where I fit. Finally I found myself among my bicycles. I picked up my tools, but they felt cold and without any humor. I began to root around in my spare parts bin. I realized I had all the parts to put together a bike, and I might as well busy my hands while all my head wanted to do was hang sorrowfully.
Outside a hot, persistent rain pattered against the windowpanes, and thunder rolled overhead like a great bell down a set of stone steps, echoing the clanging fear of loneliness in my own head.
Strewn about my workshop I had a cyclocross frame, a 650C carbon fork, a set of BMX risers and headset, and other various parts. Sure, they’d technically go together to form something that was vaguely bicycle shaped, but the horror of those disparate parts coming together was enough to turn my stomach. Still, I wrenched on, as if building an ugly bicycle would somehow excuse my own ugliness, my own inability to keep Sherril with me.
The next hour passed in a blur. The cries and the fears in my head became a regular buzz, like the 60-cycle hum of the single fluorescent light overhead. All the while, my hands twisted bolts and tensed cables, following their own designs with no direction from my head or heart. I even remember adding a single triathlete-style water bottle holder behind the seat in comical dildo fashion. I am sure I’ve never purchased such a thing, yet there it was.
Finally, the bike was built. I took a step back and looked at what I had done. It was without a doubt the ugliest thing I had ever seen. Even a dog’s anus would wink in horror at this bicycle, and I vowed to dismantle it immediately.
Yes, dismantled immediately – after just one ride.