Sunday, April 25, 2004

I once broke up with a girl over a motorcycle. Not physically OVER a motorcycle, but rather because of one. It really was not even the motorcycle that did it, it was the sidecar. You see, she was terrified of it. Just the thought of it made her panicked. She seemed convinced that if she so much as sat in it while it was parked that she would come to her demise. Riding behind me was not a problem; in fact she would eagerly saddle up behind me and hug close to me. Now if you have ever seen someone pilot a bike with a sidecar you know that it is next to impossible to do while there is a person wrapped around your midsection.

The relationship was doomed for a myriad of other reasons, but this one was the killer for me. As the days got warmer I longed to take out my bike and cruise the back roads, taking in the smells of a warm summer night. I tried baby steps. “Just sit in it while it’s parked in the drive. See how big and comfortable the seat is?” I’d say. Or “let me take you around the block, nice and easy”. I even tried using rewards. “Ride with me to your favorite crab place, my treat”

No dice.

As all doomed relationships do, it all just fell apart in the end. Yes, the bike was a deciding factor for me. It was just a bike I know that, but it was important to me that this was something she enjoyed. If I could not share this pleasure with her, I could not be with her at all.

In hindsight I realize now what was really going on. It was not about the sidecar, it was about trust. Riding in a sidecar is a great way to see the world. You can stretch out and relax while the miles pass under your wheels. You must however trust the pilot. Yes you recline in the steel body of the sidecar, but you give up all control. As the traffic whizzes by you, you must relax and trust the one steering the bike has your best interests at heart and will get you to your destination safely. The pleasure comes at a price and the legal tender exchanged for that pleasure is trust.

She could not let go and place her trust in me. Even in small steps, she would not release her control. For that she will never get to experience the bliss of letting go.

Why dear readers do I tell you this tale? To be honest I am not exactly sure. I just was struck by the urge to tell this tale yesterday. I remember looking down at K in the sidecar and seeing the way she smiled at me as we zoomed along, I knew that whatever may come of all this. I would not be breaking up with her over a motorcycle.