Tag Archives: Hindu

The Ride is Life

24 Jul

Bike dudes

Emmet woke up on a chilly Saturday morning before everyone else in the house. He had been waiting in anticipation, much like a child with a new toy in its box, to try out some new riding gear that had been delivered the day before. With giddiness generally not present in his day to day life, he slid the gear over his thermal underwear and went to the garage to get his bike.

As he pushed the bike down the driveway towards the road, Emmet marveled at his breath that hung in the air after each exhale. It reminded him of his youth when he would wake up very early to go sledding after a nocturnal snowfall. A pulse of nostalgia pulsed through his body. More places he shall never be in again to add to a melancholy mental list he makes in moments of solitude.

He caught a glimpse of his neighbor, Kurt, pushing his bike towards the road. This could be fun, he thought, riding his bike with a friend like when he was a kid.

He shout out to Kurt, “Hey, buddy! How many you putting in today?”

“Ahh, a short one. Kid’s got gymnastics this morning and it’s my turn to take her. About 15-20” Kurt answered.

“I am stoked to try out this new bib, that’s perfect. Mind if I ride along?” Emmet asked.

“Don’t mind at all! The more the merrier. Besides, we’ve been talking about doing this for years”

The first two miles passed in chilly silence as the two men warmed up. Emmet was in front. Kurt sped up to ride next to him.

“Great to be on the road, isn’t it?” Kurt asked.

“The best” Emmet answered earnestly.

“It does get me thinking about things” Kurt interjected.

“Sure does” Emmet answered, coincidentally having been jarred from deep thought himself.

“Emmet, you ever think about ending it?” Kurt asked.

“What do you mean?” Kurt asked, knowing full well what his neighbor meant.

“You know, look, I loved that Anthony Bourdain guy. That hit hard. He had life by the balls. He was doing what he loved, saw the world, was extremely talented and was loved by millions, yet…” Kurt trailed off.

“That took me by surprise too. But, I think if that’s in you, it’s in you. Doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. It’s like a bad wiring or something.”

“Yeah, a bad wiring” Kurt repeated, more so to himself with the words echoing in his head.

“To answer your question though, no. It’s never crossed my mind. You wanna tell me something, Kurt?”

“Well, to tell you the truth, I think I have a touch of that bad wiring. Sometimes thoughts get stuck in my head, like on a loop. ‘It’s all gonna end anyway, like, nothing we do means anything. Nothing lasts. We are absolutely alone’” Kurt said, looking straight forward.

“There may be some truth to those things, but, I just say to that, enjoy the ride. Just like now, us on these bikes. We are literally going nowhere but I am loving the shit out of it” Emmet answered, “such as life” he added with a chuckle.

They rode in silence for a little while, Kurt digesting this delicious analogy from Emmet.

“So going home is death! The ride is life!” Kurt blurted out so suddenly it startled Emmet.

Emmet decided to play along, “Then we are Hindus because to them, death is birth, so going home will result in a whole new life”

“Jesus Emmet, I didn’t know you were this deep. That’s profound, brother.”

Emmet surprised himself, as well.

“Thank you for the ear, Emmet. I needed this; you have no idea how much. And please, let’s keep this chit-chat between us. Not even the missus. This kind of talk gets people looking at you weird or with pity or something” Kurt said.

“You got it” Emmet said. He meant it.

They rode on. For the remaining miles, Kurt pondered the new life he could have upon arriving to his home. It gave him hope.

They arrived to their street and before getting within eyeshot of their houses Kurt broke hard and Emmet followed suit. Kurt got off his bike and urged Emmet to do so as well. “Man, again, you don’t know how much I needed this. Let’s hug it out. Please?”

The two embraced. Kurt was careful to not let Emmet see the hot tears that rolled down his cheeks. “Seriously, anytime man” Emmet responded. He meant it.

They both jumped back on their bikes and rode to their respective driveways. They hoped off, gave one more good-bye wave and pushed their bikes to their garages. It was still very early and both families were still fast asleep in the warm embrace of their homes.

Kurt immediately went to the chin up bar he had installed on the wall. He looked up at the crude noose, haphazardly made of belts that he had put up before the ride. With more tears, he undid the noose and immediately threw the belts in the trash, handling them as if they were covered in disgusting slime.

He took off his riding gear and put his pajamas back on and slid into bed. His whispered to his wife, “I love you”

She, still half asleep, asked, “How was your little bike ride, hun?”

With more tears and a smile he answered, “Life changing”