I'm at the top of a hill, taking a break. Breathless. Exhausted. I've only been riding a few days. And it has become both the best and worst part of my life.
The hill is long and steep and, and the intersecting road that lies at the end is incredibly busy. Cars whirling by, horns blaring at one another, drivers shouting harsh words, and children sitting clueless in the back seats. All of these things slowly become a complete blur.
I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I push the bike forward and lift my feet from the peddles.
I'm on auto pilot.
The bike starts plowing forward. The chain clicks as I shift gears, lowering the resistance. I lift my hands off the handle bars; but they still hover just above. I can feel the wind flowing through my hair and cooling my burning face. I'm smiling the most genuine smile to grace my face in years as if joy itself were a demon and for the first time decided to possess my pathetic body.
I can hear the traffic getting closer. I can feel the hill coming to an end. I'm don't want to slow down. I want to slam into traffic. I want cars to smother me. I want the damage to be so bad my funeral has to be a closed casket. And I want my bike to only be recognize by a few small, hardly distinguishable pieces-- noticed only by a few remaining pieces of the purple glimmer from the frame and black, glossy metal that captures the handle bars.
For the first time in almost 7 years, nothing is troubling me. I don't feel stressed or exhausted. I don't feel anxious and alone. I feel free. I feel at peace.
It made me realize just how badly I want this all to end-- even if it is in the "worst" way possible. Even if I have to leave everyone in the dust.
I want it. I want it more than anything else.
I've always known that I wanted this to end. I've always known I didn't want to have to live with this for 70 years. I didn't want to live a "full" life. Because that entailed living with this for an entire lifetime.
The faster the bike gets the better I feel.
More excited. More free.
I felt like I was taking my first breaths after being suffocated for years. Or like I was walking free for the first time after years of being anchored by heavy chains. It felt incredible.
Suddenly, my hands slam down onto the handle bars and desperately grab at the brakes. The tires squeal against the pavement and the back tire jumps up a bit.
I open my eyes-- only inches away from the fast moving traffic. Now, all of the horns and angry voices are directed towards me and clueless, confused child's eyes land directly on me.
I looks down, trying to avoid the harsh gazes of those I've inconvenienced. I'm ashamed. I slowly put my feet back to the peddles, and grudgingly make my way home.
I should have done it. I should have completely let go and let the beautiful moment of liberty be my last.
I don't exactly know what came over me.
But I do know that I will ride again tomorrow.