January 29, 2010

Ode to Rusty


I want to tell you my story about Rusty.

Rusty was my dearest companion during a magical summer in Brooklyn. A summer with daily, luxurious sunsets shimmering in hues of gold, yellow, pink and blue.

Me and Rusty, we went everywhere together. He was the one thing I knew would always be there for me, waiting patiently outside my door when I stepped out first thing in the morning, at dawn even.

Rusty was my bike.


I remember the day I got him so vividly. For quite some time I had been sensing my need for a vehicle with two wheels to make my to’s and fro’s in Brooklyn easier and less time consuming. Longingly I looked at the youngsters swooshing by on their racer bikes as I walked down the blocks. I don’t need a high tech, two pound thing, I remember thinking, just a decent bike.


So I found Rusty. In an old garage somewhere under the BQE, where bikes had been coming and going and finding new owners for decades, there he was, waiting for me. Golden. Yellow. Rusty. In the need of some fixing up. But all the same, he was perfect, and it was love at first sight. The old man who fixed us up could tell, and gave him to me for a decent enough price not to feel robbed. He even put a bell with a flower on it, for free. Just for me and Rusty. Boy, was I happy!

And that's when my and Rusty’s journey began. I could instantly tell that he was the kind of guy who attracted attention to himself wherever he went. People admired his European-ness (German, to be precise) and golden locks. How he possessed just the right amount of worn pieces and flaws.

It was him and me, and it felt good. He waited for me outside of work. On the street while I ran errands. As I was reading my book in the park, he took in the sights of Manhattan on the other side of the river.

Then one day, things started to change.

It started with the bell. One morning when I walked out the door, it was gone. Someone had stolen the pretty, precious flower bell. Oh well, it was only a matter of time really. We were sad, but at least the two of us were still intact. We’ll get a new bell!

A couple of days later, things got worse.

Someone had stolen the front brake cord. Who does that? This would mean a new way of biking, but all the same, still biking. We were fine, really.

Then it happened. A truck. A third morning, and Rusty was no more. At least not what he used to be.
In the lack of space, I had parked him neatly by a lamp post on the corner of my street. Only for a couple of hours while I got some night sleep. Up at dawn, I’m ready to go to the other side of town, and what do I see? Rusty’s all crumpled, mushed and smashed, with a front wheel that would only dream of rolling down the street. There was no chance to save him.

I can’t really describe what I felt. Huge disappointment, big sadness. Faith in humanity temporarily bruised. I had to buy a metro card again.

With time, the wounds started to heal. Rusty got transported to a dump somewhere with other crippled bikes. I chose not to come and watch.

Life went on, and indeed, it felt emptier. We had had such good times together. I didn’t feel I was ready to replace him yet, and then came winter.

Rusty remained the one, and he might always do so. I still hold great gratitude and love for him, and am immensely honored to have spent such a magical summer with him. We went through rain, wind and sunshine, he never told on me when I was tipsy and biking (very bad idea by the way), and was just so awesome in general.


Here’s to you Rusty, wherever you are.


Flickr Rusty.

24 comments:

suzie said...

Poor, poor Rusty! This little tale is heart breaking, Hermione :(

My bike is a big, ugly modern thing whilst the Mr has a gorgeous vintage ride; no gears, sprung saddle, certainly not a bone shaker. I wish he'd swap with me!
Hope you find yourself another Rusty someday......

Anna said...

what a bitter sweet story! i hope you someday find a new Rusty! xox

Hermione said...

Aw, thanks you guys! I think the story turned out sadder than it was supposed to! It was brief, but sweet what we shared:)
And I'm sure that I'll find a Rusty no. 2 soon!

The Eternal Intern said...

So sweet!! I have my own Rusty!He's been through everything and yet we're still together ;) I really hope you find a new Rusty!
Flora xoxo

bec said...

oh your post made me sad but not in a bad way...! poor rusty! he sounded so lovely...

xx

Hermione said...

@ Flora, how lovely! Then you know exactly what I mean:) I hope to find him too! Soon!

@ Bec: I know, poor Rusty. He really did deserve better. I'm glad it wasn't too much of a downer for you:D It's a celebration of Rusty, really.

Lauren said...

Aw, how terrible! Old Sal (my bike) and I really understand.

pennycones said...

Ah poor old rusty.

But anyway, who the hell would steal a front brake cable!?! haha

I love my rickety old bike but if someone placed a new Pashley in my shed, I'd take that on my travels without a doubt!

xxx

Hermione said...

@ Lauren, haha! I'm glad you do!

@ Lisa I know, who does that? (I spell checked the text too now, thanks for reminding me how to spell brake:D. I'm getting rusty at spelling too:)

Maggie May said...

this was just totally charming.

StuddedLilly said...

thats such a beautiful picture..lovely post :)

xo

Lydia, Clueless Crafter said...

I want a Rusty, but I don't want his similar fate! I hope one day another more rusty Rusty walks into your life and sweeps you off your feet;-)

Hermione said...

@ Maggie May: Oh, Thank you, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it:)

@ Studded Lily: Isn't it? I wish I had taken it! Thank you:)

@ Lydia: I know, a Rusty please, without the drama:) They're out there, we just have to go get them, right? That's right!

Sum said...

Sad about Rusty! :(
So I was at B&N last night. I saw the DVD for Paris Je T'aime and I knew I saw that from somewhere, your sidebar! I have yet to watch it, but I really want to. Have you watched Julie & Julia?! I watched that over the weekend. Lots to love! Oh man, French cooking! haha

Biz said...

i just got a new bike (new to me, anyway) but your story about rusty made me appreciate her even more and want to pamper her just a little. she's secondhand, too, so maybe she deserves a new coat of paint. something perky and bright, maybe?

Hermione said...

@ Sum: See it, I love it!! And yes Julie and Julia, loved that too! Specially the parts with Julia, Meryl Streep is just so funny:D

@ Biz: Yes, I agree, you should pamper her! Maybe a bell? And paint in pink or turquoise? For the spring time:) Let me know how it goes!

The Anthology said...

Oh dear. What a tragic tale.

Sounds like he was such a good companion. Poor thing.

*Kelsey

*Marine Fleury* Cupcake chantilly said...

sweet!!

taryn said...

RUSTY!!!!!! Nooooo.

What a lovely post! I had a similar love affair with a cycle called Boris one summer. Sigh.. Tough BK streets!

~taryn xx

Hermione said...

Oh, Taryn, those BK streets are not for playing around with:( At least not some of the time:D
I'm curious about Boris! Sounds like he and Rusty might have made good friends!

@ Kelsey, yes he was a good companion. Such a shame!

@ Marine. Yes!

pennycones said...

Hey,

I just gave you a little award. Pop on over to take a look when you can :)

Amanda said...

Aww...so sad! I'd be devestated if that happened to my bike! My bike is so pretty that I keep it in my apartment lol. I've been trying to come up with a name for her (because she's just so obviously a girl). She's sky blue with white flowers. I was thinking somehting like Roxie...I don't know. Anyway, may Rusty rest in peace :)

mina said...

that picture of audrey hepburn is darling. what a sad story. :(

Hermione said...

I know, i was sad... But at least it didn't come as a shock, we saw it coming.. Brooklyn streets are rough for little bikeys like Rusty.

@ Amanda: Go with Roxy, love it!

@ Mina: I know, isn't it?

@Lisa: Thank you, again!

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