January 29, 2010
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.
Posted by Hermione at 12:36 AM