The bicycle

When I was about seven years old and living in our restaurant, I had a heart breaking experience. Yes, I know we all have heart breaking experiences, but this is one of mine.

We had a rather large storage room used to keep a hundred cases of beer on hand for all of our guests. I did not have access to that room, but one day with my hand in my father’s, I ventured into it with my father, and a friend of my father.

The stranger was a merchant marine who did end up giving me a wonderful gift later, but this is a different story.

As we entered, there was a magnificent, candy apple red, bicycle inside, glowing in the darkness. I can still see it and know that it was too large for me, but I knew it was for me for some reason. Was it Christmas or near my birthday? I have no idea, but I do know it was for me.

After some time had passed, days or weeks perhaps, I went back in the room with my father for some reason and the bicycle was gone. I had not received the bicycle and figured out that indeed, it had gone to some lucky boy other than myself.

I was broken hearted and wondered who might have received such a wonderful gift.

I suppose this chapter was just the beginning of time and circumstance trying to turn me into a human that could suffer through the heartaches that life lays at our feet.

I eventually received a bicycle and was enraptured for some time. It was a Sting Ray and I learned to do wheelies down the street for hundreds of feet. It was always fun until I leaned back too far sometimes and hit the hard, rough pavement.

I broke the forks off of that bicycle several times before I outgrew it and moved on to another.

I survived all of those falls and other injuries to become the man that I am today. Thanks dad.