Monday, June 19, 2023

A Story About A Freedom Machine

Yesterday was Father's Day, and for many it is a wonderful time to remember, to honor, and to share with those that are fathers and have touched other's lives. Not necessarily "biological" fathers either. 

But for some of us, days like yesterday are difficult. Not everyone has a "father", and many of us had bad experiences with their fathers, or had tragedy associated with their father, which brings up a lot of emotions at this time of the year. 

I am one of those that has difficulty with Father's Day.

My relationship with my father was troubled from an early age. It was a situation that worsened to the point that I tried to get away from the house whenever I could if I thought my father might be around. 

My method, my mode of escape, was the bicycle. It was a Holiday Station store 20" cruiser with high rise bars, a tall "sissy bar", slick rear tire, and was lime green with a bass boat black sparkle banana saddle. The model name was "Hugger", as I recall. I rode that thing until I was waaaay too big for it! It took me all over my home town. 

Fortunately for me, I grew up in a time where parents weren't hovering over their offspring, trying to protect them from....well, everything, and really, it probably was too far the other way when I grew up. I could be missing in action for hours upon hours. I just had to be home before the Sun set.

Anyway, the bicycle represented freedom from pain. Freedom from abuse. A chance to forget the realities between the four walls of our home back then and just be. That was what the bike did for me back then. It was what I needed to survive. To stay sane. 

So, I fell in love with the bicycle, and it was my main mode for getting around way up into high school. I did the typical 20's thing, like most folks my age, and ditched the bicycle for four wheels. But I had dalliances with bicycles all along for different reasons, and those old feelings of peace and calmness would come back. 

Eventually I bought my first mountain bike and that happened when I was about 28 years old. Been on those two wheels ever since pretty steadily. And through every bad thing and every day that reminded me of a past I didn't want to remember too much, that bicycle brought me some peace of mind, some mental clarity. 

So, yesterday was a tough day for me, but I am a father now, so that part is what I try to focus on and be better at every day. So, I was okay yesterday.

I hope you were too.


MG said...

Man, that one hit home for me… Even though I know the story well, it’s good to read it and be reminded that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Love you, Brother. You’re an awesome dad!!

Guitar Ted said...

@MG - Thanks! Love ya Brother!