Posts Tagged ‘shame’

Low Gear Emasculation

Over the past several weeks, wife and I have been sharing a single bike as our primary means of conveyance. Now that she has a temporary position, she travels a good bit further than I on a daily basis. Having realized the time that the bike saves us, however, we deemed it necessary to purchase another cycle. I spent the day working from home so that someone would be present to receive the bike from the deliveryman. As our original bike is more masculine, we decided to purchase something with a feminine flair to accentuate the baby-producing nature of wife. Having received the package, I tore off its wrappings only to realize how lady-esque it truly is. After snorting at the bike and making derogatory comments, I began the assembly process. The bicycle came together quickly enough, but I noticed that the chain dropped whenever pedal locomotion ceased. Not wanting to void any warranty, I determined to bring our new purchase to a nearby bike repair shop. Riding as hurriedly as possible to avoid potential embarrassment and then over-explaining how the bike was not mine to the shopkeeper, I left the two-wheeled contraption in more mechanically-able hands.

I had the bike home within and hour as the fix was quick and relatively inexpensive. I left wife’s bike on the back porch and settled down with the hope of accomplishing some work (I am supposed to be working on a PhD). Having lost track of time, I realized I had only thirty minutes to pick something up from the town centre before a certain shop closed. In desperation I considered how I could possibly make it in time… then I slowly peered out the back window. The bike chimed its bell at me, bade me come to her, and said, “I have a riding lesson for you!” Devoid of other options I gave the bike another looking over, not as an inspection of functionality, but attempting to determine what I might do to detract from the overwhelming femininity of this velocipede. Wearing camouflage and smearing myself in blood seemed an act of over-compensation, not to mention the fact that it would look like I had murdered a little girl and stolen her bike. Disrobing and exhibiting my masculinity would certainly have distracted attention from the bike, but our community is small, and we run into members of our church everyday… oh, and jail- both the detention and the potential of ending up naked in a cell- these things disuaded me. I decided to swallow my pride and took off in the clothes I was wearing. I gazed at the bike below me: a soft pink and gray frame. Mind you, the gray might have detracted from the womanly quality of the cycle, had not the words “estrogen” and “cuddles” been emblazoned on the sides. Every push of the pedals caused me pain. I felt like a middle-school student hoping his friends would not notice that he was riding a girl’s bike. That is when I looked up and saw actual middle-school students walking along the side of the road, having been freshly dismissed from their classes. “How embarrassing,” I thought, but then I reminded myself, “They’re only kids, they don’t care”- if only I had not read the story of Elisha that morning I could have convinced myself. As I passed successive groups of children, I noticed that none gave me more than a glance, and no one told me to “Go up, you bald head!” My fears allayed, I reassured myself, “This is alright,” when suddenly my seat cranked backwards forcing the pointed end of the saddle into a certain area that is not made to receive pointed objects. It was as though the bike was trying to force the process of evolution so that we would fit with one another. I finally managed to make it close enough to my destination that I was able to abandon this emasculating bike (on the outskirts of the town centre) and run to the shop before it closed to retrieve several photos I had had developed. I returned to the bike and could have sworn she was laughing at me, laying their on her side. She knew I needed her to get home. Not having brought a bag, I stuffed the photo envelope inside my sweater, picked up the embarrassment, and headed home. After riding a short distance, however, the pictures shifted inside my sweater and came to rest upright on my left thigh, and, because I had set the seat for wife’s height, this resulted in the restricted movement of my legs. This meant that with every elevation of the left pedal, the pictures brushed across my left nipple, and then back across with each push. I could not stop as I was in the middle of the road, nor could I stand, as that would risk losing the pictures. So, there I was: trapped, robbed of all dignity, virtually castrated, and being molested by myself. The bike had won…