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Linda's Drive

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Neil Blick

I like to think of bike riding as decompression.  Each push down on the pedal is a small release of emotional weight I carry after decades working as a psychologist. Emotional deposits from many clients who would bring their anxiety, depression, trauma and more into the therapy room. People wanting to depart lighter. Each leaving some residue of their angst for me to store in some deep recess of my being.

I like to cycle in the morning. Not too early, usually about the time when most people start work. On the day I met Linda it was a warm February Monday. A time when workers would routinely be busy with their occupation, concentrating on tasks, attending meetings, building houses, sitting at desks, talking on phones, creating things, doing the many diverse tasks that work requires of us. Recently retired and in my own quiet internal world of passive contemplation, I was calmly cycling along a deteriorating, country back road, dodging potholes and watching my legs pull up, decompress down. A gentle calm rhythm. I looked up from the road to the sky. That’s when I saw it. A small white car, windows half down, brake lights glaring, stopped on the narrow road.

A few minutes earlier the same car had slowly passed me while I was pedalling steadily over crumpling asphalt ridges. The white car was motionless and on a precarious angle, stopped on a tight bend next to a twisted one-hundred-kilometre speed limit sign. A dangerous place to be stock-still. I rode up next to the car and looked through the open driver’s window.  

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