She’s Not There

Scott Lough/Flickr

Please don’t bother tryin’ to find her
She’s not there...

-The Zombies

For a long time, when I conceptualized the word haunted, I envisioned a shape-shifting sheet with two holes materializing through a wall in order to scare a cartoon protagonist. The Scooby Doo sense of the word.

More recently I’ve learned a truer, more chilling sense of the term. Once when listening to the song “You Still Touch Me” by Sting, I took particular notice of how the lyrics use the term as more of an internal feeling than some hackneyed theatrics. Then I started noticing when people would describe that feeling without putting a name to it.

What does this have to do with bikes?

Riding my bike at night makes me happy. I’ve always preferred riding on quiet streets after dark—saying hello to roaming kitty cats, enjoying the rustling fall leaves, or using the opportunity to sing loudly while ensconced in darkness.

Tonight though, was different. Perhaps because I haven’t ridden at night since I got home to Portland in late September. It snuck up on me—I felt the distinct absence of a riding buddy who accompanied me often in the year before I left.

My buddy wasn’t afraid of the relatively long ride home like most cyclists I know. Conversation flowed easily the entire 12 or more miles. The ride felt faster with company. It made me happy just to have my buddy around to connect with.

But tonight—nothing but silence and cold air beside me. A full moon illuminating fast-moving clouds, and nobody to share it with. Sadly searching for someone who’s not there.

Haunted.

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1 Comment

Filed under Bicycles

One response to “She’s Not There

  1. Lovely post. I know this feeling. Feel free to share.

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