There was a boy who rode his bicycle one day and did not stop until he became a man. He became strong, thoughtful and kind. A woman took his hand and pulled him to her. At first, this puzzled the man, for the woman had another man as her husband. The woman dazzled the man with her beauty, wit, and intelligence, and he kissed her. Her husband, seeing this, took her home. The woman returned the next day and took the man to an empty house where they let their bodies touch and glide and rock together. The man, who had been lonely, was filled with joy.
However, he would not come between a man and a woman who loved each other. He prepared to leave, but the woman stopped him, saying that she did not love her husband. She asked him to stay with her for two weeks, so he did. During that time, the woman told the man she desired a child with him. The man had never wanted to father a child before, but this melted his heart and he and the woman found a house to live in and were happy.
Their happiness was short lived, however, for the woman was unsure of the man’s love for her, would not have a child, and left the man for another man who had been whispering his love for her in one ear, and whispering terrible things about the boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood in her other ear. The man was terribly puzzled and hurt by this and wept. In despair, he thought of ending his life, but did not.
In time the boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood found that other women were just as pleasing and he tasted many women’s bodies over many years. He married one day to a gentle, pretty woman with two children. They had many happy years together, but, in time, they grew apart. The man looked longingly at other women. The woman would sometimes order the man around, or make fun of him, or call him a liar, and the man would be angry with her. They divorced and the man found himself alone again. He wept again, but did not despair so much this time.
One day the man met another very pretty woman, again with two children, and they spent a lot of time together for several years until one day he asked her to marry him. The woman, who had been married once, had sworn to never marry again, but after some thought, the woman agreed to marry the boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood, and he was very happy again for many years. The two children grew up and moved from their home. In time, the man and his new wife quarreled and she decided it was best they go their separate ways. The man was sorry it was over, but he did not cry this time, for the woman had caused him much hurt over the years they had known each other, so that the man found he was happier without her.
The boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood sighed often, and felt great loneliness for some time, but he did not despair, for he had found another woman who gave him much pleasure in her appearance and talk, and they were friends. The man was still lonely and desired this woman greatly, but she did not love him, and would not let him touch her nor would she go out with him to even a movie. Although they found joy in many of the same stories and tales, and talked often of the things they both loved, they could not enjoy these things together. This woman was not married, loved children, and did not yet have children, and had never had a husband. The boy who had ridden his bicycle to manhood loved her deeply, and despair grew in him, for she would not love him. He desired to have a child with her, to live and love life with her. She seemed not to care for the man, but the man often wondered why she had sought him out so often. He persisted in courting her, but she resisted any attempt by the man to see her more often. One day the man gave her flowers and let her know his feelings. The beautiful young woman was angry that the man thought that way about her, for she was young, and the boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood was no longer young, and had not the pleasing face and dark hair of his youth. This was despair indeed, but the man had been so sad for so long, because this woman would not have him, that he felt his sadness lessen.
The boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood, in fact, felt nothing anymore. He was not sad, and smiled at odd times. He was no longer lonely. He felt no desire for any woman, past or present, and no desire to meet anyone new. He lived by himself for the rest of his life. He walked often, and reflected on his life. It had not been what he expected, but it had been his life, and there was much to remember and be thankful for. Somewhere inside of him, he was still lonely, for no one should ever be alone for very long. None of us live fully without the presence of family, friends and loves. The embrace of a lover brings great comfort. The touch of a hand, the warmth of a body next to you, or the sweet kiss of love shared; these things are needed by all of us. But the man would not, could not, ever have those things again. He had no desire for nor awareness of this need.
When he died, he was mourned by no one, for he had been forgotten by all. It did not matter. Love is fleeting and forgetful. The boy who had ridden his bicycle into manhood had finally learned that life can only be lived fully one day at a time, with no expectations, and no regrets.