Dangerous Compassions

queer temporary bike gang

I wanted to find online some group of fat women who cycle.  I poked around and found so much hate instead.  Yuck!  Do I live in a bubble of happiness?  People seem so angry and mean.  I couldn’t take much of it.

How offensive I am, a fat woman who doesn’t give a fuck about being attractive to you.  A woman who decided my existence is about something besides giving you a boner or caring for your boner.  Hmm.

They pretend the fat hate is a concern for health, but then if they wanted me to be healthy, wouldn’t they want me to ride a bike?  It’s just a ruse.  Donuts have nothing to do with it.

I think they have a lot of loose anger, and a fat woman is an easy target.  Then there’s backlash, an argument, and it turns into a thing.

If I’m on a trike, at least I’m a moving target.  I feel less vulnerable–I feel way safer.  I can see why people get really into it.

I don’t want certain clothes though, or athleticism.  I want something more like childhood joy, but I’m an adult now and can make better choices.

I don’t want to hurt anyone.  Many of my friends talk about punching Nazis.  I don’t want to punch anyone.  That’s not what my hands are for.  I don’t think punching Nazis will help anything, but especially it won’t cure them.  I have a lot of ideas about nonviolence and how fighting fire with fire is dangerous.  Inflammatory.  Doesn’t even feel good, let alone work.

Mostly I think people are going to do what they’re going to do.  If I resist capitalism, that’s because it’s fun.  If I love everyone, hoping to be a good example or model a sustainable way of being emotionally, probably it won’t do jack shit, but if it’s fun, I can and will keep doing it.

I think of people I love in other places.  I have a good friend in LA who I met online in 1998 or 1999, my first year of grad school.  She’s been important to me ever since.  She struggles with some of the things I struggle with, and she has a joy that I find extremely compelling.  She knows how to have fun, even though she has a lot of experience with pain, and reminds me how to have fun.  Kind of like my mom did.

She and I have only been together in person a handful of times–we’ve never lived in the same town.  A meal, coffee, a lecture, a trip to the Getty ten years ago.  But we write letters, interact online, talk on the phone once in a blue moon, and have this love that endures.

I have a fantasy about asking her, “Will you ride bikes with me?”  She likes to ride bikes.  She and I somehow would make this happen, and we would be happy together, Ming with us also, and maybe my friend’s girlfriend, if she likes riding bikes too, or some other friend or family member, coasting down the street together, free.  Queer temporary bike gang, maybe.

We could navigate space, traffic, road hazards, weather, our feelings, bits of conversation.  And I think I would be so happy I would cry, healing this childhood crap I still feel wounded about, and she does too.  Having her there with me.  This activity I need, with this special person I love.

I didn’t know cycling could heal me like that.  I knew about avoiding fossil fuels, making less pollution, personal empowerment, DIY ethics, exercise, movement, being a good example of a better way, taking back the roads.  Warm homegrown people power, fueling it with my breakfast and my own body, as opposed to the coldness of cars and wars about oil.  I knew a style of punk aesthetics and a romanticisation of all of that.

But I had no idea the combination of exercise, sunshine, and joy would be exactly what I needed for my health.  Or that it would touch so many strings inside me.  Multiple needs and ideas surfacing, pains from long ago that get resolved with the awareness.  My mind, body, and spirit all doing the same thing.  Like a ritual, everything aligned for a while, the hum of beauty that hums out of that.  Almost shivering with the aliveness.

I like also how Ming and I have a new thing to do.  I like talking to him about important ideas.  Usually we talk while he drives, but he’s distracted.  We talk in bed, but he falls asleep.  We talk in the kitchen a bit.  But bike talking–wow, I had no idea I would love that.

Well, I’ve raved enough for now.  Thank you for caring, reader.  I love you and thank you for putting up with these notions that mean everything to me.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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