My bicycle is finally in working condition. Her name is Olive. She came into my life back when I was still living in Lindsay; my partner at the time had put an ad in the local paper describing my dream bicycle and an old man sold his to us for twenty-five bucks. It had been sitting alone in his garage for years. Olive has treated me well since we met, but I sort of abandoned her during the two years that I was living in Montréal-Nord. I felt that I lived too far away from everything, and riding a bike through the traffic on Pie-IX made me feel nervous and unsafe. She did occasionally take me to my French course, but I took the bus most of the time. So she stayed in my apartment collecting dust and makin’ me long for the days of leisurely strolls with my twin; Polaroid camera and vegetarian snacks in the chrome basket.
When I moved to my current apartment back at the end of May, I put Olive in the storage space that I share with my roomies and wondered if we’d ever ride together again. I’d learned to live without her. But over the course of the summer, I’d get asked out on bike-ridin’ dates and feel so disappointed when I had to decline. Or I’d get trapped on the metro at rush hour and feel completely powerless. One night, Brad doubled me on his bike and as we rode through the dark streets of Verdun, I knew that Olive needed to come back. I’ve ridden a couple of borrowed bikes over the past month or so and I never feel so good as when I’m gliding along the paved roads with new friends and lovers. And I knew that my fear of city-biking would be easy to overcome after I spent several days on Maranda’s bike in Guelph. So I finally pulled Olive out of the storage space this week, cleaned her up, put air in the tires and took her out for a ride. Last night I rode from my home in Hochelaga to meet up with people in St-Henri, then all the way to a party at St-Denis and Jean-Talon. I’m a little slow, and Olive is a little jangly, but we had a great time together. And I did it all in a sequin miniskirt!
All this to say that I am feeling really fucking optimistic these days. Ever since July, it feels like things just keep getting better and better for me. I’m even shedding a little bit of my shyness, testing myself by smiling at strangers and sometimes (gasp!) actually engaging in conversation with them. (Okay, my nose is still buried in a book most of the time – but even that is quite a feat, as I’ve read nothing but French novels and occasional English-language zines over the past three months).
When I returned home from my trip to Ontario a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that a Special Someone had logged into my Flickr account and deleted it – meaning that I’d lost about four years worth of photos, and that all of the images over at Hello Amber had suddenly disappeared. I actually wasn’t as angry as I’d expected myself to be. It was only a few hours after the discovery that I’d decided to simply let it go – it was a forced lesson in forgetting the past, I suppose. I was almost ready to let my blog go, too, but I enjoy writing it and I’m not ready stop, though I do think that the format might change a little. So I started a new one instead. I may eventually import those old posts to this new site, but for now, you can totally peruse it as an archive. After a couple of conversations with Flickr’s technical support, my account and photos were restored (under a new username and password, of course). I should’ve put this site together a long time ago. I really like the idea of keeping the blog and distro in the same space, and I hope that it’s easy to navigate for you fine readers. So, welcome to my new blog! Please let me know if you find any glitches, typos or broken links. If you’d like to be notified of future posts, please subscribe by using the form on the right-hand sidebar. Happy reading!