(Written by Lydia Villacrusis)
We always moved in tandem: sang as a duet; partnered on the dance floor; did back-to-back seminars; shared CLP talks; jointly raised the kids; prayed hand-in-hand. It was no big surprise when one day, he brought home a tandem bike, a quaint sight even in the 90’s. He must have imagined us having a swell time cycling through the streets of our subdivision. He knew that with my clumsiness and inane fears, I could never ride my own bike with him. The tandem bike was a clever compromise. With him at the helm, he was cocksure we could put our acts together. Or so he thought.
We tried. Again and again, we did and failed. My legs simply couldn’t keep in time with his. The beating of my heart beat much faster than the rhythm of my lower limbs and my hopes of ever riding a tandem bike with him grew dimmer with every rotation of the wheels. Both exasperated, we gave up and the tandem bike was parked for months that stretched to years until an enthusiast took an interest in it and bought it for a song.
The image of the lonely tandem bike leaning against the wall, waiting eagerly to be used again is still etched in my mind. It remains as an icon of our mutual effort, mostly his, to keep us in synch. If only I had been more patient and persistent. If only I gathered more guts. If only he could see me now, I’m riding a tandem bike with steady legs and regular heartbeat.