I haven’t got long. We only have 5km together – that’s 10 minutes . I’ve been doing this for some time. An hour. A day. A week. It doesn’t really matter anymore. We’ve all lost track of time haven’t we. I’m getting thirsty. Shall we have some water together. Where did it come from? Your water!?

Mine was a cloud. Before that it was a lake. Before that it was a cloud. Before that it was someone’s tears or someone’s washing up water of someone’s bath. It’s all cyclical isn’t it. Just like this machine. I’m going around in circles. I’m at 1km now. Should I go faster or slower?

Have you got a bike? Do you remember a bike ride you went on?  Where did you go? I went out with my son when he was young 4 maybe 5. My daughter was in a pushchair at the time. For some reason I thought I could manage. Pushing her with one hand and him with the other. Parenting is like that. You get used to multi tasking. Trying too much. Going too far.

They get tired. She was asleep. He lost concentration. He started rolling down the hill. Faster than I could keep up. And I had the pushchair in one hand. And I’m reaching out for him with the other. And I catch up. But he’s heading for a gap in the wall. And on the other side is a road.

And on the road is a tramline. And I can hear the bell. Like a tram is coming. So instead of catching the bike. Because I know can’t keep up for long. Because I’m still holding the pushchair. I steer it away from the road.Which means he’s now heading for a wall. Down the hill.

And I can’t let go of the pushchair. Because it’s a steep hill. And she’ll start rolling down it too. So I just watch. As he heads towards the wall. On his red fire engine bike. And Im shouting. Brake. Brake. But he can’t hear me. And he’s crying. And the baby wakes up. And the team goes by. And he hits the wall.

And when I pick him up. And check the bike isn’t broken. He asks me. Why didn’t you stop me daddy. And I don’t know what to say. So I tell him to get back on the bike. And he rides home crying. We sell the bike on Gumtree. 

And years later. When I look at him now. He’s still got this scar. At the end of his nose. I tell him it was chicken pox. A spot that he kept scratching. But I know it’s from the wall. And it reminds me of my failure. Parenting is like that. Always multitasking. Always failing

It’s cyclical. Like this. You fall off your bike and get back on it. But you can still see the scars. It’s time to go now. Have a drink with me. I’m getting tired. But I can’t get off. I’m cycling for him. I’m cycling for me. I don’t want to hit the wall. How long have we been talking. We’ve lost track of time.

I think I’ll keep going. You can leave if you want. And remember. This sweat. These tears. They might be water one day. It’s cyclical. Like this. We’re just going around in circles. Thanks for joining me. Stay safe.

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