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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts

Temporary adddress:
2101 Maywill St., Richmond, VA 23230
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September 18 - October 18, 2015

Bicycle Stories

artspace and Richmond Young Writers

Plant Zero Project Space Hallway Galleries

Odessa Hott, Age 14
"Dear Ryder"
illustrated by SANTA DE HAVEN

Dear Ryder,

Do you remember me? Hmm, probably not. Iím not important to you any longer. You have no reason to
remember me. Iím just a scrapped memory to you, right?

I donít understand! Why have you left me alone like this? You abandoned me...for her! And what did you do with me? You just let me fend for myself. You thought I would be all right alone like this. But Iím not. Those like me need those like you to care for us.

All those times I saved you, helped you claim victory, made you smile as the breeze ran through your soft hair that sheís now running her fingers through. Sheís swept you away with her sweet talk and angelic looks. Her long, smooth legs and hourglass figure have blinded you. My round, wiry frame isnít what you want anymore. What does she have that I donít?

We used to be like two peas in a pod. We went everywhere together and you shared your darkest secrets with me. We trusted each other. I let you vent to me about everything. I did my best to make you happy, to relieve you of the stress that flooded your mind from the long days of work. I stayed by you through thick and thin. Even when it stormed, I held you in the rain and sat until you the hurricane inside you had subsided.

Even if I could choose to leave you, I wouldnít. I was naÔve. I never thought the day would come where
you would simply threw me away without a second thought. Not even a kickstand.

No explanation. You just pushed me away...to be with her. You exchanged my steady wheels for her two (gasp)...feet! Itís unspeakable.

But, if she makes you happy in my stead...I suppose itís all right, isnít it? If youíre happy, then I know Iíll be okay, even if Iím just a pile of spare parts, left to rust and die in back of the shed, alone.

Donít think about me anymore. Just think about her and be happy. Smile in the way that always made me feel like I was someone special to you; the wings that carried you.

Do that silly dance you always do when Hall and Oates plays on the radio. Only, do it for her, because thatís a very special dance intended from someone very special. Make her laugh like you made me laugh, my wheels spinning with joy, rounding every corner, coasting down each hill. Complete bliss.

Even though you couldnít see it, I was smiling with all my heart and rolling my eyes watching you try to
master the Moonwalk. We both knew it was hopeless. Oh, you. I still smile in my own little way just
thinking of you. Just be happy.

Iíve decided that you should forget about me and give her a paradise like the one you created with me.
While you hold her fleshy hand, my purple handlebars will grow tattered; their plastic covers will show
only a mess of cracks, but donít worry yourself over it. My frame will rust and my tires will shrivel until they are recycled in the pile with all the others. I suppose thereís solace in that.

Forget the seat that held you high off the ground, coasting on my frame as we sped down hills making
daring swerves around potholes in the street, just to look cool for the girl you liked in town... I see that
now. The green leather of that same seat is splitting now, but donít let it bother you too much. Iíll live with this worn out pain. It wonít be too hardÖ

Who am I kidding? This is torture. I donít want to do this anymore. I donít want to live like this any longer. Please take me apart and crush me into a pile of junk. Use my scraps to make a new and improved bicycle. Put it in the shop window of the bike shop in the city. Maybe on your way to work one day, itíll catch your eye with its polished bell and its fresh leather seat. Perhaps itíll even have streamers on the newly made handlebars. All in your favorite colors.

Even though youíll never know it, those scraps will feel so happy. My spirit will reside in every piece. Iíll
shine in my own little way and send my wishes of happiness to you. I can only hope that my everlasting
love will reach your heart. Maybe someday, youíll feel it again.

But then... did you ever feel it? Is that why youíre gone? You couldnít feel how much I cared for and loved you, could you? Is it my fault?

What if this is the truth?

Oh god, what have I done? My love wasnít strong enough for you to feel. Iím just a hunk of metal and
plastic and leather andÖ Iím "just junk," I heard you say.

If only I could escape this form and hold you and tell you how sorry I am for not being able to love you
enough. I have no one to blame but myself. Iím so sorry. Iím so, so sorry! Forgive meÖ

Until we meet again...

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