Someone told me once to ‘get on my bike.’ That’s when it occurred to me that I didn’t own one. So I went and bought one—no wait, actually two—bikes. A pretty blue mountain bike and a helpfully self-propelling one with a motor, a motorbike.
The three of us fell deeply in love.
The motorbike had the soul of a dirt bike, having been one in a previous lifetime. So it was attracted to dirt and gravel roads, and to mud. That was after a lifetime spent as a pink tricycle, with streamers hanging from the handlebars and ridden by a little girl in a pink dress with determined eyes, who would turn out to be me.
The mountain bike was afraid of mountains, and heights in general, and preferred city streets. This was after meeting its end in its previous lifetime as a cigarette butt, flicked, spinning end-over-end, from a mountain-top sight-seeing lookout. Thus the dying of the light and the extinguishment of that particular lifetime. And of course its strong preference for the big smoke merely an inveterate habit of the many short lifetimes it had spent as a cigarette.
Both bikes had done stints in previous lives as ten-speed racing bikes; as car wheels; and as various kinds of tyres. The motorbike was once a ferris wheel; the mountain bike a monocycle, and before that, a monocle. They both served me in a previous life-time, forming the pair in a set of regular spectacles.
Going back a way, all three of us had once worked together on a steam train: I was the driver and those two worked side-by-side as wheels. And going back before the time of people and before memory itself, the three of us were nearby pebbles, beautifully smooth and rounded, in a stream, sometimes rolling together in the current. Then I decided to reincarnate as an eel-like creature in the late Cambrian period, whilst they remained in orbiculate occupations.
Together again now, our wheels once again turn together.