The Cyclopath rides up, and stops next to me. Moments ago, my bike suffered a broken chain in the depths of the desert. The sun beats down on my second day, in my first year on the playa.
He looks freaky. Wrapped in torn black shreds, covered in dust, he looks at me and smiles, “Your chain is broken.” I find this obvious statement hilarious and laugh. He responds by detaching a small black toolbox from the rack over his rear tire, and begins sifting through the implements within.
Pulling out a small tool I have never seen, and won’t again for many years, he squats down next to my flaccid chain. A few grunts and whistles later, my chain is whole again. I feel whole as well. The stranger introduces himself. I feel my name as something foreign, not suitable for this exchange.
The Cyclopath rides into the void.
I come again and again, hoping to find him, thank him, tell him I came back for him, because of him. I find everyone but him. But he is there, I feel it. And he must remember me, and that moment of synchronicity. Two strangers well met on the playa, providing something for each other.
by Justine Smith