Church and Mate
(Vancouver, BC Canada)
Separating Church and Mate: Ending the Tension Once and For All
Our bike club has been filled with some mighty thick tension lately. Our meetings carry the smell of barely suppressed animosity and rage like the sickly smell of impending death on animals you see teetering along the highway. We usually come here to talk about our bikes and our families, plan upcoming rides and events and take care of club business. Lately, we have come to glumly stare at two former best friends as they glare at each other across the room. Church, the big, stereotypical epitome of the word “biker” thinks that he is right. Diane, his on again, off again girlfriend thinks he is not. It all started with the sale of a bike and turned ugly from there.
Church wanted to sell Diane’s daughter his old bike. Patricia has wanted a bike of her own for years. At one point she asked Di to show her how to ride and thought she would be hugged and the riding lesson would commence. She was shocked when Diane, usually a perfectly reasonable person, said no and would not discuss the idea any further, with anyone. We all tried; we love the kid. We are not so much a club here as an extended family and all of little Trix’s aunts ganged up on Di one fine summer day to find out her reasons. She was no older than the kid when she got on her first bike. What gives? She would have no part of the conversation and for a while, did not show up at meetings. Since we would rather have her presence than her answers, we all let the subject drop, until now.
The bike subject was not approached again and Church and Mate, his amusing attempt at political humor were fine. Then one day after our meeting started we heard the roar of a motor outside- Church’s old bike, a beat up dog of a bike, but still in top running condition. With him, there was just no other way. Patricia, looking so much like her mother at that age that it hurt our hearts, hopped off that bike and I swear, her feet never touched the ground more than twice as she bounded over to her mother. Diane never said a word but did fix old Church with a glare that would have melted paint and stormed off.
It is not for us to decide what is right or wrong, as much as we all feel responsible for this child. It is not for us to decide whether Church was wrong to go behind Diane’s back and help out the kid he has practically raised as his own. It is not for us to decide- but it is up to us to help them hash this out so we can get past the animosity once and for all.