My dear friend S. is leaving in the morning, and I am so very sad. S. is the kind of friend you think only people on TV get to have–you know, the kind who see the world just as you do, except when they don’t, in which case they let you see something entirely differently. Now that is a gift. I met S. just when I needed to meet her. Not meet someone–no, I needed her. She has already given me so many gifts, including my bicycle. Now, this bicycle has opened me up in so many important ways. I’ve traced an entirely new map of this city with her, and in some ways a new map of myself. My bicycle gives me guaranteed pleasure. What else manages that? S.’s gift of Rhoda the Magic Bicycle is truly precious. I know this all sounds melodramatic, and it is. True love just feels that way. I’m justifiably melodramatic about S. and Rhoda. Because miracle upon miracles, it turned out they needed me just as much as I needed them. When I kissed my friend goodbye tonight and headed home on my bike it was pouring buckets of rain from a shiny thundering sky. Yep, I thought, this is how it feels to love and lose like this. S. isn’t going far, and I will still have her friendship as she will have mine. But tonight’s bike ride felt like this storm–wet, wild, noisy, bright, and, yes, beautiful. Drive safely, Miss S. Rhoda and I have you on our minds.