I had my one and only mental meltdown in an Erie, Pennsylvania gas station parking lot. I’ll get into the details of that later, but the short version is that I wanted to just lie down on the pavement and not get up. Ever. But as we know, I am not still lying prone in a corner of a gas station. Though it took over two hours to muster it up, I did finally stand up, pull on my gloves, and pull on my helmet.
I stood, straddling the Vespa, letting it run stationary beneath me. I focused my mind away from the way I was feeling, away from the loneliness, away from the frustrations. I forced myself to focus on the noise and commotion surrounding me, to focus back on the ride. And as my attention focused on everything going on around me, everything going on inside of me began to recede.
I maneuvered slowly through the parking lot and pulled out into the road. I leaned into the left turn and my connection with the Vespa took hold. I felt the revolutions of the engine build, the gears shift. This is what endures.