This article is Ancient (archive 2011)

Tandem Bikes and Prozac

I hadn’t showered or eaten for three days–my friend asked if he should get the tandem bike. We knew that a bike ride couldn’t cure depression, but if they could put those babies in a capsule, I’d abuse them like alcohol. Let me explain; I’ve struggled with major depression for nearly half my life. I’ve tried a slew of drugs–SSRI’s, SNRI’s, stimulants, anti-convulsants, atypical anti-psychotics, but nothing has ever worked as well as a tandem bike ride.

I got up after another fourteen hour nap and stumbled past the bottle of vodka. It wouldn’t be necessary. P– was waiting outside, straddling the 1st seat of the bike. I got on and we counted: one, two, three…

A few minutes passed before we said anything. Yes, he would like a cigarette. I lit one and passed it forward. In a few minutes I had begun grinning, and I couldn’t stop.

P– was peddling like a madman. All six foot six of him was hunched over the front seat. I lifted my feet from the peddles and soared down the side streets of New Orleans.

“P–, are you smiling?”


I imagined how we looked to passers-by, a giant and a little-person grinning furiously as they manned the tandem bike. Another cigarette, and we looked something even more bizarre.

The bike went up and over the hill at Nashville and Willow. A few days later we would brag about that feat. A few days later I would wake up and wash down my Prozac with a beer from the night before and think, “Someday, I’ll be as happy as I was riding that tandem bike.”

By: Black Label Warning