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  • The General rode with me to New York City from Maine—it was a solid bike, as dependable as its name suggests. But six years later it had been replaced by a newer, lighter bike, and sat gathering dust and rust in the stairwell.

    So I decided to give it away on Craigslist. Within an hour, I'd made arrangements for the bike's departure.

    Rolling the old General on his flat tires down the street, I become sentimental. This bike and I explored my new home together; he was my constant and loyal companion; I once rode him through the snow to meet the woman who would become my wife.

    This is when I remember some words from my grandmother, which she would say when you broke something, or if you were wondering whether or not you could throw away an old birthday card, to remind you of the difference between inanimate objects and what was really important:

    "They're just things."
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