Σοφία reflects on the men in her life

The gallery of men-

#1  Διοκλης

Father provided essential material needs to mother and me. He helped me obtain my first bicycle and for that reason I will be indebted to him forever. While we never lacked food or shelter father was often distant and didn’t express love easily. He lived by the strict moral code of the times. That’s just how it was in those days.

#2 Μπαμπούλας

The bogeyman—real or imagined?

#3 Ἀρίσταρχος of Samos

My sixth grade math teacher left me traumatized. I hated him. It was the beginning of the dark days of middle school. It took me many years to overcome my fear of mathematics but eventually I mastered the Pythagorean theorem and Euclidean Geometry. On the bright side, it was during this time that I first started taking solo exploratory bike rides in the countryside (despite protests from mother).

#4 Τρωΐλος of Elis

Uncle Τρωΐλος raced successfully on the road and on the track. After a failed attempt at making the Olympics he retired from racing to raise his family. Yet he remained a lifelong cyclist and was the only one to really encourage me to pursue my passion for cycling.

#5 Στέφανος of Aeolia

What can I say—I was young, naive and confused—and I was completely infatuated with Στέφανος. At first I was impressed by his apparent worldliness and creativity. It’s true I should have known better. Call me a fag hag, fruit fly, fairy godmother, queen bee, fruit loop, flame dame, fairy princess—whatever. On the plus side he was sensitive and compassionate and listened to me the way most men don’t. We had some fun times and I benefited from his provocative thoughts about the creative process. Secretly I resented that fact that he was a trust-funder; how could I respect him if he wouldn’t make something of his life? He wasn’t even a cyclist. Most of all I resented his hangups about his sexuality. Why couldn’t he just fully accept himself for being gay? After going unfulfilled for so long I finally moved on. But not before meeting one of his other fag hag friends. In a strange twist of fate she and I, two fag hags, consummated a passionate romantic affair in a world capital of fine art and architecture despite Στέφανος. Talk about a crazy love triangle—but that’s a story for another time.

#6 Νίκανδρος of Aeolia

Νίκανδρος was the father of Στέφανος. He was everything that Στέφανος would never be:  generous, charismatic, a brilliant artist, a polyglot, successful in business and a self-made man. Even at an advanced age he was still active, creative and enjoyed learning. He was widowed and happily remarried. I really admired him.

#7 Αρσενιος of Athens

Best sex ever! And just what I needed when the love triangle finally imploded. He was the embodiment of a Greek god. He was a bike messenger from Athens. His crazy good riding skills served him well during cyclocross season. Sure he took advantage of me when I was on the rebound. I never really understood what he saw in me but it was fun while it lasted.

#8 Περικλῆς of Thespiae

Περικλῆς knew about ancient bike history and lore; he built a few frames; and he possessed a respectable list of cycling palmarès. While I was attracted by all of this it was his wit and way with words that hooked me. Unfortunately after only a few dates I realized he was full of himself. I couldn’t tolerate his arrogance, self indulgence and narcissism. I dumped him and broke his heart. Poor guy, that’s why he looks so bummed.

#9  Ἀντίγονος of Thessaloniki

Wow, it’s been over 15 years now since we’ve been together. He’s the love of my life. He’s not the most successful, not the most athletic and not the most creative. So what if he’s just a utility cyclist—at least he rides. While Ἀντίγονος is not perfect he gives me what I need most of all, which is my freedom. He’s secure enough with himself to allow me my adventures. And he’s always there for me when I come back home. I love him for who he is and for loving me and accepting me as I am. Happy Valentine’s Day honey!

Love, Σοφία

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