Friday, February 8, 2013

For the Beer and Chaos

She scrunched her eyebrows and made a serious face, as her lips curled outward, baring her teeth. Then, bending her knees slightly, almost as if to mimic being seated on a motorcycle, she held out her right arm in a fist, cocking it upwards.

"Rrrrrraaahhhh!" she screeched out, showing me her racing impression, then laughing afterwards.

The twenty-something year old girl I met in a bar in downtown San Diego the other night, who seemed so much in love with the motorcycling lifestyle, to the point of being sexually aroused, wanted to tell me about her passion for riding.

riding a motorcycle into twisties

"I have a Ducati 900SS in the garage", she told me with eyes wide open and mouth brimming with excitement. "But the bearings are shot", she continued, as her facial expression drooped into a more humbling  but cute, disappointment.

"I guess you're going to have to get it fixed", I replied, not knowing what else to say.

"Yeah, if I only had the money."

On twisted roads I tend to forget my troubles as my mind focuses on the turns.  I would enter from the outside portion of the lane, and then dart towards the inside as I accelerated on my way out.  The motorcycle was like gold to me.  It was all that really mattered to me.  Just me and my bike.  

Blackbird doesn't question where we're headed. She doesn't care how fast or slow.  She's already well aware of the respect I have for her and seems content to leave it at that.  She already understands she can't go anywhere without me, and that I can't go anywhere without her.

riding motorcycle into curves

And I can't really see what lies on the other end of the curve.  I can only let my mind speculate on what the road will reveal.  I don't want to set any expectations for fear that I'll be disappointed where I'll end up.  I don't want to tell myself that I've been down this road a hundred times because I don't want the act of running away to become boring.  I want the motorcycle to make me feel alive.

It's often said that "it's not about the destination but the journey."

But even today in my 40s it feels like I'm still looking for something more.  The more I keep running away, the more I want to find a place to belong.  The more I settle into a place, the more I want to leave it behind.  Yet as long as I'm on the motorcycle, I feel better about things.

I guess it's the anticipation of finding something new over the crest that keeps me hoping and dreaming.  It's not knowing what lies on the other side that makes me want to venture down the road.  Maybe it's just finding something new about myself that inspires me to ride on.

Even if I've already been there a hundred times, there's still that small chance something new will happen, that some additional variable will get thrown into the mix, setting off a chain of events carrying me away to some place I had never expected.  That's what keeps me going, the hope of discovery.

I don't necessarily know if I'm heading in the right direction, or if I've gone completely off-track, but it doesn't matter.  I just want to bypass the muck and clutter, get past the objects in my way, and move out into that wide, open road where I can see for miles and miles.  As long as I know the possibilities are endless, it feels as if my life will last forever.

What causes a guy like me to think this way?  Why don't I want to put down roots like other men?  Will I ever just stay put and build a lasting legacy?  Somehow, motorcycles seem intended for souls like mine who just want to drift along the highways in search of something they'll never find.

Sometimes, it's not even about the journey, but the quest itself.

At the end of the day I'm still back at a building I call "home".  And I'm not even sure why I bother to have a television, or a couch, or even my own set of bath towels.  It's just more shit I can't tie down with bungee cords.  Yet somehow, I do this to myself, remaining grounded to a street address, and then looking out the window dreaming about that other road I passed by.

Belonging seems just a crutch we use to feel safe from the external.  Whatever it is that we seek to hold on to, is just a way to comfort our insides.  The more belongings we bring in, the more comfort we get.

In the way she licked her lips and focused her eyes at me, I could see her anticipation of jostling a tale of adventure from my book of motorcycle travels.  She wanted to feel the shivers down her back of two-wheeled tales.  But it wasn't to be.  I just wasn't interested in entertaining this young gal.  I was already emotionally and intellectually drained from the day.  I was just there for the beer and chaos.

But that's what Sash does for me.  She adds the excitement.  She steps in and breathes life into an otherwise lifeless world.  I don't know yet if that's enough to keep me from exploring, searching, and dreaming.  Why she bothers to hang around someone who can't seem to feel comfortable is beyond me.  But if she wants to ride with me, she's more than welcome.


  1. Nice writing, as usual.

    It was a bit tough for me to concentrate on the story as I kept thinking about the girl in the bar. What she looked like, what kind of riding partner she'd be. Other things.

    I read it again.

    Good stuff.

  2. Highway,

    Thank you, as always, for writing such nice things for me. You know I would follow you anywhere, don't you? We're on the same road, you and I. Just on our own journeys. Think of us as riding our own motorcycles now, riding side by side. I want to go where you go, ride the same road, follow you, because I trust you. I want to see where our road leads. :)

    Dan Diego, she is the pretty girl on the left of the photo. She's an amazing race car driver! She races road rally and drives a VW! I can't wait to hang out with her again!! She inspires me so much!!

  3. Reading this is like watching the movie that is my life. Being almost 20 years further down the highway than you, it is a mirror of my feelings.

    Having been a good follower of societies rules my entire life I am busting at the brink of hitting the road and just being. My 2nd attempt at being married didn't last because I found I couldn't accept responsibility for anything other than myself. Whatever is out there is calling and that calling is getting stronger every day.

  4. AH Dude,

    The one thing that Highway and I are learning is to be responsible for only ourselves, not each other. If I want to stay with him, I better saddle up and ride along, because I've known from Day 1 that the road was calling him. Luckily, it's calling me too. But I've tried so hard to learn to ride, fallen down so many times, bumped and banged myself, cried so many tears of frustration, all because I want to be with him. I don't want him to take care of me! I just want to be with him!!

    I hope you find that too. But if you don't, listen to the road. Because that calling is calling for a reason. . .

    Sweet Rides,


  5. Good stuff as usual. I feel pretty much the same, except I'm still married and love my wife, but if I could I would hit the road and never come back here. Sash, patience makes it perfect, never give up and as he says, if it's going down, let it go, it's easier to fix plastic or metal than bone and flesh.


About Steve

A vagabond who hauls a motorcycle around the country in a toy hauler, earning a living as a website developer. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, craft beer, and/or public nudity. (Read more...)