“Where ya from?”
The young lady was staring at the bike, not at me. Heh…doesn’t bother me. When it comes to me and The Dragon I’m under no illusions as to which one of us is more attractive.
Me? I was staring unabashedly at the young lady. Oppressively humid and right at 100 degrees can often bring out the best in Texas women. Simply put, they wear less clothing. Just in general, I’m highly in favor of that. Tight shorts and a halter top. MmmHmmm. Yum. Yeah I know. But I am what I am.
“I’m from Dallas.”
“What are ya doing here?”
It’s a common question. When it’s just The Dragon and I traveling, somebody nearly always approaches to talk at a gas stop. I make it easier as after fueling, especially in the heat, I usually pull in front of the store and have a drink.
“Rode down to eat some lunch. There’s a great Mexican food place just up the street.”
How I know there’s a great Mexican food place here…in a small town 140 miles or so from my home is another story.
“You came all this way just for lunch?”
“Well, that and to say ‘hi’ to some friends.”
She looked at me like I was nuts. That’s a pretty common thing too. There are people out here that have never been more than 30 miles from home. “Really?”
I just smiled. “Yep.”
She thought about it a moment, and then put her hands on her hips and thrust her chest out. The resulting motions under the very thin cotton top were mind-boggling. She pursed her lips. “But why?”
For that view right there, honey… Well, I didn’t actually say that. Scenery…of all sorts…is one reason to ride though.
I thought about it a moment. For me, the answer was complicated. The uplifting of my spirit. The chance to think. That delightfully firm affirmation of passion and life right there in front of me…that fundamentally human view. I shook my head. That view has brought down entire empires. We’re interesting creatures…men.
Really, her question wasn’t about lunch, but rather the “why ride” thing again. I never seem to have a ready answer for that.
I took a long pull on my soft-drink…polishing it off…and mounted the big cruiser. I thought of the emotional turmoil in the last few days. I thought of lost friends…and of the sheer joy and the passion I find in celebrating life. Passion as principle. Yep. That’s it.
The Dragon rumbled smoothly to life with barely a tap on the starter button. Heh, 100,000 miles and she still starts with just a tap. Gawd I love this machine.
Already pondering the long way home despite the view in front of me, I winked at the woman and grinned, “Because I can.”
A twist of the throttle, and I was gone.
I’ll see you on the road.