The reality is I felt it before I even got out of bed.
Dreams. Darkness. Coolness. Overwhelming light. Sensual. Something vaguely threatening…animal-like. My heart throbbing in my temples. Sweat. The desire for escape. The need for freedom. No. Not freedom. Escape! The taste of blood.
My pulse pounding throughout my entire body.
Blood. Bone. Muscle. All alive and straining…crying…struggling for escape!
A deep breath.
Awake. Hypersensitive. The remnants of desire and dreams draining slowly away leaving only a penetrating sense of loss in their wake.
I blink. Yes. Awake. It’s several hours before dawn and it’s time for me to go to work. I glance over at the alarm clock, hoping for five minutes reprieve. Seconds later it goes off.
Gad. I’m dreading today.
But still I feel it. Something is just right about this morning. I can’t lay my finger on it. Maybe it’s just a dream.
Shower. Shave. Breakfast. Going through the motions. Autopilot.
I push the button and as the big garage door begins to roll up it comes flooding in…just as tangible and unstoppable as a raging river.
Moonlight. Lots of moonlight. The full moon, already low in the southwest, perfectly framed in the doorway and appearing crystal clear and larger than I’ve seen it in ages.
That’s it! A full moon! My heart skips a couple beats. I almost howl.
Now eager, my soul awake instead of just my body, I mount The Dragon and back the big cruiser out of the garage.
Coolness. Dark, except where starkly illuminated by the moonlight. No shadows. Black or silver. Nothing in between. Yet something awaits. Something animal-like.
I sense it…but I can’t see it…not out there. My passions rise. My thinking becomes less analytical…more focused on experience. No. It’s not out there. Perhaps it’s in here.
The gusting winds brush my skin. I shiver.
As I’m donning my skin-tight riding gloves the wife leans in for a kiss. Her warm curves remind me of other things…other times…strong passions those are.
“Be careful out there,” she says, “it’s a full moon. The wild ones will be out.”
“I will.” I promise. ‘Careful’ it seems, has a very liquid definition.
It seems mere seconds before I hit the freeway. Viciously twisting the throttle of the massive machine and ramming through the gears I rocket up the entrance ramp, the wind and power stirring primal instincts. Very shortly…surprisingly shortly, freeway speeds are reached…and exceeded.
Triple digits. Aggressive handling. Fractional but firm inputs on the controls. Precision response. Exact lines, accurate feedback. Long, drawn out corners on 150 foot high bridges. We are one…this union of bone, blood, muscle, and steel.
The lonely wail of The Dragon echoes back to me from the freeway walls.
Ten years I’ve had this machine. It’s a testament to her engineering and her soul that the decade old Dragon can still accomplish these feats. Heh…it’s a testament to my passion and my soul that I can too. These are ‘young men’s’ speeds. Young men’s risks.
Except on a full moon.
There are things on the loose then.
And that night belongs to me.
The big cruiser is somewhat self-diagnosing. Push her hard and she’ll talk to you.
“That little shimmy? It’s about time you put on that new front skin you’ve had sitting in the garage for months now.”
Tires are expensive. I try to get all the miles out of them I can.
“That little vibe? That’s that pinion cup you’ve been keeping an eye on.”
It’s got a ways to go yet. The spare is on the shelf.
“Oh and boss?”
I glanced at the moon racing me through the cityscape.
“Hey babe, listen up.”
“Uh, yeah boss?”
“Shut up and fly!”
“Muhahahahaha! I thought you’d never ask.”
A hundred miles. Seventy minutes. Distances change on this kind of night. It’s usually twenty miles and twenty minutes.
The moon was just setting as I slid to a stop in the dusty parking lot. Straddling the big machine and breathing heavily. Slowly my muscles relax. Gradually my breathing returns to normal. The darkside…sated even if just for a moment…retreats.
The magic fades as the mundane intrudes. Perception shifts back to the “real” world.
I almost weep.
“Be careful out there,” she had said, “it’s a full moon. The wild ones will be out.”
I grin as I begin the walk across the campus to my work and silently reply, “Sorry honey, but I AM the wild ones.”
I’ll see you on the road.