The big bike grumbled beneath me.
“Hey boss?” She sounded forlorn.
“We’re gonna be together forever, right?”
Running into the night. Reveling in the wind. Hoping to clear my mind.
Problems I can’t solve. Plans I need to execute. Obstacles making me wait.
I was never very good at waiting.
And then the world shrugged and shattered thousands of lives in a far away place, demonstrating effectively the absolutely ruthless…and compassionless nature of, well, nature that we all eventually bend to.
Closer to home, I learned of an old friend who had finally succumbed to a long illness. Point driven home.
*Bang*…my problems put right into perspective.
Yet they still won’t diminish, the toxic mix of passion, frustration, and energy swirling about in my head and demanding my focus. That shames me.
Yeah…time for another much needed ride.
I set out into an fascinating mix of hot and cold…warring weather fronts…steamy gulf air contrasting with the crispy cold of a strong winter front. The turbulent conditions outside mimicking the raging of my own thoughts.
A half-moon occasionally punches through the rampaging overcast, but it only serves to highlight the motion of the skies and does little to penetrate the night. Shadows and darkness…dangerous conditions for the body and the soul. I peer into the meager cone of visibility cast by my headlights and hope it will be enough.
Skirting the lines, pushing hard into the turbulent darkness. Guiding the big machine northwest as the southern warmth has not retreated from the onslaught of the powerful northern front yet. When it does, turning and running to the south and east…surfing the front…will save me some pain.
I call it storm surfing…and I’ve done it before…more often than seems rational in fact. Done right, in the right conditions, and it can be pure magic.
Done wrong, it can mean misery.
The conditions outsmarted me this time. When the battle was finally won it was decidedly so. The warmth did not retreat. It simply vanished.
Cold again. I turned and fled southeast. The large cold raindrops just served to punctuate my mood.
I learned long ago that it’s not from the depths of hell my demons come…they haunt me from the cold places in this world…they are stronger there than anywhere else, and tonight I delivered myself firmly into their grasp.
Perhaps it’s the challenge that drives me. After all, what does not kill me…yeah…well…what does not kill me better damn well die trying…
The witching hour…and cold to the bones. Loping along in a distance run mode rather than a sprint. Fifty miles left, maybe a little more, before I could find some warmth and maybe some food. Fifty miles. Demons or no, fifty miles I can endure.
But always there are doubts. Particularly here…in the cold and the dark.
Yeah, I had needed a ride. Trouble was…this time I wasn’t sure it worked.
Once I would have had no question, no hesitation. A hearty, “Hell yes!” and twist of the throttle would have been my response.
But there is a cost to experience. I’ve seen the far side of my endurance too many times. Old injuries, old pain, the memories that accompany them…all return unbidden when I approach that barrier now. The dark…trying to overwhelm the light.
I can imagine the day when I’m too tired for the fight.
I never could before.
“Um…yeah. Sorry babe. What?”
“You and me forever, right?”
“Sounds good to me babe. It sounds good to me.”
I didn’t like my answer.