This night found me lounging on the balcony of my room at the resort, sprawled in the chaise lounge and pondering deeply. It’s after 3 am and still I can’t sleep. I’m exhausted. The heat and exertion of the last two days hard riding have taken their toll and the stress of weeks of work before that weigh heavily.
Fitfully I wonder if I’m getting older or simply letting things get to me that didn’t used to. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. The end result is the same.
Sleep. Seems I only get one shot at it nowadays, and a late evening call from work within minutes of my drifting off blew that. The helpdesk guy seemed irritated with me that I was on vacation. Sheesh. It’s been on the calendar for months and it’s his job to know. To top it off it wasn’t even an issue that effects production. More of a question really…and that can wait for scheduled coverage and business hours.
I tossed and turned for an hour after that call, trying in vain to drift off again, before I gave up and came out here. I was glad I did. The cool breezes of the Michigan night soothed my body even while awakening something primal deep in my soul.
It’s a delicious feeling.
My friends have all retired for the night and there’s little happening in the quiet town at these hours.
A women’s touch is what I could use right now…and I wince at that thought. The night…and the ride…bring the darkside of the man closer to the surface and threaten to set him free. It’s something I only halfheartedly fight.
Women. The particular magic they alone possess and yet so readily disdain would calm my soul, quench that darkside, restore the ‘civilized’ man. I shake my head. That line of thinking won’t do me any good at all tonight. The wife is over a thousand miles away.
Dressed only in shorts, the cool breezes stir the hair on my legs and arms. Primal emotions strengthen and I feel the need to run…to ride. This is the night…and I belong.
I inhale deeply of the fresh air. The silence points out that few others feel so at home in the night and my thoughts take a strange turn.
Man has a long history of hiding from the night.
It’s pretty here…the resort is nicely laid out and the hills and valleys of western Michigan hold hints of both primal mystery and dark promise.
If I could fault the resort on anything it’s the lights. The grounds are well lit and there are lights on every balcony that the guests cannot turn off. Our brightly lit bubble is obscuring my view of the mists that moved in at dusk to cover the lake.
Blinded by the lights I can’t see the mists…or the dragons I’m nearly certain are playing there. I can almost hear their cries and the passage of their wings through the night.
“Ah dragons,” the skeptics would say, “been hitting the adult beverages a little hard this evening?”
“Ah arrogance.” I would say. It’s not really dragons I expect to be out there. It’s mystery, promise, the unknown, and the old magic of the world that roam free. We’ve simply forgotten how to see.
Mankind thinks we’ve mastered religion and science so completely that we know what’s out there. We know what’s prowling. We know what’s watching. Anybody that gave it half a thought would know that’s bunk. Hell, as a group, mankind can’t decide on anything…why do we think we know?
Hell, my group of friends can’t even agree on what brand of oil to run. Don’t even get me started on tires. 🙂
I snicker. Yeah. We know everything. That’s why we feel we have to protect ourselves from the night. That’s why we think that, much like the ostrich hiding its head in the sand, turning on so many lights that we cannot see what’s out there makes us safe.
Surely if we can’t see it, it can’t see us, right?
I almost giggle at the thought. From the day we harnessed fire man’s striven to light up the night. All we’ve really done is make sure anything out there can see us while we can see nothing in return.
The mystery, the old magic, the dragons…are content to ignore us, so confined we are to our bright bubbles. They’ve no need of those that cannot move in their world.
I stand abruptly. It’s decided. Maybe there was never a choice. I head into the room to get dressed and find my keys. A ride is in order. A hunt.
As I make my way through the building to the parking lot nobody stirs. The lot is full of gleaming machines, patiently waiting on their riders. Only a lucky few will be rewarded tonight.
I’m actually relieved to be alone. That lone wolf is stirring. That predator. The darkside rises…and this time I set it free.
It takes a bit to clear the resort, and I ride constrained. Enough of the civilized man remains to realize the silence of the night should not be broken here. People, hiding from the night, seldom want to be reminded that it is out here.
Soon, though, I find the highway. To the right, the lights of the city. To the left, darkness beyond a small pool of lights.
The lone wolf whines. It wishes to be unleashed. The darkside agrees.
The big machine rumbles beneath me. “Let’s *go* boss.” she seems to say.
Yeah. Let’s go.
I turn left and twist the throttle to the stop. The big cruiser wails her lonely cry into the night as I ram her through the gears. The darkside surges to the surface. The lone wolf…well…hell, I might have even howled.
I was beyond caring who could hear. I was no longer of the sort hiding in the light. My head was free of the sand, I was clear of the city, and my soul soared aloft in the night. There were roads to travel and mists to find.
It was time to ride. Time to live. Time to experience.
I needed to see what’s out there…I needed to be free…but most of all…I had dragons to hunt.
I’ll see you on the road.