The Price?

I looked her over carefully.
“Hey babe?”
“Yeah boss?”
“You good for a storm ride?”
“Hell yeah boss!”


I tried. I really did. The weather guys were predicting dire and dour weather. Spring-like storms are supposed to clobber us in the afternoon, probably right about the time I needed to commute home. Rain, hail, winds…the heavy stuff.

Bad weather. Heavy, probably dangerous traffic. Then there’s some needed maintenance that’s been deferred on the big Valkyrie cruiser.

I should take “Big Iron”, the 7000 pounds of steel, Prius-eating, gas-hogging, pavement shredding, pick-em-up truck. A Dallas commute in the rain…the truck was the wise thing to do.

The expected thing.

I even found the keys to the thing, wrestling the dust-bunnies camping out on my dresser and excavating layers of wallet tailings (gas receipts, charge slips, and the like) to gain possession of the almost mythical neglected keychain.

Stepping out to the drive, I was relieved to note the registration and inspection on the big Dodge were current. They only last a year and it seems one or the other is always out of date when I need to use the truck.

As always, the truck started on the first turn. Eager to go. Tired of waiting. We have an abusive relationship, Big Iron and I. She waits patiently and I ignore her. It’s a failing. Or not. It seems to work for us.

Today was different. I was ready to take her downtown. See some sites. Introduce her to my coworkers…

But then I looked at the sky. Clouds racing by in the balmy spring winds. Dark streaks in the distance. Rain nearby. Trees on my street whipping in the wind. Cool and warm breezes intermingle. A deep breath. The sweat starts beading on my forehead. My hands shake.

I turn the truck off, step out, and lock the door. I simply can’t do it.

The Valk is calling me from her dark corner of the garage. A siren’s call. Two wheels and a tank full of kick-ass. She has my soul well within her grasp. It’s not something I struggle hard against.

It was time to fly.

“Okay babe. You win. Let’s ride.”


Arriving at work a coworker crossing the parking-lot looks at me quizzically and asks, “Don’t you know it’s supposed to storm?”

“I do. But it’s too nice not to ride.”

“You’ll probably pay for that this afternoon.”

I just grin.

The ride is the key. The destination is just the excuse. I know the piper will need to be paid, and I know I’ve run up one *hell* of a bill.

But it amuses me that the uninitiated seem to believe getting caught in a storm is the price.

Daniel Meyer

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