She came to me in the middle of the night…warm and friendly. She asked politely, and then when I did not dissuade her, joined me in my bed. Somehow they always know just when you need them.
I was in a cheap hotel in the Yukon Territories. Like so many travelers on this road, I was alone and desperately needing company. The vastness of this place can get to you. The isolation, even on a road full of travelers, is complete. The motorcyclist may be unique among the travelers…he or she alone desiring long stretches of being completely alone with nothing but his thoughts and his machine for company…but even so…at some point, companionship is necessary to encompass the isolation…to shield the soul from simply just wandering off. In this, the couples traveling on the road have an advantage. A night in each other's arms is just what is needed to put the entire thing into perspective…to pull the vision inward…even if it's just for a little bit.
Even friends traveling together can provide some warm-hearted jokes and close contact. Just knowing someone knows who you are out here can really help.
We are human. We need companionship to survive. I, like so many travelers on this road, was unable or unwilling to find it. The people who run the lodges and gas stations on the road are friendly, but not the complete contact that is needed. They are souls encountered, but I always know that to them, I am another customer…another in a long string of dazed travelers to pass their way. We, the travelers, are not in one place long enough to find the contact we need…the verification we must have.
She was different. In her own special way she let me know that I was known for what I was…that I was understood…at least in one of my aspects.
I awoke in the middle of the night…understanding that there was something alive in the room with me…something that had not been there before. I felt no threat, but my perception was telling me that a presence was there.
It is never really dark here…simply a lesser degree of twilight indicates the late (or very early) hour. It was cold in the room…I had left the small window open for some fresh air. It is impossible to desire just the regular indoors after riding a thousand miles of open.
I opened my eyes and looked out into the room. My pack was on the floor, leaning on the foot of the bed, its top about even with the mattress. She was there, sitting on my pack and watching me closely. I wasn't sure how she got in, but didn't dwell on it long. Females have their ways…
When she saw I was awake she spoke…in her fashion…asking permission…
I did nothing…still trying to clear the sleep from my head. I was a little dazed anyway…the vastness of this place getting to me. She could have been a dream…mere wishful thinking…
She waited a moment, then carefully joined me in my bed, curling tight against my side. Shortly, my loneliness somewhat abated, I fell into a deep sleep.
In the morning I got a better look at her. She was gorgeous. Trim, but not skinny. Clean, and her hair…well she had the most luxurious hair…I spent quite some time just running my fingers through it.
She was not quite the companion I really needed…she did the best she could, and it will have to be enough to get me by, as even my wife would approve. See, she was a longhaired Calico cat, and had entered through the small window (I had not realized there was no screen).
Cats can find cat people. She had found me.
It was nice to be recognized.
I'll see you on the road…