“It’s never enough is it?” The tone of the question was serious, with just a hint that she had suddenly realized something. There was also some sadness, and that tore at my soul. There are several passions in my life…several loves…several needs. It must never come down to a choice…the only thing to choose would be which part of me should die. Which part of me should I kill?
I finished tightening the oil drain plug and rolled off my side and onto my back. Grabbing the crash bar of the Valkyrie cruiser I pulled myself up into a sitting position and sighed in relief. It felt good to get off the hot driveway. The searing afternoon sun silhouetted the wife and I squinted up at her while I wiped my tools with a rag. I was stalling for time and we both knew it. I just wasn’t sure how to answer.
In nearly four weeks on the road over 10,000 miles had passed under my wheels. Thirteen states, two countries, four provinces, dozens of cities, and hundreds of towns were strewn out along the memory of my experience. I winced with remembered pain of incidents on the road and smiled with continued pleasure as I thought of new friends made and old ones renewed. I briefly relived some of the memories of the road and cold, heat, dust, sleet, snow, lightning, rain, and fire played across my vision. Feelings washed over me—the intense, overwhelming loneliness of nights in an impossibly big land, the sheer pleasure in hours of uninterrupted riding, and the all-consuming awe of cruising this amazing world and sampling some of the things in it. The experiences were as fresh as when first encountered and nearly overwhelmed me. I shuddered. It is simply not possible to take the voyage I had, and not come away changed.
I sighed, blinked, wiped the sweat out of my eyes, and focused again on my wife. I could almost see the lust that I knew was in my eyes, palely reflected in hers.
Would I answer? Could I answer? In reality I suppose the answer was clearly spread out for both of us to see. After all, I had only been home for a couple of days, and here I was surrounded by tools and cleaning supplies, lying in the hot driveway and getting the big bike ready for more. I had several days yet before I had to go back to work and there were places I just had to see. I’ve been like this as long as I can remember.
Almost thirty days on the road and I was headed out again. Ten thousand miles and I hadn’t had enough. I had ridden to the limit of my endurance…and beyond…and still I wanted more. Still I searched, and still I knew not for what. She didn’t know either, but she knew it was not for her. That, I could see in her eyes, and my soul ached.
For her, only the truth will do, but it still pained me to have to say it. If there is anybody that truly knows, it should be her. I had always thought it was, I had always thought she was the one. In fact, I was and am certain of it. Today, it seemed, she was not.
I reached up and took her hand, was relieved when she didn’t pull away. I spoke softly, “No babe. It’s not enough. It’ll never be enough.”
“I don’t understand.”
I thought of passions, my lust for the road, and my desire for her. Deep inside I could feel the dark side of the man stir, could feel the hunger for experience that lives deep within and burns with an intensity that is difficult to describe. I needed to offer words of encouragement, but there were none there. I gave her what I had and hoped for the best. “Neither do I babe. Neither do I.”
A magical, hot Texas summer night. The full moon shining through the window. Our bodies intertwined and slicked with sweat. She let out a gasp and her eyes fluttered open to stare into mine. Passion meets passion. Lust encounters lust. Just for a moment, the souls are exposed. Just for a moment, the magic passes freely. A moment that can be an eternity yet is at the same time, never enough. She felt it then. I saw a flash of recognition deep inside her eyes. There was yet some magic there.
Spent, I rolled off to the side and held her tightly, almost savagely. My voice was hoarse when a short time later I finally managed to gasp, “Did you see? Did you feel it? The magic? It’s there. We felt it. But it’s not enough, is it? It’ll never be enough!”
Totally spent, I released her. Completely sated, I was drifting off to sleep, already beginning to dream of the road, and the progression of life and strange creatures to be found upon it.
I watched her through a fog as she looked thoughtfully and then hungrily at me. Yes, there was passion there. It was a different flavor than mine, one that I was sure I would never totally understand, but it was no less intense and I expect, no less demanding than my own. As my consciousness faded she quietly mumbled, “Maybe I do understand, at least a little bit.”
As the dragons called to me and the road summoned, I hesitated just a bit before joining them and looked back at her with wonder. So she understood, just a bit. That was good. I could not ask for more than that. I looked at my dream road and the guardians and souls I was about to encounter upon it. A dragon roared in impatience and beckoned to me. I waved back, looking again at my wife. She understood. That put her ahead of the game. After all, I didn’t. Not by a long shot.
I’ll keep searching though. Flying, free, and alive.
I’ll see you on the road.