Just like I expected, we punched right through the first storm. Heavy fat drops, but not very many, just got us a bit damp. What I didn’t expect was, there were more storms behind it. Heavy, dark, brooding, widespread, and the darkest concentration of them was directly over our path.
I mumbled inside my helmet, “Huh. Would you look at that?”
I’d been expecting to exit the first storm and re-enter the Texas summer blast-furnace. This was obviously a significant weather event, and was not behaving as I’d expected. (shrugs) It’s a rare thing when it does. I grinned. We’d just deal.
The threatening, brooding and dark mood matched my feelings exactly anyway.
You love the thunder
you love the rain
what you see revealed in the anger
is worth the pain
and before the lightning fades and you surrender
you’ve got a second to look at the dark side of a man
Yes, I’m very familiar with the Dark Side of the Man.
Finally we were turning more east, and at the intersection I pulled off to see if Dean wanted to stop to don the raingear.
“Do you think we’ll need it?”
I shrugged, “Heck, I don’t know.” It was dry at the moment and I still wasn’t expecting a widespread event.
Dean looked at the dark sky. “Let’s roll. We can always put it on later.”
You’re a storm inside my soul
That’s raging out of control
Heh. My attitude exactly. Of course, my attitude has gotten me soaked on multiple occasions.
We didn’t get far.
Crack the horizon
Only you can split the night
Not two miles down the road I could see a heavy downpour obscuring the road in front of us. There was no safe place to stop so I didn’t even roll off the throttle.
Another wind will dry me
And the sun will make me warm
We took the wall of water at 70mph and just kept going. I was soaked through in seconds, so later, when I did see something I could have stopped at, I just blew on by. Why put the rain gear on when you’re already wet?
To me my life will always be
The calm before the storm
Shortly the bottom really dropped out and the downpour came hard. I just snarled and screamed, “Bring it!”
The drought . . . the lack of long runs . . . Yeah, I've missed the storms.
Lightning you’re mine tonight
It sounds silly, but that’s when I got it back. That’s when I reconnected with my wanderer’s soul. Soaked to the skin, barely able to see the road, alone, and exposed intimately to the elements . . . and that’s when I got it. That means something, I think, but I’m not sure I want to know what that is.
One second I’m gloomy, miserable, and confused, and then I glanced in the rearview mirror to see the 50-foot rooster tail I was throwing as I plowed through the water accumulating on the road. It was glowing red in my taillights and had a white halo from The Big Orange Couch’s headlights far behind me. I could feel the power, precision, and control of the superb machine beneath me, and the warm throbbing of her heartbeat was comforting as we forced our way through the storm.
No longer bike and rider, no more man and machine, once more we became a single entity. Blood, bone, muscle, steel, all merged. Once again The Dragon flew! The sheer joy of the ride slammed me like the heavy raindrops and any pedestrian would have wondered at the very loud, “WooooHooooo! SCORE!” I yelled out at that moment.
I’d slowed some for visibility and to make sure I wasn’t over-taxing my friend behind me, but I could see his headlights. He was keeping up just fine.
The Dragon was back. I grinned, mumbled, “Here we go,” and twisted the throttle.
Gawd I love to ride!
They don’t know me . . . ‘cause I’m not here.
And I want a moment to be real
Want to touch things I don’t feel
Want to hold on and feel I belong
They can’t break me
As long as I know who I am
They can’t see me
But I’m still here.
Heh . . . Here we go!
songs on this installment (in order of appearance)
You Love the Thunder--Jackson Brown
I'm Still Here (Jim's Theme)--James Newton Howard
Alexandria, Louisiana on a Saturday Night Navigation:
--Index-- --Part 1-- --Part 2-- --Part 3-- --Part 4-- --Part 5-- --Part 6--