18 February 2009
It Went REALLY Fast...
IT was a maroon color with a white background and a custom paint job. A small bell hung near the front tire, just for luck. The Indian painted on the front inspired countless questions, and the Eagle on the back was lifelike. It was truly a case of love at almost first sight. The Man riding it looked dangerous with his black leather jacket and chaps. His helmet sat - backwards - atop a dirty rag that covered his head to keep it warm. I was intrigued. What kind of a man could own such a machine? And was I willing to jump with both feet into a relationship with him? And then, the invitation.
While I was in love with the idea - A MOTORCYCLE... (and the man), I was also scared to death of it. After all, I had never been on the back of something that could go that fast and didn't require a seatbelt. I stared at it for a long, long time. He assured me that it was perfectly safe and that I wouldn't get hurt - or, worse yet, DIE. Still, I was apprehensive.
Finally, and at the last minute, I agreed to just sit on it. And then, He fired up the engine. That alone was enough to make me want to get off. It was LOUD. And SCARY! And I just knew that I was going to fall off. Still, I strapped on a borrowed helmet and held on for dear life. Slowly (although it seemed like we were going 60 MPH in a 15 MPH zone) we pulled out of the driveway. I held in the scream when the bike suddenly lurched forward with a burst of power. Instantly I felt the exhilaration of the wind blowing across my face... and the pain of a bug slamming at 35 miles per hour into my forehead. I was hooked. I burst into laughter. With sheer joy, I clung to the back of this Man with whom I was rapidly falling deeper and deeper in love. Around the block. Through the streets of the small town. Up the hill around the zoo. Around curves that made my heart leap into my throat. I wanted to close my eyes, but something stopped me. This was too much fun.
I could hardly wait to get back on after dinner was over. I wanted badly to ride again. To sit back and enjoy the wind cruising past my hair. To lean against the saddlebags and almost - but not quite - fall asleep... this was the life.
This wonderful man who introduced me to the thrill of the road bought me my own set of leathers. It was the ultimate in committment for me - even better than an engagement ring; it meant that he wanted me - and only me - to ride on the back of his most treasured possession with him. We eventually got married. For our first trip together, we rode the bike 500 miles. My seat hurt. To pass the time I counted the little white lines in the road. I sang songs. When it rained, I got wet. Still, I loved it.
We sold that bike less than a year ago. Even though it was just a toy and not something that we needed, I cried. I was surprised at how I was affected by this loss - for to me, it truly was a loss. We may never have THAT BIKE back, but eventually, we'll get another. We'll make more memories together with it. I may never have MY FIRST BIKE again, but I will always have the memories associated with it.
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