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  1. #21
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Good stuff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
    -2000 Road King Classic with lots of sentimental value
    -M.I.T.G.C. #72

  2. #22

    A Little Farther Away

    Back on the road life didn't seem so close. On the road with the sound and the push of wind and pull of the bike things settled down into a strange calmness. Like being in the shower. Amid the noise and steam somehow it was tranquil. Probably was the same for machine operators and truck drivers, you just get used to it and once it's not there you miss it. A body not rattling was a body unsure. The flow of the road was hard to explain. Such a three dimensional experience involving all your senses. I wonder, he thinks, if Pop got this way in the middle of a project or negotiation. That single place where things fly around you and you simply are. The simple state of doing a something and then being something, of union with action where you become the thing you're doing.

    Pop was gone. Mom too. They had left things but not a legacy. Things that were his now but only owned by him. How could you have so much and so little at the same time? Like a king it was only yours if they gave it to you or you had the power to take it. Being King meant nothing if your subjects ignored you--or weren't afraid of you. There was no crown without subjects, just a kingdom of empty. His inherited kingdom produced an eternal flow of money that he let a Regent take care of. Lawyers and Advisers had courted him wanting to help out. He stuck with his Pop's guys. "Just make sure everybody gets paid," was all he would say, "Don't fuck with the blue collar guys--cut them a break." He just let the words hang out there in front of the suits. They feared him because he didn't know what he was doing and if he tried to do something then he could kill the golden goose. Throats tight under their ties they tried not to "fuck the blue collar guys" and to "cut them a break".

    Pop could play that game. Asking Pop a question now wasn't an option. People expected and dreaded leadership but he had none to give. Not an empty vessel, he had just never been filled to pour out.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  3. #23
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    ....eternal flow of money.... Don't f*** the blue collar guys... I love it!

    Waiting to see where this goes.

    Semt usung tapatalk wuth my fat fingers snd a tiny keyboard!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
    -2000 Road King Classic with lots of sentimental value
    -M.I.T.G.C. #72

  4. #24

    Weekly Rental

    Looking out he could see the water. He liked that. Water and hills. Earth and water. Water and air. Sunrise over the hill. Fire over water. The clerk was happy to give him a room with the patio on the east side. There was no second floor. It's OK, the clerk said, if he wanted to pull the bike into the room overnight, just let it cool before rolling it in. Helped keep the smell down and the oil from leaking, not that his bike was a leaker or anything, just that some guys bikes did. You know. Other guys. Not him. Sure they had a weekly rate! Monthly too! Linen daily, unless you don't want it. The "Do Not Disturb" really works. One over night guest is okay. Same person 2 nights and you need to pay an extra 20. It's a quite place though. Honest.

    He took the room for a week.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  5. #25

    The Immaculate Orb

    The beauty of the cheap motel was that a good one looked like a do-it-yourself wood paneled basement, sometimes even with shag carpet. A good cheap motel looks like a make-out spot with a bed and bath; the sort of place where root beer and vodka are considered a mixed drink. The floor was uneven, sloping toward the sliding glass patio door. There was no fan in the bathroom, only a square chunk of 3/4 plywood that had been pressed into service as a cap for the opening where the fan once was. There were pull chains on the lamps and some kind of large, dark stain on the carpeted floor. The curtains smell of weed and the bathtub has no plug. An impossibly perfect cliche' this room is, he thinks. Right down to the bedspread that was a mash up of colors so you couldn't tell whether a color was original fabric...or something else. Feeling like he was in someone else's home made him feel comfortable and he settles in by sliding the window open walking to the patio door and sliding it open. There is no screen door. Unfazed he leaves it open to let the room gasp in fresh air.

    Sitting on the end of the bed he lays back and looks at the ceiling. Plaster swirls stare back and flexes with memory. He had worn a black suit to the funeral. Wonderfully tailored and finished with a blood red tie he was camouflaged perfectly. Lots of people looked for him and few found him, he had cut his hair to a fashionably ragged and was clean shaven. Avoiding the funeral director he had avoided being seated in a place of honor. Sitting around him were people he did not know, people he didn't want to know, people he could not know. His mother had kept him away from these people the best she could, kept him in globe, like an ornament. Maternity had suited her. Allowed her a diamond to polish, a garden to weed and protect, never to be his father's son until nature and genetics took over.

    In the crowd he felt safe and alone, ensconced. It was the pinnacle of his sheltered and lonely life. Pop didn't know him until the apron strings had scorched off in chemo. Almost too late then to build the connection, crossing paths in the kitchen or the garage. The break, or maybe the bridge, happened in the kitchen. He was making pancakes when his Pop came in and surprised him. Pop was supposed to be at work but walking in it was clear he was sick, coughing and pale.

    "Got anything to put on those?" Pop asked.

    "Maple syrup.' Flat answer, with an unsaid, "Butter".

    Pop walked to the refrigerator and popped it open. "I've go some strawberries in here somewhere if you'd like." Realizing he had implied the berries were old he added, "Lili picked them up yesterday." Lili now held the household together; maybe she always had. Pop had taken good care of her in the will. Lili was as much family as anyone could be. If Pop was sick she'd be bringing tortilla soup for dinner with her for their dinner. Looking at the griddle and the like-new bowls and utensils in his hands he thinks a moment.

    "Pop," he asks, "Do you think instead of bringing soup that Lili could cook it here sometime?"

    "Yes. Sure. I mean that would be nice I guess." The aroma of pancakes stirs his own memories. "That's a great idea. You want me to cut up some berries?"

    "Why not? Go for it."

    His father looks around for a moment, out of his element. "Where are the knives?"

    "Knife block is on the other side of the toaster." A point with the spatula. Pop didn't know where anything was in the kitchen. Then again neither had Mom. Pop pulls out a green plastic bin of large bright red strawberries and the sound of bare feet on tile passes behind as he gets a small straight edged knife. He knows where the bowls are and doesn't have to ask his son. Pausing, Pop asks, "Is school in or out right now?"

    "Out." Flip a pancake.

    "Want a job?" His father asks. Silence. The other pancake pauses in midair.

    "Sure. Why not?"

    The plaster swirls in the ceiling start to deepen with the sunset. Looking up he thinks about the immaculate orb of nothing that his life had been.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  6. #26
    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Now we're getting somewhere!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
    -2000 Road King Classic with lots of sentimental value
    -M.I.T.G.C. #72

  7. #27

    Bacon with Breakfast

    The sunrise was slow into the room. He had picked a room with a western view to better see the water and sunset. Morning as struggling with a curtained window. Fighting it's way through the cracks above and below the door ol' Sol was going his best. The evening had been cool and when he closed up the room he hadn't set the air conditioning low enough. Or maybe it didn't work. He awoke warm and with an easy jog of sweat. The tub shower drained slowly but wasn't more than a splashing annoyance. Towels were bright and clean. He'd seen worse. Dreams hadn't escaped him in the night. First he had been swimming with a girl at his old high school. Throwing their towels over the chain link fence they had climbed the fence for a moonlight swim. Neither had stripped past their underwear. Oddly childlike and innocent the adventure lacked erotic arousal; it was giggling, races and seeing who could hold their breath the longest. A storm came and they went inside inside the changing rooms but she disappeared. Going through the door he entered a nightclub. A moment of panic before he realized he was not in his underwear but fully dressed. Lights flashed and techno music thrummed but he was not at a rave, just a club, the kind that pop stars overdosed in with hot, long legged women. Ugly hanger-on men filled the room. A shrieking sound tried to pierce the noise that filled the room and a slow blue strobe bounced out from the walls.

    Fire alarm. Nobody seemed to notice. "Fire!" he had yelled, "FIRE!!!" No one even turned their head. With both hands he grabbed a woman close to him. "FIRE! GET OUT!" he yelled at her. She smiled. "FIRE!" He yelled. She smiled. With both hands now on her face he screamed "FIRE!" into her face. She smiled and he woke up.

    Now he was in the shower and he wanted bacon with breakfast.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  8. #28

    A Trinket

    The motel could have been a "resort motel" in its prior life, a destination, where you took the wife and kids. Now it was a bit of a roach motel. Not minding he locked the door and mounted up to head to the little town down the road a mile. Languid, he thinks, it's a river road and it's simply relaxed and easy. Languid. With a weekly rental he could run the road both upstream and the downstream. Take a look around, explore. Dappled light strobes through the leaves on the windshield. He felt hazy and safe with no agenda as he passed a raft rental, then a small white church ("Cliche," his mother would have said). Houses and businesses began to pop up and bunch together. A bicycle rental shop. Vacation realty specialists. Dee's Dairy Swirl. The Riverside Diner.

    The Riverside Diner. Breakfast all day. Homemade cinnamon rolls and pies. Gravel parking and an summer dining area off the side. Throwing down a steel junction box cover he tips the bike and lands the kickstand in its center. Swinging his leg over and stepping back he looks down at the steel plate to make sure everything is set. Something glitters under the bike. A step back and then to one knee he looks under to make sure it's not a liquid from the bike. A small Hello Kitty charm looks up at him. Attached to a small silver bracelet there are two or three other trinkets he doesn't recognize. The front tire must have run right over it. What are the odds? It was the kind of thing a teen would wear to be cute and the sort of thing a cute person would pull at her mother's sleeve and cry and miss. Picking it up he pauses a moment to give the bike a quick once over. Other than needing a bath things are looking sound. Back on his feet he walks to the entrance. The door is an actual two piece Dutch door; solid lower with a glass upper. Blue checked curtains are tied back and swing with the motion of the door as a cluster of three brass bells chatters from the interior handle.

    The layout is simple. Square tables that can seat 4 or be pushed together to accommodate more. Table cloths match the curtain on the door. Yellow paper sunflowers centerpiece each table, pinching menu specials between the vase and a stainless two sided napkin dispenser. A voice from the pass through to the kitchen floats out over the register and it's small counter, "Sit anywhere you want!"

    Picking a table against the back window/wall he places himself to see everything but the emergency exit.
    Last edited by CaptCrash; 02-12-2015 at 10:44 AM.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  9. #29

    No Problem Sugar

    She was a child and as a child she didn't want to finish her breakfast. Icky and cold it wasn't fun anymore. The maple syrup was gross and thick but still looked cool when you stuck a fork in it and pulled it out slow. Looks like Spider-Man if you do it just right. Or you can drag your fork through the pool of syrup and make little canyons that filled and disappeared as the tines plowed through. Swirl. Capital A, almost there for a second. Dip a finger to see what it feels like on her skin. Sticky, duh. Wipe finger on pants. Still sticky. Finger in mouth. Ick. Lint. Rub the finger on her jeans again. Drop the fork. Poke what's left of maple soggy pancakes with the spoon. The spoon leaves a different track in the syrup. Like her finger but different, bigger. Hand to her brown hair. Oops, all stuck together. Free the hair. Maybe a paper napkin will get the sticky off. Nope. Just sticks to the sticky. Uh-oh. Paper tears. Won't come off with a swipe on the pants. Busted! Must have been in the bathroom. A woman with short brown hair. Eyes on. Right to the girl.

    "Sweetie! Don't play with your food!" Head down, hands up. Disappointment. He'd been there and done that. Carved his name into the tree of failure. Hold your hands up, let Mom dip a napkin in water and start cleaning up. Fingers, face and hair. Rub-a-dub-dub. Don't fight, only makes it worse. A glass of water plonks on the table in front of him, sloshing. "What can I get for you?"

    Startled. "A cinnamon roll. With a side of bacon."

    "Roll with a side of bacon." She looks the type who should be chewing gum but isn't. A graying ponytail. Close in age to reading glasses on a chain but not yet. Doesn't write down the order. "Anything to drink?"

    "Dr. Pepper."

    "You got it. Want that roll heated?" He nods. "It'll be a few--we don't use a microwave. That OK?" He nods again. "OK, I'll get your DP and then it'll be a couple of minutes." As she walks away workout shoes, jeans and pink shirt he turns back to watch as Mom is finished cleaning up the little brown haired girl.

    "Miss?" he calls to her backside. Stopping she turns as she has a thousand times. Another changed mind.

    "What else can I get you?" Walking up she fingers the pencil in her hair as she considers writing things down.

    Holding out his hand he lets the bracelet fall, holding one end between his thumb and forefinger. The chain snap straight, rebounds and swings. "I found this out front. I think it may belong to that little girl over there." Juts with his chin. "Would you mind..." She reaches out and he drops it into her outstretched palm. "Thank you."

    "No problem sugar."
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  10. #30

    A Soft Bump

    "Dani, say thank you to the nice man." Mother said. Dani doesn't want to. She doesn't want to speak. The man is hairy. He might be a Bigfoot. Shaking her head she tries to slip behind her mother. She can barely see over the top of the table. Huge and hairy the Bigfoot man stares at her. She is just eyes and soft freckles to him. Scaring little girls is not his habit or hope. It hurts to see the little person cower. Connection. He hasn't make a connection in a long time. Human touch had been so fleeting the last year. There had been bumping, a little grinding, a touch of punching but he had not been this close to a true child in all that time. This child was cowering. A frightened animal not an inquisitive pup.

    "It's OK," he says.

    "She needs to show her manners." Mom twists and with one hand on Dani's back tries to move her back to the table. Her eyes harden. "Say 'Thank You' to the nice man." Firmness and threat edge her voice. He doesn't look like a nice man to Dani. He looks like a Bigfoot or one of those bad soldiers in the movies that Todd "treat-him-like-he's-your-father" likes to watch. Food probably gets stuck in his beard or he has bad breath. ICK. She squirms against her mother's shepherding hand. The man is leaning around the table towards her.

    "It's OK," he says and sticks a fist out. "How about you give me some knuckles and we'll call it even?" He smiles. His voice is gentle like Mr. Burton's at school. Mr. Burton could make you feel bad when you didn't throw your garbage away and really good when you did. She's never seen, talked to or touched a Bigfoot before. Bigfoot man isn't that scary, not here with Mom. It is like feeding the giraffe. The giraffe is her favorite animal but once she was eye to eye with one and saw that icky blue tongue... Wishing she had fed the giraffe she looks at the Bigfoot tentatively holds out her fist. Both lean forward and there's a gentle bump. Their knuckles don't match and she thinks how big his fist is and that maybe he's really a bear. As he smiles she see's straight white teeth and blue eyes for the first time and they smile at her just like Mr. Burton. Pulling back resets and she double bumps him.

    "Thank you." She mumbles. A tiny voice. Almost a mumble. A faint bee buzzing.

    "An honor." He replies and keeps his eyes locked on hers. Everything he had done for the last year had been alone. Ride and sleep alone. Fever and sick alone. Hurt and heal alone. Loneliness had started as freedom when Mom died Then he had the backstop safety of his father who never fixed it, only pointed the way out of the mess. No hands on doctoring, just pointing out the cure. There is no romance in being alone, just the eternal safety of not losing anyone or thing. The safety of having nothing and no one to lose; nobody got disappointed and nobody gets hurt. People who don't exist had no expectations and people you don't know are easy to please. Riding across southern Utah he had seen a sign that read "No Services Next 100 Miles". Next 100 miles, maybe an hour and a quarter. Next 100 miles, if you pee it's on the side of the road. If you decide to try for some privacy and step off down the bank you risk tripping and falling in a place where a broken leg means hoping someone stops to check on your lonely bike. He had just stood on the road and sprinkled a rock. Nobody drove by. If you broke down either you fixed it or you hoped something kind that way came. There was solitary magnificence in the landscape. Reds, orange, yellow and grey, so complex and empty. A recurring fantasy nightmare was simply turning down a dirt road and riding until you reached whatever was there or simply ran out of gas and died, swallowed into the terrible beauty. It had been a long hundred miles and now he looks back and wonders if any of it was real.

    When mother died it left him alone with Pop. Mom had been the driving thing, the push, the glowing coal that boiled them into action. Like any roiling pot she brought chaos with her and they had bounced around like hard boiled eggs, banging off each other and sides of the pot they couldn't get out of. You wanted out but you had no idea what life would be without the mayhem of scalding, surging water. There is no oil that could smooth that surface. With the fire out the water stilled and the oil became a pliable thing without the continuous battering. Laying on the bottom of a cooling container they had no motion to click them together. The catalyst was gone. The currents and turbulence left them alone together with a film distorted view of the world outside.

    The little girl stops at the door and waves at him. A kid wave. A child's wave. He holds up a palm to her and all his fingers bow twice. TTFN!

    Cinnamon roll gone and the bacon wiped off his fingers he swirls the ice in his glass and then throws the last gulp of soda down his throat. Arranging his silverware on the plate at 10 to 4 he sloppily refolds a napkin and crowns his setting. The graying ponytail comes out and puts the check on the table and starts to straighten things. "Anything else I can get for you today?" Habit drives her end of the conversation. This is how she says, "Goodbye, hit the road" without force or annoyance.

    "Yes," he says to her surprise. "Where can I get a haircut around here?"

    Smile. "You looking to keep all that," a finger points at his head and draws a circle twice in the air. The red nail seems to leave a blur behind it that catches up as the finger stops.

    "Some."

    "Then head into town and look for Bobbi's on the right side. About half mile down." She picks up his plate.

    "What if I want to lose it all?" He asks, curious. Playful. Flirting?

    "Then you go to LeRoy's about a quarter mile beyond that. Then, once he's made a mess of things come back here and we'll shave you bald for a fresh start." Both hold a straight face before smiling. The head their different ways. She to the kitchen and he to his bike. Holding up a couple of bills he puts them next to the register and pins them with the shot glass that doubles as toothpick dispenser. "That'll take care of it," booms a little too loud out of his mouth. Door bells tinkling he opens it and heads out.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

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