Friday, July 08, 2011

Wrapped in Fleece

I'm lying on the floor. On the edge of the carpet. Wrapped in fleece. Trying to sleep. Except that I'm really actually looking at the footprints in the dust on the hardwood that blew through the open window. That I'm really listening to "Bookends" without really listening at all. Because acoustic guitar is just part of the background. Because that's just where I'm from.

And I'm writing this down on the space that's my mind. And aware of my breath and the things that unwind. Listening to "Blue Jean Blues" without really listening. Because that's just the way I am.

Needing this place. Some time just to breathe. A break from the best and a place for my dreams. Listening to "Old Love" without really listening. Because that's just where I'm at. Needing to be alone, wrapped in fleece and trying to sleep.

Wishing you were here.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

In My Blood

I'd like to start by saying that I grew up on motorbikes.  I'd like to, but I can't.  Still, I think it's somehow in my genes.  My parents fell in love on a motorcycle.  Riding out to band practice.  Taking of their helmets to kiss on that first date when they were younger than my now-youngest sibling.

By time I came along motorcycles were traded for a brown Toyota with car seats in the back and an ancient pick-up to go with a budding construction business.  Five kids later these eventually turned into a stubborn minivan and "Big Red," (hint: not a bike.)

I always knew, regardless, that my parents both held class 6 driver's licenses.  At ten I had my first ride when my Dad's oldest friend brought around his cruiser.  I don't remember what it was but I remember the thrill and the wind on my arms.  I clung tight as we accelerated.  I didn't know about counter-steering and had it explained to me after trying consistently to upright on corners.

Once a biker always in your blood, so I've been told.  Once you start you'll never really stop.  When I was fourteen my parents bought a little orange Yamaha Enduro 100 from roughly the stone-age, aka the 1970s.  That's what I learned to drive up and down our lane.  With a throttle in your fist and no license in your pocket 100ccs feels like a lot of power.  20MPH feels like a lot of speed.  An old gold helmet from your parent's dating days feels pretty cool.  And it starts to get in your blood.

At sixteen I drove it on Mexican highways to neighboring villages for an internet fix.  The smell of tortillas and the muggy wind on my face was nothing but pure independence.  I wanted more.  My little brother drives it around mountain roads with his friends now.

I moved out and my parent's young family grew up enough to justify getting rid of the minivan.  They bought a Honda 400.  This time only from the Dark Ages.  AKA, the early 1980s.  It looked like this only until my oldest brother turned his mad airbrushing skills its way.  I made it past the first two steps of licensing and then life got in the way.  I still hoped for the wind on my face and a ride down the lake but my lifetime commitment of achieving my own class 6 was still out of reach.

My middle brother fixed up a Honda 400 dual sport from the same era and would take me burning around mountain trails and rock outcroppings.  I learned to manage the kick start and I'd take it out on my own.  My cousin let me take a   less-than-legal spin on his 600 crotch rocket.  It was only a matter of time.  My license requirements finally fit themselves in last year.

Here's what I'm driving these days.  Yamaha Seca 550.  Check off item 24.  Apparently we have a thing for old-school bikes.  Yes, it's also from the dark ages.  But it's still a whole lotta fun.