There are certain things about a person, about me anyway, that have to be explained over and over. I don't want to keep explaining these things, but they keep coming up.
It happened again recently with the issue of girls, sexiness, and motorcycles.
I SHOULD think motorcycles are cool. I SHOULD love the ethos of individuality, travel, and power, that a motorcycle represents.
I SHOULD think there is nothing sexier than a sexy girl on a motorcycle.
Certain events mark a person's life, though. There is nothing we can do about certain happenings. They stay with us.
I don't remember exactly how old I was, maybe seven or eight.
We lived about 40 miles outside of Seattle. It was the "country" more or less. We were on 2 acres. The neighbors had 5. An entire 10-acre neighboring stretch had maybe 4 houses on it.
My brother Dan, a couple years older than me, was friends with Mark, who lived in one of the houses down a dirt road. Mark was also older, and I tagged along after them, just wishing I could be as cool as they were. That's your perspective on the world when you're the youngest of a group.
Mark owned a mini-bike - a small motorized machine that he would buzz around on. Living with so much open space invited it. The fact that he owned and rode what was bascially a miniature motorcycle at such a young age made him the coolest person in the world, I thought. I thought this until he and Dan goaded me into sitting on the damn thing myself.
Mark had created a jump. It was simple, a tilted peice of plywood, rising from ground-level to a height of maybe 3 feet.
Mark and Dan took turns jumping off it. They would rev up the bike, speed toward the plywood ramp, and fly off the high end into the air
They actually took flight. More surprisingly, though, they always managed to land perfectly.
It looked fun.
Deep down I knew that it was the sort of fun that I should just watch, not participate in. But older brothers and older friends have their own ideas, and they wouldn't take no for an answer.
I protested as forcefully as I could, but I was powerless.
Suddenly there I was, on the bike, throttle in my right hand. I had no idea how to use the brake.
The thing took off, faster than I could control
Steering it at all was a crap-shoot
I was arriving at the plywood ramp at the wrong angle. I hit the bottom of the ramp in a panic.
The front wheel lurched to the left.
I drove - tumbled, really - off the side of the ramp, wheel first, into the grass.
I had no control, and no idea what was happening.
All I remember is grass and wheels and an engine on top of me and a screaming sound, that seemed to be coming from ME.
I scrambled to my feet and ran. I just ran.
I had to get away as far and as fast as I could.
I heard someone yelling. It might have been Mark yelling after me about what I had just done to his bike.
I didn't care. All I cared about was distance. I had to be as far away from that machine as possible.
I apologize to an ex-girlfriend, and to what might have been a would-be girlfriend who were sure they would wow me with their sexiness on a motorcycle.
It was probably true...You are sexy on a motorcycle.
I just can't be a part of that. And yes, I agree, I am almost certainly missing out.
March, 14, 2012