48 Degrees, Steady Rain With Possible Torrential Downpours and a 90% Chance of a Fool On His Motorbike Passing You On The Highway
My fingers won’t listen, soaked and frozen, they’re ignoring everything I ask of them. October’s whim becomes a wet shot in the mouth during the afternoon and the highway fills with water like a shower in a tub with a slow drain.
A motorcycle is to steering like a fish as a car is to steering like a cow. Like holding onto a dorsal fin, I crouch with the throttle held open like the mouth of a waiting beartrap, reckoned only by the forces of wind, water, metal and asphalt. Explaining the logic behind the desire to ride motorcycles in the rain would be like formulating the chemical equation of a passionate kiss or using a geometric diagram to illustrate why humans like ice cream. It’s emotional, impossible, and often insane, to define it would be betraying the beauty of impulse.
My entire world at this moment hears only the scream of pistons, combustion, and the steady rhythm of my breathing. Hands gripping bars as if there was no other purpose on earth that merited fingers and palms. Flick my head to the side and the rain streaks off the visor giving up a few seconds of crystal clear vision, elbows on knees being warmed with the heat of the engine, it’s like huddling around a campfire, squinting to watch the stars in darkness.
Shooting down the road in a downpour while sitting calm and serene in leather, passing and waiting then waiting and passing, adrenaline of this sort flows quietly like a distant storm but will eventually hammer out blood and butterflies up from the guts. It’s never really felt until everything comes to a rest. I imagine the people in their cars, warm and dry, changing their music between pop and talk radio. I imagine them not seeing a motorcycle through fogged up blind spots and rain-blanketed windshields. By no fault of their own they are perpetually on the verge of murdering me and by pure personal choice I dodge bullets everyday I raise that kickstand. Thank you cosmos for allowing me to streak through the sky without dire collisions. Also thanks for those little toothpicks in restaurants that are minty and a well-timed smile from a complete stranger.
Note: 3 rainy nights later, a part of some old train tracks which were never removed from parts of NW 15th Avenue caught my front tire in its rut and as I attempted to scoot out of it, wet metal and rubber met and swiftly put me on my back along with a bunch of busted bike parts. Then 5 days later I was backing up a moving van into a driveway and accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake and ran over my bike that sat parked in the street.
Mortality has never been as focal and tangible as it feels right now.