Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Day's Ride (Fiction)

(An attempt at some really short fiction)

He sat on the deck in the back yard, the coffee mug at his elbow pouring steam into the cool morning air. As the sun broke over the horizon, his gaze wandered from the lightening sky, across the freshly half-lit dawn yard to his bike. He’d prepared the motorcycle for this journey over the last couple of evenings after work. Fresh oil and filter, newly adjusted and lubricated chain, brakes adjusted and suspension dialed in. He admired the slope of the fuel tank from the neck down to the seat. Took a glance at the V twin engine that seemed to him in his dreamy, still-half-asleep state like a race horse, chomping at the bit, impatient to get running. He stretched his sleepy back and took a sip of his coffee. He loved this bike. She’d always gotten him down the road and back again with no hassles.


He sat on the deck in the back yard, whiskey and Coke at his elbow, beads of condensation from the humid evening running down its side. His gaze wandered from the purple tinged dusky clouds across the newly shadowed yard to his bike. He admired the slope of the dented tank from the neck to the torn seat. He glanced at the bent handlebars now missing a mirror. He saw the dust stuck to the lube on the links in the chain. His eyes took in the leaves and grass stuck to the side of the V twin motor, now seeming more like a horse ridden hard and put up wet. He took a long pull on the cocktail, wincing at the way the fresh scabs on his arm pulled against the skin. He loved this bike. She’d always gotten him down the road and back again, alive and in one piece.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Prescription: More Throttle

I haven’t posted in a while, because I didn’t have anything new to post. I hadn’t found work, and was running out of money for gas to ride around on. Finally started work, and now I don’t have the time. Insert something here about greener grass on the other side or something like that…

Anyway, today I had kind of a stressful day. Nothing bad about the job; just me being me and mentally overreacting to things. Once I start down that road, I’ll just keep stressing. I’ve only found three cures for it. My girlfriend is a few states away in college. That left the bottle and the throttle. Living in my Dad’s strictly alcohol-free home left only one treatment: the throttle. After all, that's what had been missing in my life lately.

I came home, made a quick cup of coffee to perk me up – that 6:00 a.m. start time is still getting to me after a month and a half of unemployment. Then, grab the jacket, lid and gloves. Snag the iPod and dial up some appropriate music, and head out to mount up.

First, to the gas station. Well, gas stations. Plural. Here in the Southeast, we’re going through a miniature version of the historic gas shortages of the 1970s. The first station I tried was out of gas.

Full tank, helmet back on, hit the starter button, pull up the kickstand, engage first gear, and roll out. Waiting for the light to turn green, I reach up to the earbud cord and squeeze the Play button. Then roll away from the intersection to the opening tones of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”.

I rolled down GA Hwy 42 out of Morrow, through Stockbridge, on southward. Continued on 138, turning onto 155 toward McDonough. Neat little town, from what I saw as I rode through the square, past a courthouse from another time. I’ll have to go back again when there’s less after work traffic and check it out.

I continued on the street I sort of wound up on, Jonesboro Road, riding on across I75. When I noticed that the street name had changed to McDonough Street, I realized I must be getting closer to Jonesboro. Sure enough, not much longer, I wound up turning onto Tara Blvd. Back into territory familiar from my teen years. Coming farther into Jonesboro, I turned onto Battle Creek Rd, another familiar signpost from high school years. I passed Tara Stadium, where all the high schools in the county play football (at least in my day - there've been a lot of changes, so who knows?), and where, as a member of the ROTC Color Guard, I performed countless presentations of the colors during National Anthems.

A left turn onto Mount Zion road took me right back to the station where I fueled up a couple of hours earlier. Fifty miles and almost the entire album “No Remorse” to get right back to where I started. A fine use of time, electrons, and liquefied dinosaur remains, if you ask me.