10.22.2007,10:38 PM
The Longing. Again.
Clanging throughout the house woke me in the dead of the wee morning. The warmth and sunshine of the day seduced me into leaving all the windows wide open before heading to bed; crickets and owls lulled me to sleep.

But now I couldn't sleep. A northwestern front blew in; temps dropped into the low 50's and the wind whipped through the house blowing everything light enough and not weighted down. It was as if a hurricane had visited me and yelled at me to wake up.

I've been restless since returning from Tennessee. Whee was dropped off at the shop the Friday I left: shot suspension and badly needed servicing on valves and throttle bodies. It was now more than a week later, and three days of all-day riding on paved, dirt and gravel roads didn't seem to quench my thirst for riding. Something was not right; something was missing.

I rode Sherpie yesterday and met a good friend for coffee then lunch, riding the long way home on the little 250. It was flippy, sweet and fun. But something was still missing.

Finally giving up, I crawled out from under my warm down comforter and threw on sweats to make some coffee in the dark. With the wind howling around me, I couldn't make myself shut all the windows. A whisper on that wild wind was trying to tell me something.

Driving to the station in the pelting rain, I felt like I was on Hell's Highway, in some rocket ship that was old and archaic. And not me. Mindlessly and impatiently I rode the highway, parked the truck and an hour later rode an elevator up to the thirteenth floor with my sunglasses on. In the dark. It fit my mood.

Fits of sneezing later, my head pounding, the zombie in control, my body somehow made it through until lunch. With a bowl of hot asparagus soup, I sat alone at a table on the fourteenth floor with only twelve-foot high panes of glass between me and the howling wet angry elements outside. I realized I was staring outside and not really seeing anything.

Over the last ten days my thoughts have strayed to the Whee in the hospital, having surgery: rebuilt forks, stomach removed and valves reseated, throttle bodies synched, greased and tightened where any loose bits were. Oil for the tin man, a heart for the strawman, and courage for the lion. My bike was being renewed in competent hands in the shop of Mr. Wizard.

And I was getting impatient. The longing getting stronger; burning, yearning, a desire a man or woman has for her absent lover. I had an itch that needed to be scratched in a bad way.

While waiting at the station last Saturday for my train home from work I spied two young hawks overhead riding the currents. In the city. Amongst all the noise, hustle and bustle, there were two graceful beautiful white hawks diving, soaring, drifting on the thermals. As if they were oblivious to everything below.

I stood there face up to the sky watching the pair, grinning like a mad fool, feeling their flight as if I were up there with them. People walked by looking up to the sky to see what I was looking at; I probably looked like the city idiot. But they didn't see the two hawks as they danced in the air. And I didn't tell them; because I didn't think they would derive the same feeling I did from watching them. Because I know what it is to fly. And they don't.

At some point during today, I realized what was missing. My bike, the Whee. I miss my bike. Riding my Whee I am one of those hawks gliding through the air. I am the wolf running through the woods, the horse galloping over the ground, the cheetah sprinting on the savanna, the dolphin swimming the ocean, the gazelle leaping across the plains. Riding the Whee on a sweet road I am all of that and nothing else exists. Wild and free.

It's a primal thing. Words can't describe it. Because it is a state of being. There are no words for it. There is only...... ride. No bike I have ridden yet has given me exactly that. And nothing, no one, can stand between us. When I'm riding that bike, and it all clicks together, if you see my face, you can see my soul.

The bike is ready. Tomorrow I pick it up from Cliff's shop. And I'm confident that all will be right again. For the first time in over a year, the Whee is naked: no luggage, no tank bag, no nothing. Just the bike. It's been a long time since we've ridden 'naked'.

After I pick up Whee, we are going for a long, long ride. Just the two of us. Out in the country where there are only the roads, the big sky, the land and me.

Welcome home, Whee.

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posted by Macrobe
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