Mixed Tape Memoir: Search For TruthJuly 21, 2010
Responding to Pop Culture: FacebookJuly 29, 2010
I put the key in the door’s lock, turned it and like so many mundane days before this one, my day was complete and I could finally head home for the day. I’d worked at the pool store for nearly four years now and despite being the store’s manager, I despised my job. Having said that, I was quite successful at my job and made a reasonably comfortable living at it. As is often the case when you have a family to support, the things you desire often get set aside for the things you need and I needed this job.
As I walk across the back alley, my heart starts to beat a little faster in anticipation of being with her again. We have such limited time together. Typically the only time we really spend together anymore is on my way to and from work. But as brief as the moments we share may be, these moments often seem to transcend time. She’s waiting for me leaning near the alley wall. Sleek, black and dressed in black leather and albino snake’s skin. Her stance is stunning and when we’re together, I am alive. She’s my 1976 r75/6 BMW Airhead and she is art in motion. I saddle up and lean forward reaching up under the gas tank to hold the hidden kill switch I had engineered out of an old 1970’s doorbell button. Holding the button I touched the starter wire to the frame instantly feeling her come alive underneath me. I’d just recently fabricated the exhaust out of eighteen inches of dual straight pipes and man did she make the ground rumble. The engine’s vibration could be felt for ten feet in every direction and when you got on it, her rumble would drown out all other sound. I straighten her up, flip back the kickstand with my heel and I’m off.
It’s a cool evening and unlike most nights, the road seems wide open and free of distractions. I roar down US1 thinking of all the things I have to do when I get home. Typically when I ride, my mind is clear but, more and more the stresses related to my job are building. So, even now when I am surrounded by open road with the beauty of the Indian River running along side this stretch of highway, I’m just too stressed to appreciate it. Suddenly, I’ve reached Viera Boulevard which means after I make this turn, I’ll be less than five minutes from my home. Just as I make the turn onto Viera Boulevard and crest the train tracks that run across it, my engine sputters. My baby is running low on gas. Fortunately, she has a reserve tank and so a simple flip of the fuel valve allows her to draw the fuel she needs. Besides there’s a Mobil station just a mile up the road through the intersection. I can see the glare of the streetlight reflecting off the pavement of the intersection. I hear the sound of a tire squealing and before I can react a full-sized SUV coming in the opposite direction has cut across the intersection and is now directly in my path. This is really going to hurt. The right side of my handlebars tear into the rear passenger door of the SUV like a can opener just in time for the driver to accelerate, flinging me into the air like a rag doll. As I flip though the air, I can see the traffic light coming at me and spread my legs apart to avoid kicking it. I know now that I’m dead. Eventually I’m going to land and when I do, I’ll probably die. Why didn’t I wear my freaking helmet, why wasn’t I a better father, a better husband, a better man? The pavement approaches quickly and then it was dark.
As if awakening from a dream, I open my eyes and find myself face down in the road. I’m surprised to find that nothing hurts. Instead, I’m overwhelmed with the sense of being alive. I try to get up and as I do, I can hear already broken bones crack under my weight and immediately the pain floods me. The odd thing is, even with all this pain, for the first time in a long time I have a sense of purpose. I have an understanding of what truly matters.