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Blessed are the Motorcycles

The alarm clock sounded, dragging my eyes open with its vicious squealing charm, I raised my head from the pillow, the pain from the pulled muscle in my neck shot through me like a lightning bolt, throwing my head back to the pillow. I cursed the world under my breath and bared the pain. I lifted what felt like a dead chunk of meat off the pillow, and rolled into a sitting position at the edge of the bed. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity with tears hanging in my eyes, my fists clinched, and a flurry of words emitting from my lips that frankly would have embarrassed the Ancient Mariner.

I rose to my feet and stumbled into the kitchen, even the simple act of making a pot of coffee brought tears to my eyes. I jabbed my finger with the lancet, in my case this morning that jab felt as though I had driven a spike through it. I watched as the test strip sucked a small blister of blood that formed on the skin into its test window.

One more bit of pain to add to my already heavy load. To my surprise, my blood Glucose was within tolerances, I injected myself with Insulin and then distributed the pills I take each morning and after swallowing 13 of them, I poured a cup of coffee and retired to the living room to suffer until the pain pills began to work.

I sat down at my desk, turned on the computer and began writing in my journal it was barely 730 in the morning, I began my journal as I always do recording my vital statistics and how I felt and what type of morning it was and the other usual dribble. It was then that I decided I was going to the pancake breakfast if it killed me.

I showered, washed the funk off my body, dressed, finished my coffee, and then made sure everything was as it should be when I left the apartment.

I walked down the hallway, into the garage then mounted Matilda, and headed out of the garage and into the traffic. I rode down 117th to I-90 west and then made a high speed run to 140th street and then south to Lorain. I stopped at the light and then made a right turn and headed west I flew under the railroad bridge and slowed down to pull in Harley Davison Sales parking lot. I guided the Beast to a long row of Harleys unbelievably; most of them were Vivid Black in color and just about, all of them were touring style motorcycles just like mine.

I met some cool people, made some inquiries into the Harley Owners Group, HOG, and talked to several other people. I found out the HOG group prints out a schedule of all the meetings and runs they have each month most of the trips the group takes vary from ½ a day to 3 days but most are on the weekends. Joining the group would give me a chance to meet people and go places something I don’t do now. And frankly, something I would enjoy. I learned I would have to join the National HOG and then the local chapter to participate in the group.

I entered the building and fell into line where the coffee was being served I poured a cup, added some condiments to it, and proceeded to the buffet line. I was not surprised to find they were serving those 4 inch frozen pancakes that I had two of, a little syrup, and two sausage links I sat at one end of a table where four other people sat. It didn’t take long for me to eat the food and it was enough I didn’t want to fill up on carbs and sugar and run my blood glucose up.

After eating, I dumped the plate and moved to the outside garage door and I stood right square in the middle of it I said to a man standing close by just like me to stand in the middle of the door. He said you could always move I said I guess you are right. And moved over beside him he was a fellow rider, he was rotund like me, and grey headed like me, and possibly as old as me, his name was Jack. We talked of many things, we talked of this, and we talked about that, we told jokes and together we laughed.

Together we gawked at some people and marveled at others, there were people from all different walks of life. Moreover, some of those were people; life had walked over them as well. As for me, I still display for all to see the footprints that life has left on me. However, that is altogether a different story, a story of its own. On the other hand, the thing we have most in common is the H-D RoadKings we ride.

The HOG area president called the group together and introduced the priest who would later on bless both the motorcycles and the riders. The priest took the microphone and called everyone to prayer he said his invocation and then told all how he would proceed. He began at the end of the line I was in and he blessed each motorcycle and each rider in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. The priest then sprinkled holy water on me and on Matilda.

You can believe me when I say; if someone had told me a year ago, I would be riding a Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle and would have voluntarily gone to a ceremony where I would be blessed by a priest. I would have told you, you were insane. However, life goes on, we change, and I can say I have changed.

I was saying goodbye to Jack when Troy came up and told me he had someone he wanted me to meet and he introduced me to Steve and his friend, Steve was the last owner of Matilda. It was at that moment I thanked him sincerely for trading it in on his new FLHT. I have the one material thing now that brings joy and happiness into my life. Steve told me he had two windshields in his garage he was going to give me and about all of the work, he had done on the engine and transmission, he elaborated about the other things he had done and of the parts, he had added. He told me with zeal about the engine modifications and the power it has, and then tapped the speedometer housing and looked at me. He said, “100 miles and you had better fill up.” I marveled at his descriptions and antidotes about the RoadKing.

Then I told him I had already figured out the gas, the Beast, gets 22 to 25 miles to a gallon around town and I feed it quite regularly and I’m sure as the summer approaches its zenith I will be feeding it more and of course enjoying things a lot more as well.

Steve has a new Electra-Glide Ultra Classic now, and he said with a look of sadness in his eyes he wished he had, what I now call Matilda, back under his buttocks once again.

That’s when I asked him if he wanted to take one last ride her. He accepted hardily and without another word stepped over her, fired up the engine, and vanished from view. His friend made jokes and said he was gone, if he didn’t come back, he had left his new motorcycle in the parking lot.

I smiled and said, “He will be back,” and about the time I finished the sentence. He appeared once again and pulled into the parking lot.

“Thanks,” he said, with a grand smile as he crawled off Matilda. And with that, he offered me his hand, said “goodbye,” and entered the building maybe to wipe a tear from his eye or to carry on somewhere else. I might like to think he left to wipe the tears from his eye, I know if I lost Matilda, I would have tears in my eyes.

After the priest finished blessing the bikes and their riders, the riders began to leave and I soon followed. As I mounted Matilda, I noticed Steve’s friend watching me. I zipped up my jacket pulled my gloves on and started her up, I popped the transmission into first and revved up the engine and slowly let the clutch out. I navigated Matilda through the crowds and out into the street, I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t an accomplished rider. The ride home was uneventful as far as bumps and crashes go. However, I do love twisting the throttle when I am entering the on ramp to the expressway oh what fun that is! Talk about acceleration and exhilaration, let the endorphins and adrenaline lose, there isn’t anything better that I know of than that feeling of happiness you get when you ride.

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