Just What The Doctor Ordered: Two-Wheeled TherapyPosted: November 12, 2009
After three days of being cooped up in the house, trying to get it back into a pre-‘Busa state of cleanliness and getting progressively more miserable, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I am to get my lethargic, half-depressed butt out of bed, gear up and go for a ride. I mumbled something along the lines of: “I don’t have anywhere to go.” Like that ever stopped me before, as if I ever needed a Point B. Hubby just replies: “You’re going to Calhoun Falls, SC.” More apathetic mumbling from under the covers. “Get up, get dressed, I’m not leaving until you’re in your leathers. And I’m running late for work.” With that I dragged my unwilling bum out of bed and into my gear. I punched the destination into my GPSr. I watched hubby leave in the car (he wrecked his bike, so it’s the cage for him) and I briefly thought about going back inside in a display of you’re-not-the-boss-of-me defiance. However, it doesn’t take much for me to succumb to the Power of ‘Busa. I looked at The Fat Lady sitting there, alone and neglected for the past three days, and I almost felt ashamed. Then I heard it. Her call. It was but a whisper. As I threw my leg over, I wondered if I still knew how to ride… all doubts were erased as I rolled down the drive, put her in gear and eased out the clutch. It took me a few miles, but I found my usual rhythm. The Fat Lady and I, we were BFFs again. As the miles rolled past, my self-imposed misery slowly faded into nothingness and I began to feel my usual happy self again. I was in the zone. The place my mind goes when I’m riding. There is no room for thoughts unrelated. When I ride, I can’t think of anything else. I tried. My mind goes wonderfully blank. When I’m in the zone, nothing (else) matters. Just me, the bike, and the application of skill and situational judgment. The reverie of woman and machine was rudely interrupted by a pickup truck faking right then dodging left. We’re out in the middle of nowhere, road is boringly straight, devoid of traffic, except for the rust bucket in front of me. He turns on his right turn-signal, appropriately slowing. All the signals are there, I think nothing of it. The road is clear. The yellow is dashed, so I signal left and get over into the other lane to pass him. The next thing I know I see his tailgate right in front of me. WTF? I brake, hard. I feel the front wanting to wash out. I release the brake and give the Fat Lady’s right grip a desperate push, she immediately obeys and starts swerving right, hard. I clear the truck just in time, since I am now dangerously close to running out of my lane and off the edge of the road. I push hard leftt. Again, she doesn’t disappoint and does what she’s told. We finally straighten up and I turn around to look at my ‘assailant’ and he’s sitting at the beginning of the dirt road he had turned so shamefully into, staring at me, in what I can only interpret as disbelief, with his CELL PHONE STILL GLUED TO HIS LEFT EAR, with his mouth hanging open.
I don’t even take the time to show him the middle-digit salute. I’m angry. I grip it and rip it and am outta there. I have to force myself to slow back down into double digits and to finally settle into doing the speed limit (more or less). I’m surprised that I’m not even scared. Last time I had this close of a call, I had to eventually pull over and process, so I could get myself back together. And that took a few hours until my brain finally let go of its preoccupation of analyzing and replaying the mess over and over and wanting to find meaning where there is none. Nothing now. Just anger. And that scares me. Never mind that I came very close to high-siding my ass over a truck (if I’m lucky) or into it (if I’m not). Never mind that I could have sustained serious injury (if I’m lucky) or died (if I’m not). I’m supposed to be scared. Nothing I can do about it. It is what it is, no sense trying to figure out why. It takes me a few miles and the incident is all but forgotten, filed into the ‘Shit Happens (Too Close For Comfort)’ folder under the ‘Cell Phone-toting Inattentive-Driving-Is-Not-Against-The-Law Would-Be Killers’ directory, no doubt. I finally get to Calhoun Falls, SC, turn off the routing on the GPSr and keep on going, enjoying the ride. By the time I get home I have 175 miles on the clock and a recharged spirit. I think I left the funk somewhere between Greensboro and Saluda.
Somewhere between Saluda and North Augusta something totally awesome happens. Squidly. Irresponsible. And totally awesome: