Chicken Soup for the Motorcycle SoulPosted: January 25, 2011
I haven’t touched a book in quite some time. I used to be an avid reader. I would devour chapter after chapter, until the wee hours of the morning called me to rest and get a little sleep; get up and spend the entire day looking forward to getting back home to find out what my favorite protagonist and antihero was going to get himself into next. My escape from the mundane shades of bleh that colored my reality. That is another pastime that fell victim to the excessive need to ride my motorcycle. Not too long ago, I tried to read “War of the Worlds” on my iPad and made it as far as London falling under attack and our unwilling hero trying to make his way back to the town where he had left his wife. Maybe that is not where he was going… he wasn’t alone… and I really couldn’t make myself care about his world. I gave up. Left him lying wounded by the roadside, never to return.
The only kind of reading I do anymore is of the reference book variety. If it doesn’t help improve my riding or isn’t teaching me how to work on my machine, I really don’t care about it. TV? Nah. Poetry? Sometimes, but it has to do with the experience of being on two wheels. News? Who cares. Too sad anyway. I used to design graphics, elaborate ones, in Photoshop. Not the kind of stuff I crank out now. My creations, which were mainly photo montages with added textures, text and hand-drawn bits thrown in, showed more passion, more emotional depth. Learning Latin? Not anymore. Japanese? No, thank you. I’m over it. I used to crochet, cross-stich, tried my hand at quilting, draw crappy anime characters, conceptualize video game character design, dance, play video games and PC games more than the average teenager (and still sucked at Halo!). My life seemingly has become a bore.
I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe I’d start sooner if I could. But an awesomely smart man once told me that if I had started sooner, I’d probably would have killed myself already. He is probably right. The past two years have just flown by; and looking back at myself learning on my Hog, being scared to ride in traffic, hoping that the light wouldn’t turn red before I got there, so I didn’t have to stop. That doesn’t seem like it was me. It’s almost disconnected. Like it is someone else I am looking at, but not quite. A twin sister, perhaps. A sister I haven’t known and didn’t grow up with. I’m a single child, what do I know? There is, however, a distinct dissociation there. That is where my saying originated: 1 year. 2 bikes. Thousands of miles and worlds apart. I knew it then. It’s even worse now. My S1000RR Present Self is looking at the Hayabusa Self the way the Hayabusa Self looked at the Harley Self over a year ago.
Good gawd! Where is this coming from…? I’m getting way too philosophical here. If I continue down this road… I really don’t want to know the reasons. It seems to be a measure of skill progression and theoretical knowledge of the subject. Like comparing a character from the seventh season of some TV drama to the same character in the third season and then to the one in the first. They are worlds apart. The actor grows into their role and the character becomes more “there”, more realistic, more believable. They had six seasons of practice to get it right. I am more “there” now, after two seasons, but I have plenty of seasons left.
All I really sat down to convey is that I consider a little light reading what you see in the picture above. That is the Chicken Soup for the Motorcycle Soul. If it hasn’t to do with riding bikes, the physics and dynamics of bikes, or the maintenance of bikes, I don’t waste my time on it. I work. I ride. I sleep. And, hopefully, soon I’ll be adding “I race.” to that statement.