Together on the Wind

Honda 305 scrambler 1965b-1

Sydney’s already fallen into a deep sleep at my bedside, his favorite place to sleep. Willie’s on the couch. Don’t tell Mom. Oh wait.

The black Alabama sky flashes with electric cotton every few seconds. The thunder is so soft you can’t hear it, only feel it. A fly dances between me and the screen, so therefore between you and me. Shoo it away, will you? My hands are busy.

I went to the Swafford’s tonight. Phillip and I sat out back by the antique car he’s bringing back to life. Phillip is what a man should be. We talk about philosophy and religion and politics. We fart a lot and loudly but neither even mentions it. I love this about our friendship. He reads my blog and a lot of other great literature. (wink) He talks about it sometimes. I’d write the blog if he were the only one reading it. He would be reason enough and is like a brother to me.

Just as the day is slipping into night, I remember that I came on the bike and that I grabbed the helmet with the limonene-tint face shield because it was still sunny out. I realize that if I don’t leave now and take advantage of the last bit of vanishing light, I’ll be riding home like Luke Skywalker doing light sabre training with the blast shield down. (Only a few of you will get that. You’re my favorites.)

There was a “force” helping me as I zoomed home up the Oakman/Parrish Highway. And I did a bit of time travel. It wasn’t the first time in the past couple of days that I’ve had this vision while riding the bike. (When I say bike, I mean my matte black 1000cc  2005 Ducati Monster.) I feel the supple texture of the gas tank and I am transported to a different time and place and remember what it was like to sit on the gas tank of my dad’s bike while we rode these same roads a long, long time ago.

Daddy had a 1965 305 Honda Scrambler and he’d sit me on the tank while we zipped all over the countryside. (That’s back when it was safe to do such things with kids.) I felt secure between his two muscular arms. I’d slide back against his hard torso– always adorned in a white t-shirt that smelled permanently of Aqua Velva. Wrapped around my dad at the waist were the most beautiful set of female legs ever to shoot out of cut-off blue jean shorts. They belonged, of course, to my mother. Her arms around my father, she’d gently pat me to reassure me when the motor growled. My parents were both movie-star-good-looking when I was a boy and remained so late into their years. We’d rip through the hot Alabama Summers much like I did tonight and we were happy.

We are happy again together, these past few days as they’ve visited me on the bike. Only I’m no longer a child, I’m me as I am now, young at 49. They, however, appear as they did back then in the sixties, as they were in my earliest memories of them– young, vibrant, alive!

Back at home I make a few Native American prayer ties (a pinch of tobacco placed inside a small square of fabric and tied in succession along a long bit of string). The colors mean things and tonight’s ties were all black, in honor of the Direction of The West– the seat of introspection– the direction of The Bear. I pray for whomever comes to mind when I reach into the bag of tobacco. But mostly tonight I find myself just repeating a prayer of gratitude for what is. At a time when I’m missing my parents very much, I, surprisingly, am not focused on that during the prayer– but on my gratitude for having had them as parents in the first place– and that they can be with me again on the motorcycle. Whenever I want.

See y’all tomorrow.

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