Thursday, October 1, 2009
Born Free and the right to be naked
We finally made it back to the city after two more days in the truck with Zack and Dave. Stopped in Des Moines to grab Josh's truck which Jeff at COC was kindly watching for us. We made it back to the Kids corn fields around 11pm and I bundled up for the ride back into the city. It was about 40 degrees and the last thing I wanted to do after crossing the country twice in a truck and riding in perfect california weather was power through the freezing corn fields for an hour and a half but after all this was the born free weekend and I wanted it to end on two wheels.
Josh borrowed me some chaps(yes I said chaps, they do have a purpose) and a helmet and I bundled up with everything I had. I warmed up on the kicker pedal until the sleeping minnow came to life with an irritable head light. I said my good byes to Josh and Papa Kurpius and reluctantly headed into the corn and the darkness. About two miles in my head light went from high beam to low beam to no beam. I didn't have a choice but to push on in my head so I followed the sillouhette of telephone poles against the moon light at the top of third gear. about 10 miles later I hit the truck stop for fuel, glove liners and a mig shift scarf to try and keep the bitter air from dancing down my back. I sucked down a marlboro with a quickness and jammed.
I figured I'd tuck in behind a big rig for some wind protection and a guiding light which led to fairy tale winds that the velocity stack wasn't having any part of. The holes in my boots became rats nests for more cold air to attack me through and I couldn't get close enough to the heat of the motor. Now on the open road with no lights and a shiver that barely let me hold onto the bars I tried to concentrate on the white lines flashing by. At first I thought I'd take it easy to limit the freezing air but after taking a couple land mines in the dark the adrenaline started to set in and I realized how much warmer I felt when I was white knuckling it so I cracked the right side grip in a race to catch the red lights ahead of me and scare myself warm. The pistons pounded the concrete with a song of reflection on the weekend and I sang along with verses of LA freeways, desert canyons and now loneliness. But it was the way I wanted it, I figured that in the last 7 days I'd had more fun and done more living than most people do all year and this was earning those memories.
As I closed on the city the skyline flickered like a campfire full of warmth, welcoming me home to my reality. Two lanes turned to five and with every thumbs up from truck drivers and third shift workers I went faster and harder beating the doubt to the back of my head. I hit the off ramp and rolled into an empty shop where more loneliness awaited me. I can't begin to tell you how much love I gave and received this weekend to friends old and new. Everywhere we went from start to finish we were greeted with the open arms of like minded folks from coast to coast. Dave and Zack thanks for making 72 hours in a car fun and fun. Troy and Nikki you are family from here on out, the 3 days we spent riding, laughing and killing time are very near to my heart and will be everlasting memories. Wil you already know how much I love you. Mike D, Grant and Harpoon you managed to pull something off that is unheard of for which I commend you and thank you for the hospitality, the friendship and the sloppy joes. Nash, you strange and awesome man, next time we go to the desert and we will show you our reality. Everybody else, thanks for the fun and we'll see you soon. To the 3 nineteen year old teasers, you missed out on one hell of a night next to a cactus.
My ass is kicked and don't feel like doing pics right now so stay tuned for the visuals. only eat half and give it 45 minutes, trust me.