“She somehow thought that cardboard box was our motorcycle rolling over and over again on the highway.”
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
There’s an aspect of fear that plays into all of this. The fear of the unknown, the fear of being alone, the fear or what can or may happen. I say this all in the sense of fear of the future. I bring this up because my mother and my aunt both have. They worry. Don’t get me wrong, they should. I should likely be more worried but I’m not. I don’t see myself as invincible, I see myself as blessed. They’re concerned that something would happen to me on this trip, on this motorcycle. I learned long ago I can’t live in fear. Not when I ride. Most of you who know my story know that I almost killed myself once in a bad car accident. For some reason I was blessed to survive, He didn’t take me then and I firmly believe that God protects me, as he has other things he’s building me for. Which means there are plenty of other things to fear in life other than a vehicle.
Fear taught me long ago that it makes you timid. So it’s not just when I ride its how I live. I try to let practicality guide me and shape my actions and decisions. If logic dictates it then I’ll generally follow it. But fear can lead to not taking risks where a risk is the correct choice and it can lead to regret. The one thing I want from life is to not die with regrets. I already have a few stored up that are now too late to rectify and I’ve learned much from them. I don’t want to keep adding to them. So this trip is one of those things, but so is going all out at work, putting my art into the world and so many other choices I make. I don’t want another “what if.” I will say that the one place I’m trying to learn to move forward is in matters of the heart. Fear has touched me there and that one is harder to shake. That one may take some time. But like everything else that makes me who I am, I’m working on it.
To say this is the long road home may be a bit of a misnomer, or a miswording at least. The road from St. Louis to Indy isn’t very long and I’ve done it 100 times. It was the route I’d take from Kansas, the route I often took when I traveled for work, The roads I’ve taken when going to visit friends. I know US-70 East all too well. Today feels different though. Today I’m going home after the past 18 days of frustration and the trials of the trip. I need this more than anything, more now than ever.
So today I ventured out in the mid-afternoon expecting to end up in Indy about 5pm. The trip went as expected, it was a great day for riding, sunny and warm. It meant the sunscreen was out almost all day, except the times I forgot. It was uneventful to say the least but it was comforting all at the same time. It was like seeing a long lost toy as a child or finding those keys you misplaced and thought you lost even though you had a spare set. There’s just no replacing that original thing. There’s no place like home.
Unfortunately home was a bit odd this time. I arrived in town around the time I thought. The only downfall was as soon as I hit the loop around town the rain started. I tried to ride it out but had to stop and gear up. Conveniently it put me on the west side of town where my uncle is in the rehabilitation hospital for recovery from a surgery. I’ve been wanting to see him so this was a perfect opportunity to stop. It turned out to be a great moment as when I walked in, sitting there were my cousins, his daughters, one from Texas the other there in town. My aunt is like my second mother so it was good to see her there as well. Of course she grilled me about my trip, like my actual mother the worrying is intense. Nonetheless mother aunt, my uncle’s wife came out and we all talked for a while. Then after my aunts left my cousins and I went back to see my uncle,
It was strange seeing him like that. He was still in that recovery stage, good enough to go home in a few days but not enough to be fully self sufficient yet. You see, he was always a strong man, he ran a landscaping company and gave me my first job paving driveways one summer when I was 15. He’s always been a symbol of something for me. This was a strange moment because all of a sudden I felt like everything I used to know, that made this place for me, had changed. There was no looking back anymore, the memories are just that… memories. But maybe with this comes the opportunity for a rebuilding.
Anyway, I went to my mother’s house afterwards to settle in for the night. I got home and unloaded the bike. I went in to see my mother, who at the time looked and sounded like a bad case of the flu. My mother was apparently victim 1 of some illness creeping though the house. I had been somewhat surprised to see my brother in laws car there, but apparently it was because he now had the sickness. He came home early and immediately called it a night. He and my sisters oldest also had it though being a strapping young boy of three he fought it off quickly. Either way the illness was thick in the house. The plague as I referred to it as. So I checked in with my brother and sister-in-law and packed back up to head out to Brownsburg.
An hour later I was at my brothers, I stopped and saw a friend quickly on the way over but the kicker was that the construction in my brothers area cur off all the direct access to their subdivision. After driving in circles for over an hour and confusing the heck out of my GPS I finally stopped a police officer and he helped point me in the right direction. I finally arrived, tired and ready to call it a night around 10pm.
In classic fashion I walked into the house and they were hanging out as a family. My niece with the baby on the back porch along with her boyfriend, my brother and sister-in-law, all playing dominoes and laughing together. It was perfect. My two younger nieces were doing homework with the help of a family friend and I spent the rest of the evening enjoying their company. We eventually played spades after my brother went to bed and I won a few hands along with my partner. My great-niece woke up at one point and my niece went to go take care of her. Somehow in that 20 minute window the day or the week must have caught up to me, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I literally dozed off mid-game, cards in hand. Luckily we won the hand but that was it for me. My niece in al her laughter at her uncle passing out at the table was a perfect end to the night.
It’s good to be home.
Apprx Miles: 250 / Top Speed: 85 mph / Best Album of the Day: “Friday” soundtrack produced by Dr. Dre
Apprx Miles: 43 (after the circles) / Gotta avoid the Black Lung