A long day’s journey into night

I sat at my desk at work today looking out the window every chance I got. Things were casting shadows out there and it was all I could do not to go out and cast a shadow myself along with it all. I’m taking the first of two weeks of unpaid vacation next week; yeah, it’s a hit to the pocketbook but the budget can handle it and frankly I could stand to spend some time away from work for a bit. A lot of folks aren’t working at all, and some folks took the budgetary hit without the time off so I feel very fortunate these days.

I don’t know whether I’ll have a job when I get back though. I spent a night in the last week divorcing myself from the idea of my stuff. The house, the boat, even the motorcycle. It’s just stuff and if I have to sell it off for half of what I paid I’ll take the hit and find a way to make it through. I started out with very little in life and if I have to go back to that I can. I can go back to GO and start all over again if that’s what it takes. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. But I try not to think about it.

I stood in the sunshine with the sun warming my back considering the possibility of snow this weekend and a weather forecast that doesn’t seem to be cooperating with my hopes of sitting in the boat and letting the sun warm my back. I decided that instead of going home and working on the big motor on the boat to instead hop on the motorcycle and headed for the back roads, for a place to see the sun set. As I broke loose of civilization and its traffic, the motor purred beneath me as I wound up and down the gears, up and down the hills, back and forth. The curves invited me to go a little faster, to lean farther, to be more than I was; the straights (of which they were few but picturesque) invited me to lift my head and admire vistas and pastoral vignettes along the roadside.

My arrival was noted by none save for one. I took off my gloves and helmet, chiding myself for having forgotten a warm hat to replace the warmth of the helmet. I circled the area slowly, enjoying the sight of a barge piloting its way downstream on the Big C, the snow in the trees of the upper hills and a valley poised to go off like fireworks in just a few weeks as the light faded from yellow to orange. Eventually I made my way around to him.

“So is your bike a 1000?”
“Nope, just a 650, enough to break my neck.”
He was up from Arizona visiting a friend and had quite the stable of bikes back home. I didn’t recognize any of the names as he rattled them off and by his age I’d say he was intent on reliving his youth through them. It seemed to be working for him and made me question whether I’d actually give up the motorcycle if it came down to brass tacks for me.

As the sun dropped into the clouds, my hands were still numb and my head was getting cold so I bid him a safe journey home and a good ride when he gets there and headed for my own bike. I slipped on the helmet and tugged my way back into the gauntlet gloves and headed for my own home (at least as long as it’s still my home), thoughts of a warm fire in the stove on my mind as I caught glimpses of the last of the sunset. Soon I’d dropped off of the bluffs and into the twisty forest of the roadway and went just a little faster, leaning just a bit more. All too soon I was back in traffic and civilization and all that it entails these days. But I tried not to think about it too much.

It was a good day despite itself and I’ll make the most of tomorrow, come what may.