On days like this, I wish I had an easy way to take photographs from my motorcycle.

But even if I did, it wouldn't show you the way the world pulls to one side when I'm leaning through a long, blind turn.

But even if I had a video camera, it wouldn't pick up the sounds of the wind muffled through earplugs, the engine chuckling in assent as I ask for more power, the reverberation of the songs incubating inside my helmet as I hum to match the pitch of the gearbox.

But even if I could engineer an audio track that sounded just like that, I wouldn't be able to share the gentle, steady pull of gravitational force as the bike and I dig into the banked curve, or the sudden cold, damp feeling of cutting through a fog bank, or the smell of someone frying breakfast across the street, or the buzzing of an upshift request that communicates through every point at which I contact the machine.

And even if I put you on the pillion so you could experience all of this for yourself, you still would not be able to step into my mind and feel everything else unravel away as all I care about is leaning down into the tank and melding with this thing that carries me across the thin surface of the world, or see the smirk that builds I come out of an intersection and hit fourth gear before the rest of the traffic lifts their eyes away from their phones, or comfort the quiet terror that sits in the back of my head because I never know if a blown tire, a wandering animal, a tarp flying off a truck, a patch of loose gravel will be the death of me.

So the best I can do is hope that you can find something that makes you feel as awake and present is this. The best I can do is tell you that you are alive. The best I can do is to be alive.


10 October 2014 12:03

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