Saturday, May 25, 2013

Motorcycles and Men

My mom gave me this box of matches for Christmas
( She knows me so well

We stood in my mom's garage looking at my motorcycle. Me and a new guy I was dating. A fine man I just wanted to eat with a spoon.

"This is my bike, Jezebel, she's old, 1983."
"Humph, good year," he said and laughed. That's when I realized 1983 was the year he was born. 9 years my junior. Then I laughed too. A first for me, someone younger.

Motorcycles and men, goodness, gracious me, I love 'em. And I'm also completely terrified of both.

I haven't ridden Jezebel in months. I don't even know how many months. She's had some problems, and I was happy for them. She scares me. This 600 lb. fuchsia machine that I love to sit on and rub her smooth fine tank. When I start Jezebel up to ride and I am both completely terrified and giddy with joy. This bike, this wild beast that can tear me apart or give me wings. Maybe both. This week I thought about selling her. I could really use the money. It would be practical, but I can't because I need her.

I am taking it slow with her. I still haven't taken her off my mom's street, but I will. I need the option to ride. Having a motorcycle feeds that something in me that I can only think to call my wild streak. If that streak in me doesn't get fed I would slowly lose my mind, or pack up and run away from home. So I am going to get on Miss Jezebel again and ride. Shaking, and sweating, and giggling all the way. I've set a goal to make it off my mama's street and hit the parkway. There I'll be the terrified and joyful mama maneuvering my way to a little bit of freedom.

Men and motorcycles. They both feed that rowdy girl inside. I sat on my porch last night, smoking, drinking wine, and feeling very single. As I watched the clouds slide in front of the moon, lighting them up like silver sequenced marshmallow fluff, I began to laugh. I love my big, beautiful life, and I am so grateful for all the crazy, kind, dangerous, sexy, soulful, men that I have had in it. And I have had all of those types of men and maybe more. I don't know if there are enough adjectives to describe the assortment of characters I have allowed walk on parts in my life. I'll spare you the stories. I'm protecting the innocent, or not so innocent men. But I will tell you this. I'm grateful for every single one.

I used to be a leaver. I always dated men I knew I could leave behind. I played it safe. I think I did it to protect my heart, or maybe I did it to protect my freedom. But then someone I thought I would be the leaver of left me, and he broke my heart. Stomped that sweet bloody, fleshy, pandora's box into heart pate, and surprisingly I lived. Not only lived, but thrived and become a whole person that can take care of herself. That's when I learned that I can take a broken heart. I can take it and that I don't want to trade all the love and laughter and mmm-mmm yumminess for a world of safety. Pain will not kill me, though it sucks for a while. What will kill me is giving up the experience for safety.

So now I jump in and I do it. I think, "Oh shit, if this ends it is going to hurt like a motherfucker." I get terrified and excited all at once, just like when I ride Jezebel. Then I giggle and think, "But it's going to be so fun finding that out." The last person I dated I knew it was going to be temporary, but I also new that I would regret not jumping in. I put my toe in the water, I let it sit. I submerged it a little more and then like an Olympic diver I did a reverse dive off the spring board with a double flip. It hurt like a motherfucker when it was over but damn it was sweet while it lasted.

I told my last lover, "I love my life, and it is happy with or without you in it. I'm glad you're in it. You add to it, but I don't need you to make my life happy." And I meant it. I still mean it.

Maybe I'm not meant to find the one, but to experience many different relationships. I have been so loved, and I have loved so much. This body has been treated so fine, and I'm not done. I'm only 39, and in my experience so far things just get better and better.

So I keep trying to ride. Shaking, and laughing, and falling, and feeling. Then I take a break and cool my jets for a bit, or lick my wounds, and thank The Committee for this one big, beautiful, fucking amazing, I'm going to lick the bowl clean, life that has given me the opportunity to experience both motorcycles and men.


  1. What an inspiring post. I absolutely love the line..."I love my life, and it is happy with or without you in it. I'm glad you're in it. You add to it, but I don't need you to make my life happy."

    I need to repeat this to myself every once in awhile.

  2. It is so freeing to realize that your life will not be broken or fixed by the absence or addition or another person. It has been a process though. I've been a single mom for over 6 years. My kids are getting older (6 and 9). Their ever growing independence gives me a little more time to pursue things that feed me. You are on your way! I can see in your post what a strong woman you are. Give yourself a little time and you will be rockin' single mamahood.