Bent Words

Bent Words

May 29, 2008

Her lists gave him hope.

He watched her make them, the anticipation dripping from her fingertips as she carefully positioned her pen onto a single piece of unlined paper days before the Big Weekend.

Her penmanship was perfect but, if it wasn’t, he watched the drafts pile up in the trash, on the floor, the windowsill. On his way to the bathroom, he waded through what would be The List.


“Don’t forget the snacks.”

With what she wrote, she did not plan for anything but she did prepare for everything. He liked that. He liked how she knew when to separate the important details from the wide adventure. She held a sort of spontaneous anticipation behind her eyes – like a child who promised never to worry over an itinerary.

Just go.

“Plenty of ice and plenty of beer.”

“Rain gear! Just in case (but cross fingers it won’t be needed!)”

She loved those lists.

He loved how she pulled it from her back pocket, unfolding the future before his eyes, feeling the pull of her smile across his own face. Intoxicating. Intriguing.

That someone could mold something so simple with such joy and alacrity…it gave him hope.


Seven years straight and she’s not missed a single race.

It’s the first sign of summer – the first REAL sign of summer. She marks a reminder for herself on the calendar in January.

“Ask off first weekend in June!”

The Big Weekend at Road America.

It’s summer’s most amazing invitation. It’s exhilaration wrapped in passion.

The crowded pavement, the pit bikes, the race fuel filling the air, the sunburns, the gotta-have-em-hamburgers, the beer stuffed into backpacks, the babes, the bikes, the ‘perfect spots,’ the port-a-potties, the spills, the avoidance of the chaos at Camp Hell, the familiar faces.

She wouldn’t miss it.

But she misses it already.


She has a stellar ‘in’ via a friend who works at the track. She has the hookup. She has the history, the motive, the means and the memories.

She makes a list of all the things she doesn’t have.


“Scooter transport.”


“A reason.”

She’s sitting by herself, a hundred miles away, staring out at the horizon, watching the blur of bikes fly by in her mind, wondering if she should be there, wondering what she’s missing.

She takes out her list.

She adds his name.

Written at 9:27 p.m.