Bent Words

Bent Words

September 25, 2008

Well, you know it's not my place (and now I wonder if I've ever been there) but Happy Anniversary just the same.

Last weekend I had the odd pleasure of witnessing your leathers take the lead (and the hole shot, I might add). I felt the dust, the gravel, the excitement growing fiercely beneath my tippy toes and I regarded little of where I stood save to be sure I saw the track in nearly its entirety. I heard the hard revving of the engines at the yellow light (upgraded from the sideways board) and the singular pull at green means go. I smelled the race gas in all its glory mixed with shredded tires and kicked up sand, I saw the sparks from pegs on pavement and the unintentional wheelies over the bend. I watched your diamond-backed leathers swap it up in the dirt and I felt the rush, the intensity, the vibration in the ground. It was a familiar feeling; especially at the end, wrapping my arms around those toiled leathers, dripping with sweat and the sweet scent of a first place finish...

And somehow it seems you win again.

I nearly busted an ankle heading back to the pits (not quite as nimble as I was back when and hills aren't exactly sandal friendly), ready to regale the leading man, but somewhere I must have paused for all I could do was scrutinize the size and shape and length and build of the wearer of the leather suit. Helmet still on, gloves still fitted, boots locked down -- I could have been mistaken -- but for a split second, I wondered where you were and waited.

Damn near the same crowd assembled. The position of the sun struck a chord. The cold beer in the cooler. The pulling of the sleeves. The tink tink of the bike to the stand. The sound of my heart beating outside my chest. So there I stood; waiting for the out-of-breath smile. Watching for the sweaty locks to fall. Looking for the familiar fatigue, the sigh of victory, the preamble to the telling of the tale. I was waiting for you.

And it was you, for a brief moment. Not your eyes or your smile, not your chest at the unveiling of the uniform, not your laughter or your rightful glee -- but it was you and somehow it seems you win again.

So I still cheer you on, watch breathlessly as you rail the corners, swear over audibly if you fumble and hope desperately for you safety and smile along the way -- just as usual. Just as always. Because you deserve it.

Happy Anniversary.

Written at 7:42 p.m.