Bent Words

Bent Words

October 30, 2019

The closest communication we've had in a decade or more in the form of a 'like,' a reply and a laugh and you'd think we were back in that dank shop with motors whirring, wrenches turning, a sales pitch on the edge of a purchase.

Watching Kevin White buzz away in the summer sun with a grin and coffee stains on his scooter. Wally dropping in to catch up for a spell or the old man who wouldn't talk to anyone but you. The ins and outs of pushing bikes, moving inventory, stealing test rides and second glances from all the passers by.

The dead of winter was good for snowmobiles (at one time) and sidewalk wheelies on moto bikes and early Discount Liquor runs.

I remember 9/11 and Supermoto and I can taste the grit of back room and smell the humidity dripping dirty off the walls of an unairconditioned space. Race gas and dyno runs, waiting for the day to drop so we could get to the tunes and the talk and the beer. You on the tips of your toes, a smile growing by the can, a kiss stolen here and the kind of heartbeat I still can't seem to chase away.

I must -- regrettably, sadly, barely -- decline the reunion show.

I'm not as far away from all of that as you. It's not just good memories to me; it's everything I knew myself to be and everything I still wish I were. It's where I go when I wonder who I am and it's the me my kids ask me about. It's the person who was erased with a stupid fire I won't be getting over anytime soon. And I cannot calm this quickened pulse or tame my brilliant dreams the moment I look back with longing.

It's like I'm 21 with nothing ahead of me, whatever behind me and the right now begging to be gloriously abused and cherished and held onto. It's about 5 shots of adrenaline without a whisper of caffeine and I don't know how to come back down.

It's the best bloody kiss I've ever known, spilling me over the edge without another move, and the spine tingling thrill of knowing THIS is where I'm meant to be because nothing has been been greater and nothing could ever compare. Before their were doubts, before regret was a tangible force, before I knew better.

So what if the years have dimmed our vision? So what if there is more of us to love? So what if we have changed beyond what we once were? All I could do is make a fool out of me by not knowing what to say. And what would I say? With all the surely shaken words you could hear my unrelenting heartbeat as though you were so close to touch me!

I must -- haltingly, hardly, quietly -- decline.

And I hate that.

Written at 3:56 p.m.