Last night I went downtown. My wife was singing backup to another musician for whose gifts it is well worth going downtown. I crossed the street, slightly delayed by an encounter with a foursome (2 of each and they were speaking of golf). We chatted. Breaking away before the stench of flirtation between them overcame me, I, as I said, crossed the street. More accurately, I "almost" crossed the street. I believe I had enough thrust and lift to clear it entire. I had even accelerated to avoid being run down by a truck and that should have accounted for any demands the opposite curb made in what should have been a purely Newtonian moment. But there before me, between me and whither I went, was a motorcycle. Hard tail, glide front end, Sportster tank, black engine, bicycle seat, wine red. If I had reached the curb I would have tripped over it.
Let us recap for the reader our writer, shall we?
I used to ride (Triumph 650).
It was in the mid-seventies.
I can't afford a mid-life crisis.
The old coot moment descended over mine eyes like a veil. What that means is that stories are recounted to bikers half your age, of bygone days with a tone that conveys that as surely as you covet theirs, they should covet yours.
They were polite but they could not shake the vision that stood before them in the street. A man's memory of himself coasting to a stop against the gracious but non negotiable curb in North Idaho. Something in the fuel line.