Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Old Iron: Alphonse

I bought a bike.
It's not brand new because I wouldn't want that. It's old, it's seasoned, and it's mine.

Old motorcycles are blessed things, aching for just a little love and attention now and again. They buzz and rattle some, but are from a simpler time in life. They're honest. They speak to me in a voice only those who appreciate mechanical things can hear. When they run, you hear the internals working, and it's a pleasing sound that resonates in a subtle vibrato of  geared music. Points instead of a solid-state ignition, no complicated fuel delivery, and the simplicity of a chain drive. There is a hum that meanders within the soul of those willing to listen.

My heart is leaping with anticipation of getting some miles under those tires. I can't wait to feel the wind in my face, see the road passing beneath my feet, and the sounds of the world all around. A convertible give you some of that experience, but it can't match the sheer freedom that a motorcycle provides. It is an experience that must be savored, not rushed. Feeling the machine working beneath you is, in some ways, similar to riding a horse, but without the animal trying to scrape you off on every tree just because it's fun. And minus the poop. Lawd, do horses poop.

There's a special place in my heart for old iron, as you all know. But I will forever say that old machinery was built to be serviced rather than replaced, and that is something that I truly enjoy. In a disposable world, these things are sacred. You have to understand the mechanics of the machine, and be willing to dive in when something breaks.

I'm willing.

Are you?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Son, My Son...

21 Years ago today, my son came into this world after a very long wait, crying and carrying on like any other small, pink human.

He grew. Who knew kids did that?

Today, he transitions from the "Under-aged Drinking" world to "What, I'm legal". Remember those days, gang? You might be asking yourself what this means to me, his father.

Well, I'm banking on him being a beer snob. There is nothing redeeming about drinking shitty beer. One good beer is better than a dozen bad ones. Period.

I'm also banking on him using his damned head. Many of his peers have died at the hands of a drunken driver or because they had gotten into a car with a driver who had been drinking, so I'm hoping really hard that he won't. Ever. Sometimes it happens, but the gods smile on fools and  we escape. Other times, we don't and we end up dead. I'd like to think that I won't have to attend my son's funeral anytime soon.

Sometime a long time ago, we had a discussion and he said something about drinking Scotch because that was a "Man's Drink". I still laugh about that because I am pretty sure he'll make the face. But that's okay, because like life, it takes a while to appreciate Scotch.

I'm hoping that he has the chance to savor the life he's building. Things are different today. This isn't the world I grew up in, and sometimes I forget that. But it is *HIS* life, and I hope that he has a long, fulfilling one, unfettered by the ghosts of parties past.

So, Cheers my son.  I love you, and I'm hoping that you realize your potential one day.

I'll be cheering you on no matter what.I love you, and I'm proud of you.

Here Here!