18 June 2013

Solitary Intimacy

All that Rush wanted for Father's Day was for us to ride together.
We just bought him a motorcycle, and we finally got my love running again. Finally.
Saturday was a clusterfuck of love and pain and joy and sorrow and deep, deep grief.
But in the end, late that night, after joy and companionship in the brightly lit garage with the scent of brake fluid and laughter, I rode her home.

Sunday morning, I slipped to my knees so that Rush could place the collar around my neck. On these days, we are in service to one another: one Mother's Day & my birthday, he to me. On Father's Day & his birthday, I to him. It settled around my throat, cool and slightly heavy and a joyful reminder of my promise to the man I love.

An hour or two later, we hit the road together for the first time.

I have never ridden with a partner, and only ridden with another person twice. A random friend in Florida, and my roommate in Alabama. That was nearly 7 years ago. I have always ridden alone, for the nearly 10 years Skya has been mine.
I have not even been on her in 2 years, and it took a little while to remember basic lane discipline, to return the muscle memory of throttle and clutch and front brake, rear brake, shifting with my feet, leaning and turning and bracing against the highway wind.
Rush rode behind me, his faster bike and more recent riding deferring to my cruiser and long time away from the road.

We had our fits and starts, a clog in the petcock and her determined slowing despite everything I had on the throttle and a desperate slap to the choke before it abruptly cleared and we shot forward into the sunshine with Rush fast behind us.

The highway is my least favorite riding: cars and hot asphalt and traffic inching too close to my fenders and wind shoving me along the lane and nothing worth looking at for hours on end. But at the north end of 400, off of exit 17, GA-9 opens into a beautiful, curving path to my favorite mining town of Dahlonega.

It was bliss to ride again, and a new type to ride with the man I love, my best friend.
Riding together is a solitary form of companionship. You are together in an incredibly intimate manner, depending on one another for direction, leadership, protection, and laying your life in your partner's hands. You follow them into curves and across bridges, trusting they know the route, trusting they will not lead you astray or into danger.... and yet it is also solitary. We do not have the fancy new helmet with the CB radios or bluetooth phone access. We ride solitary with only earbuds playing our separate music and the singular thoughts passing across our eyes. We check on one another in mirrors and with quick turns of our head, but every curve is taken alone and every dapple of sunlight hits only our eyes as we ride together.

Solitary intimacy as the wind passes around us, against us, as each curve leans ahead of us and we judge alone at what speed we can take it. Singular companionship as we choose the route together and ride alone along it, every one of the million split-second decisions required on these curvy mountain roads decided alone and yet weighing into the decision of the other.

Pulling up beside one another at stoplights, stop signs. A nod, a grin, hand signals our only communication and yet we are as in sync in this moment as in the throes of sex.
It is almost a disappointment to arrive in Dahlonega and park our bikes side by side in the space, despite my aching back and vibrating ass. It is almost a loss to regain speech and lose the solitary intimacy of riding together.

Fortunately, we have another 4 hours of riding ahead of us...

(Stopped for a picnic on the way up)

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