I find myself want to be alone more and more lately. I don’t retreat from others for any negative emotions I have of them or myself. I just feel very comfortable just being alone, and find it more enjoyable at times. My motorcycle is perfect get away. Just me, the bike and the road. I ride for hours on end. An average of 10 and as much as 16 in a day while I’m touring. I take trips, whenever I can squeeze them in. A Saturday here, a 3 day weekend there. I say short, because it never seems enough. It’s not that I dread going into work on Monday, I actually am enjoying my job. There is sense of completely abandonment and freedom that I can’t get enough of while I am riding. So, I wonder how long this can last. People have said I would get tired of in a year or so, but it has only grown. Do my reclusive tendencies draw me towards motorcycle touring, or has my love of touring made me more reclusive? I don’t know if mama was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. But I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time.
There are a lot of tiny rituals that take place before I start to ride. They’ve become so automatic I do them without thinking. Jacket on, pocket zippers down, tank bag on, ipod out, headphones in, glasses off, helmet on, headphones plugged in, helmet strap on, glasses in, gloves on, jacket zipper up, visor down, throttle open. I can do this in under a minute if I am in a hurry. I was in a shit hole town called Tuba City staying in a hotel that must have been an old high school. I think they just put up a wall in between the classrooms and called it a hotel. I slept terribly for some reason and when I woke up I was clumsy with my packing and securing of my luggage. I was in an all around pissed off mood. Cursing at nothing, and everything, having a childish hissy fit. Finally, I start to get into the rhythm of my pre-ride ritual and I start to calm down. I pull my helmet over my face and this warm soothing feeling drifts out over me. A relieved “ahhhh” escaped out my mouth without intention.
Have I slipped into some unhealthy state of mind? Maybe this hobby/obsession is my way of avoiding to meet new people. I can’t imagine that it is that simple. “Just Like You Imagined” by NIN, “Catapult” by R.E.M., “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” by Radiohead. I listen to each of those songs and I can instantly picture the exact road I was on while I was “in the groove.” An obscure cliff in Utah, the Blue Ridge Parkway’s sweeping curves and green hills, the sunset weaving back and fourth along that curvy mountain road north of LA. The only associations I used to make with songs involved moments with others, and now they’re replaced with tarmac. Thanksgiving is Thursday. Mine have usually been filled with friends and family, but this year I’ll probably be eating a turkey sandwich on the side of a gas station. This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve looked forward to.