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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Til death do us part

I ride a Harley. A 2006 Ultra Classic, smoke and black cherry with Screamin' Eagle big bore and 6-speed transmission. She's completely badass.

I'm gonna turn 50 later this year. Granted, I'm a young-at-heart 50 (my wife calls it "immature") but my body is somewhere between 57 and 68 years old.

A lot of people look at me and just shake their heads when they find out I ride. I'm in a position of reasonable responsibility, Director of IT Security for a Fortune 500 company.

Some will just blurt out the most bizarre things. "I knew a guy who wrecked on his bike and scraped his penis down to a stub on the asphalt." "My wife's cousin got hit head-on by a Greyhound bus full of NASCAR fans." Crap like that.

Most people I know look at me and just can't believe that a responsible, college-educated, quasi-professional man like me would risk his very hide and life riding a death-cycle.

You know what? Fuck 'em.

I've never met a 70-year old man who was ambivalent on the topic. Those who have ridden all have the same reaction when they see me. First, a sublime smile creases their already well-creased faces, the veil of 25 years or more fall from their eyes, and they all say, "Man, I miss riding. I had a 19-umpty-ump panhead...rode her across Texas in August. Best time of my life."

Those who have ridden never say, "Man, I regret all those years I rode. Biggest mistake of my life."

You know who does say that? People who never rode. Without exception, every 70-year old man I've ever met who didn't ride has a story about the time he almost bought a Harley...but didn't. Their faces turn wistful and their shoulders slump. It's the one that got away, the one big regret of their otherwise full and satisfying lives.

What about the ones who didn't make it to 70, you ask? The ones who were hit head on by a Greyhound full of NASCAR fans or whose penises were scraped to stubs?

What about the ones who DID die on their death-cycles?

Good for them.

None of us gets out alive. And one thing nearly 50 years has shown me is that the worst thing ever is longing for the opportunity lost, wondering "what if?" about the one that got away.

So, if I DO die out there on my badass 2006 smoke and black cherry Harley Ultra Classic, I'll go out doing something I love. And I'll look good doing it, too, because everybody knows the two coolest things in the world are riding a Harley and smoking cigarettes. And I do that, too.

I have not had a single regret over getting and riding my Harley. Not. One. Single. Regret.

How many things in your life can you say that about?

So go ahead and shake your head when you find out that I ride. Think me a fool. Go ahead.

I'll see you when we're 70.

P.S. Glimmer Train took a pass on "Love Stinks."

You know what?

Fuck 'em.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Break in the action

I took a break from "Dead Drunk" for a few days to work a side project for my great-nephew.

Now, I don't know if he's a great nephew -- I'm pretty sure I'm not a great uncle -- but he's my sister's daughter's son so the project was necessary.

Anyway, I wrote a short (24 page) children's book for Austin. My avuncular tale was the story of Flat Stanley's adventures in Florida.

It won't make the NYT bestseller list but hopefully it'll crack Austin's top 10.

So, it's back to the grind. I had to re-outline DD over the weekend but I'm on track. Goal for the week: complete chapter 2.

I've found that taking the time to update "Where There's Smoke" keeps me focused and on task. I don't use my real writing time to update here but thanks to my smart phone, I can use my time in the "media room" to keep my thoughts organized.

I hope Austin enjoys my little side project as much as I did. I just need to make sure he understands that we didn't really eat mermaid.

I'm saving that for one of the sequels to DD.

Keep writing.