“It was only a motorcycle but it felt like a mode of being.” 

Each morning, when I first wake up, I look out the window in my bedroom. This morning I saw the brightest sun and a deep, deep blue sky, a beautiful day with a high of 78° and a low of 54°. The weather report, though, does say a moderate chance of scattered showers after 3 PM, but I figure moderate makes it unlikely.

It is time to put my factotum, Skip, to work. I have a long list of spring work, things like replacing boards on the deck rail, power washing the deck and wooden chairs, planting pots with flowers and herbs and decorating for the summer with flags and candles and the fish table. I’m ready for coffee and papers on the deck.

I need a new dump sticker. The town calls it a transfer station sticker, a euphemism. The cost is $190.00. That gives me the privilege of dumping my own trash and recycling five days a week. How exciting!

Once, on a bus, I saw a woman who was constantly talking light her cigarette then put the lit end in her mouth. She sputtered and spit. I have no idea why I remember that.

I have a confession. On my way to Sandwich a long time back when I was young and reckless I got stopped for speeding, not once but twice. I got a warning each time. I have never had a speeding ticket.

I loved riding my Honda in Ghana. When I bought it, they taught me how to shift. My trip home from buying it was 100 miles on a paved road. The ride took well over four hours. I was a bit nervous when the lorries and the buses passed me. I could feel the breeze. I only stopped once to stretch my legs and buy some fruit from an auntie selling along the roadside in some small village. I noticed people walking on the roads or in the fields without seeing a compound or a village. I wondered where they came from and how far they were walking. I had a helmet. Peace Corps insisted we wear one and sent one to me. I didn’t wear it much. It was hot and bulky. I was attacked, sort of, by a herd of goats. They turned into me and hit my bike. That surprised me, and I dropped the bike and got burned from the exhaust. Another time, in the bush, I saw a troop of baboons cross the road. I stopped. One of them gave me a long look, but I never moved and he lost interest. I used to ride into town for market day. I brought shepherd’s bags with me to load with my purchases. They are woven bags which stretch. I’d fill the bags with oranges, plantain, yams, eggs and even a pineapple. I’d put the heavy bags on each handlebar. They hung to my knees. I’d hope for the best.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

2 Comments on ““It was only a motorcycle but it felt like a mode of being.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Another cloudy day with chances of rain all weekend. The forecasted high temperature is a muggy 88°.

    I have never owned nor have I had the desire to ride a motorcycle. I’m not a fan of being the protection for my vehicle. We don’t have helmet laws in Texas and when I’m passed on the freeway by a rider who is not wearing a helmet, I call them, “An organ donor riding”. I have been passed by motorcyclists going at least 85 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. Then you have the Hell’s Angel looking men with long hair, blue jean jackets, and beards riding on Harley Davidson hogs with their arms draped over ape hanger handlebars. They look bad even sitting still.

    Do you remember the ads for Honda motorcycles, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. Obviously, your experience in Ghana on your Honda was terrific. What size Honda was it?

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The clouds came in around 3:30 but didn’t stay around. It is 76° at 6:14. I am amazed it has stayed hot.

      I had a Honda 90. Only that model and the Honda 125 were available. I chose the 90 as I wore skirts, and the 90 had no bar.

      I always think the same thing about helmetless bike riders, especially kids. I’d say to myself, “What do they call a rider without a helmet? An organ donor.” It is a law here for motorcycle riders. The motorcycles are out now that the cold is gone.

      One of my friend’s kids was killed while riding his motorcycle. He skidded in a one person accident. Both his parents ride motorcycles, but his two siblings don’t. He was in his early 20’s.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: