The Old Graybeard needed this….The weather had broke, and he had decided to get out on two wheels. He backed the dresser out of the rickety, cluttered old garage….Dodging the worn out, oil soaked old mower and snow blower….The starter whined….It took two tries to get the big-inch motor lit off. Damn, it sounded good….Idling and warming up….
The bike sounded good rolling down the side streets, exhaust note echoing off of the old homes on the narrow neighborhood streets…..Had to force himself to stay of the throttle. A Chevrolet had pulled out in front of him and it had been dicey getting the big, heavy dresser shut down in time….. Man, the roads were greasy, wet leaves and sand everywhere…..
He cruised by the the old state hospital, downshifting as he approached the entrance ramp….Onto it….Curving sharply….Banking hard….No longer able to control himself, downshifted again and punched the throttle….Hard….
….Cold, but the open highway felt good….Fuckin’ A….
….She was there….The Hummer stood out from the many other vehicles in the lot….As he looped in behind the barriers for the motorcycle parking….As he pushed down the kickstand with his heel, shutting off the ignition….His mind wandering….Yet again….
The Couple had been friendly to him in Dallas, buying his coffee and bagels….The uniform did that sometimes, and the old man never had grown accustomed to it….He felt obligated to talk with them, showing the lady his pictures. Actually enjoying the conversation but surprising the lady with his somewhat liberal politics….
His mate was waiting for him at the airport in Kansas City, teary – eyed….As they left the aircraft, the Couple smiled knowingly….The old man didn’t feel much of anything. Twenty-plus hours on an airplane and a nine hour time change had kicked his ass and he didn’t want to think about going back in two weeks….
He didn’t even know her….It was was like bedding down with a casual acquaintance, but strangely erotic….Had he, things, changed that much in seven months?
….But he was “back home”….In ill-fitting, baggy jeans….After losing fifty pounds the vast majority of his friends didn’t recognize him. His own mate didn’t when she first saw him….As they walked across the gravel parking lot toward the old saloon, he saw Her on the patio deck….Dancing to the hard rock on one of the spool tables….for him….
….It had touched the old man….
Awkward and heavy in leathers, the old graybeard shook the foggy mist of the past from his head as he dismounted the iron horse. Goddamn it was cold….And the old saloon with it’s loud music and warm smoky interior looked inviting….He saw Her partying with some friends and asked Her for a table dance, a familiar old exchange of friendship….She laughed and winked, the old graybeard thought nothing more of it….
….He had nodded off at the big round table of friends and acquaintances, in spite of the noise and heavy, smoky air….The table shook violently as She mounted it and pulled a girlfriend along with her, Kid Rock stroking it from the juke box….Beer bottles overturned, crashed to the floor…..Ashtrays kicked aside, mixing their contents with the spilt beer and drinks….Most of the crowd cheered Her and her friend on; “Push it Sister….Push it….” Others, not so appreciative of the mess and ruckus, shouted their two cents worth….”Off the table, you crazy bitches!”….She was a stocky girl with the curves in all the right places….Dressed in tight, black slacks and heels, sheer top….Man, She still had the fuckin’ moves, swaying and hips working to the rhythm….The old graybeards mind was in slow motion as he enjoyed the show….
….He slowly realized that some things hadn’t changed….And it was gonna be a very cold ride home….