Today was a good day. We were up and out on time and stopped at a diner on the way back.

We had a happy, humorous lunch. It was nice. It reminded me of the motorcycle trips we used to take, stopping on the back road diners and enjoying the ride, the food and each other. When we were riding we sometimes wore headsets but other times we had a deeply intuitive way of communicating.

We did have times when we crossed signals and some of those times were retrospectively funny, like the time we had been looking for a hotel and it was, unbeknownst to us, in a corporate park. It was dark and had been raining and we were exhausted after a long day of riding. We missed the turnoff and then were on this road that went on for miles with no place to turn around and no way to go in the other direction.

On the second time through Michael apparently saw the driveway and signaled to me but I missed the turn and kept going. Again, I had to go down that road and back again. On the third time by I almost missed it again…but I was so tired and so achy, I did NOT want to go down that road again.

So to avoid taking that long ride again, I turned sharply to find myself on wet sloping grass. I had no choice but to put my feet up, keep off the brake and the gas and try to keep the bike standing by balancing it carefully. I didn’t want to dump it because it was a Harley Sportster and I couldn’t lift it and had no idea where Michael was…or where I was for that matter.

The lawn sloped down down toward the buildings and I hoped it would come to a flat area. No such luck. As I came closer I saw that it ended at a wall that dropped about a foot or so into a parking lot. If I came down this slow and tried to go down front tire first, I would most likely dump the bike on the wall and scratch the hell out of it.

I had ridden dirt bikes as a teenager and could pull a Kawasaki 90 up in the air and go over a bump…but now? Here I was, 40 years old and riding a Harley…this was not the same thing…but I had to get over that wall somehow and the only way I knew how was to rely on my dirt bike experience.

I had no choice but to give it some gas without dumping it and when I got to the wall, lift the front of the bike and try to get it high enough to clear the wall and hopefully land on my back tire.

There I was popping a wheelie as I went over the wall and came down on my back tire. The adrenaline in my body was pumping so hard it felt like my heartbeat was in my head pounding against my helmet. But I made the landing and though the bike wobbled a lot, I never dropped it.

When I finally found Michael he was sitting in front of the hotel. I got off my bike, arms flailing and yelling and carrying on about how I had to go over the grass and pop a wheelie over a wall on a heavy-ass Harley fer goodness sakes.

He looked bemused.

“I knew you could do it.” he said confidently and mussed my hair a bit when I took my helmet off. I stuck out my tongue and we locked up the bikes and called it a night. Even though I was so aggravated that night, I found it funny within a few weeks.

But most of the time we were in sync in a way few people probably are. And we had such fun and wonderful adventures on those bikes. I loved being on the bike, I loved being with him and I loved stopping at strange little places. They were truly incredible trips.

Whenever Michael and I are out and about, I think about our amazing trips on our bikes. Today we sat in the diner just enjoying each other’s company and talking about nothing and everything.

I can’t imagine my life without him. I just can’t.

I know his prognosis. I know it. I know that it’s against all odds that he is here this time next year…but what do I do with that? WHAT?

My brain fights with “is this denial?” or “am I just enjoying him in the time he has left?” or “should I be detaching from him?” and “How can I? How CAN I detach from someone who is my soul mate, my other half, my ‘you were meant for me’?”

HOW CAN I?????????????????????????

I can’t. I simply can’t. The thought of pulling away crushes me and I don’t want to. Ever.

It was a nice, long, lingering lunch and we walked out of the diner and I half expected two Harleys to be parked outside, but they were not.

He had on his Vietnam Veteran hat and we passed a group of soldiers. One turned to him and said, “Hello sir, how are you today?” and he smiled and said good. The young soldier said, “Thank you for your service.” and Michael said, “And thank you for yours.” The other soldiers nodded and smiled.

I hooked my arm in his and he said to me, “This is a good day.”

Yes, it is.

And, for that and for him, I am grateful.

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