We acquired motorcycle licenses, the WideEyedSpouse and I. Our 49cc Keeway scoot now proves insufficiently amusing. Yes, I can feel the wind and catch a thrill while waaaaaaahhing over to the co op for some organic, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee. Yes, cruising the park roads helps me to think long thoughts while dodging joggers, dogs, kids, and beefy rugby teams. But…
We need more now. Expectations are higher. Bigger joy seems attainable.
Some of us are hoarding ducats for a spring purchase of a shiny joy that is reliable AND fun.
Others (hint, the WideEyedSpouse) want instant and corroded joy, with uncertainty, tinkering, troubling oil leaks, electrical problems, snapped choke cables, wonky carbs (heh?). The Spouse will roll a steel horse on up that drive right now, and to that end we are touring the boat anchors of Western New York. Every weekend. The Mighty Pathfinder towing a clattering U-Haul motorcycle trailer. Just in case. Because nobody pretends he’ll ride one of these clunkers home.
It goes like this…
– We’re here to see the motorcycle, we set up the meet with you. Oh, right. [Startled face.] I don’t keep it here.
[Longish drive down a different but equally remote rural side road.]
[Imagining my new motorcycle license picture on the news. WideEyedFunk, last seen…]
– Does it start? Oh, she’ll start. Bulletproof engine on her.
– Can I start it? Well. [Surprised.] You can try.
– Is it rideable? Oh, yeah, sure. Daily rider.
– May I take it on a short ride to test the clutch and brakes? Oh. [Toothy inhale.] I wouldn’t.
– Do you have the title? Yes.
– Is the title in your name. Oh. No, but it is in the name of the guy I got it from. [Reassuring smile.]
– Has it passed inspection recently. Yes. (*This is a question of relativity. What is recent, really, considering the duration of humanity’s use of created objects, the age of the planet, the birth of this universe?)
– Ok, it doesn’t run, hasn’t been inspected recently, the title isn’t in your name, is that right? Yes. But you are willing to take one third of your asking price to get it off your hands because you are leaving town tomorrow? Yes.
– You are asking $750. Will you take $600? Oh. [Head shake. Lips pursed.] I could part it out for over two grand. That seat alone, no rips, worth two fifty. [Long pause.]
– [Phone call.] You should know if I come out to see it and it is as you described, I’m not going to offer more than seven hundred for it. Yeah. That’d be ok. But I was laid off last week [mom is sick, want to make my money back, having a baby, owe a bookie…] and could really use the money. [Expectant pause.]
And then, rising from the muck, one that might not be an anchor, one that isn’t holding back the joy, mired in frustration. One that starts, and stops, and does all of the stuff in between. Mostly.