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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

gravel ghosts



I don’t know about you, but, it takes me a good solid hour of riding before I can shake off the brain. All the thoughts, stresses, at first they’re on me like a bear. That is, until I get about an hour away from everything. And today, all the memories, all the people places and things, they just all keep rushing back. Reminding me that sometimes, some things, well, they just end.

And in their place? What goes in their place?

So what goes through your head when you ride? Do you think about a person? A place? A thing? Or do you not think at all, and just be?

Settling into a fast quiet ride. Trying to get far away. Yet there is nowhere that I can go here that doesn’t seem to remind me…

Getting to Diamond Jims is easy. Just stay on 108/120, you’ll hit the place at the top, on the right, just before 395. Funny, every time I walk in, the guys sitting at the counter look around as if they’re waiting for a man to walk in, maybe with or behind me, I don’t know. Or like they just saw a ghost. Whatever. I try to strike up conversation; great weather, awesome out, hey nice bike-is that your sweet Glide? Nada. The bartenders recognize me by now, so they’re all welcoming and sweet. But the customers at the bar? They don’t know what to do with a chick in leathers that plops down at the counter, solo, especially after hearing that bike I guess. Ha fuck it, I give, place my order and move over to a booth. That’s better. I put my feet up and watch Bob through the window.

And, oh oh, here comes trouble, hehe. It’s the 85 year old flirt; George. At least he’s good company, bring it. 

Hey George, how are ya? I say. Hey honey, long time no see. May I? George asks. Yes please, signaling him to join me. George hasn’t been up to much lately, he says. Doing an occasional job here and there. Says he’s happy to see me, and was starting to worry since he hadn’t seen me around in a while. Awww George, you know the way to a girls heart, hey have you got email? Nope, says George, I don’t touch that shit. Ok, well then here’s my number, if you ever need anything or just want to check in you can call me, ok? Sounds good little lady, he says.

Thank goodness for George, he’s good company, talking shop and of his riding days gone by. I feel for him. That glimmer in his eyes, I just know he wants to come ride. Hmmm, I wonder if he lives close enough to the bar that he's watched for me?!? No issue, whatever the case, I’ve enjoyed his company while it's lasted.

George hangs out while I finish up, gear up, and head over to bob. You sure I can call you? He asks. Yes George, I would like that.

Wondering if I’ll hear from him or see him again, I decide to make it a short exit and leave. Appreciating the time he gave me.

Sometimes some things just end.

George didn’t call. And he didn’t show up out of the blue at the bar, like he always had before my most recent ride up. Flashing back through the window at what was, looking out at bob sitting quietly, waiting patiently for me, I said goodbye to George. We’ll meet again. And as for now, I know, he's now another one of my many gravel ghosts… 

20 comments:

  1. I have never considered road acquaintances as 'ghosts'. Interesting view though, it gives the narrative a different texture.

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    1. ;) he had a way about him... i just know he's riding with spirit wings now

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  2. I don't know what I think of when I ride. Sounds odd I know, but off the top of my head I can't say whether I am thinking of the ride, the destination, the weather or anything else. It must depend on my mood and the day.

    George sounds like a real character. That booth must have seemed a little lonely without him.

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    1. makes sense. it totally depends on my mood, too.

      it was a little lonely without him... :) but great memories...

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  3. Great post!

    I've had days where it really did take an entire tank of gas to shake off the day to day nonsense.

    Once the day to day stuff is gone, the thoughts wander... ideas, memories, plans for the big picture... Until I've gone far enough into the middle of nowhere and all I'm left with is awe at how incredible everything is, and gratitude that I get to be here and experience it.

    George sounds like a good guy. I met someone like that recently - a guy who was welcoming in a way everyone else wasn't. Hoping I'll get to see him again, last I heard he'd had to have open-heart surgery...

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    1. :D thanks Lucky!

      yup, bob is sitting on E as we speak... EXACTLY! we really are blessed. Any different time or place, and our lives (ideas, memories, plans, connections...) could all be very truly different.

      sending out good wishes in hopes that your friend does well, and that you get another opportunity to connect with him!..soon!

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  4. Not sure what's wrong with those guys at the bar, but George sounds cool. Not sure what I think of when I ride. I do know the very best rides are when I'm thinking of nothing but the feel of the bike on the road and the warmth of the sun on my back. Those are the great days.

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    1. lol, yep canajun, absolutely! those ARE the great days!

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  5. Wow....That was some great writing MQ. Really touched me.

    My mind tends to wander while I ride. Sometimes its thinking about recent events in my life, sometimes its planning out future events and sometimes its just clear. Sometimes during my rides when all is running smooth, I talk with God. There's something about the spiritual nature of riding to me that makes me feel closer to God during those times.

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    1. :D thanks d-day. (or should i call ya double d now, for your site?)

      yes, exactly! that is what riding brings, imho, that is zen.

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  6. Wow, I can hardly wait until I'm 85 and pretty girls volunteer their phone number!

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    1. LOL doug! LOL!

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    2. There's a lot of truth to that Doug.

      Old codgers can do and say all sorts of things to young women that I would probably get slapped for. I can't wait to be old dirty man! ;)

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  7. Great post, that was written so well. I always love reading your posts and its interesting what people think about when they are riding. It's always a mind clearing experience for sure


    Click Here

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    1. :D thanks max, i appreciate that.

      hey, thanks for stopping by, great blog you've got there. i'll be sure to follow along...

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  8. First half of the ride I think how lucky I am to be getting away. Second half is thinking of where I am going next.

    Almost don't want to think of the next ride, but it is getting closer by the hour. Gotta be a blog post in there somewhere. I think I will give George a thought on my next ride.

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    1. azhd!!! now you have me itching to know more!!! what's this next ride? closer by the hour? ugh, that sounds serious my friend. hmmm... yes, you have got to blog it somehow, or, it may drive me crazy...

      you would love george. tell him i sent ya ;)

      big hugs my friend!!

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  9. Perhaps if you didn't have that forty four hanging under your jacket and the Bowie knife strapped to your side these fellows would chat a little. Seriously, women riders never bothered me a bit so I don't see the problem with some unless it's the independence.
    I rode Sunday and just five miles out I had a couple of those huge sighs, the kind you don't know are coming and just happen. Then I felt all relaxed and began narrating my ride to myself, but I don't have a helmet microphone for my GoPro yet. Weird but I was just out feeling like a kid again with the heavy weight sliding off to the road below. I was hoping for some riding rain too.

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  10. Thanks for the post, reminding us to slow down and chat with the Georges we meet on our rides.

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  11. You need to write a novel... Great post!

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