COME CHECK OUT THESE NEW POEMS ON
May 6, 1990 a very handsome young man took me to a place I had never been before to teach me to do something I had never done
before. He was patient with me. His words were kind and encouraging. I didn’t have to explain to him that some of his instructions confused me because my dyslexia got in the way of me understanding left from right. My baited hook spent more time on the beach and in the trees than in the water. Still, he was sweetly leading me to enjoy this simple little park. OJ Watson is the name of the park he taught me to fish.
I was already beginning to look forward to the time we spent together. I had conned him into taking me home from work just a month before. I felt terrible when he ruined his transmission because I realized that I left my purse in the Taco Bell we went to for our first date. He was an expert at making me laugh, and feel at ease. Through his eyes I could see I had value.
It dawned on me about a week ago while we were riding down the road that it would be 24 years since that momentous day at OJ Watson park. We were walking up the bank back to his silver and maroon El Camino. He stopped by a tree and looked down towards me with a shy, awkward smile. As I got closer, he pulled me to him. Holding my hand, he asked me if I could be his girlfriend and date only him, no one else.
Twenty-four years later it is still only him and no one else. Honestly, this moment in our collective history has usually been an afterthought. We generally don’t pay it any mind except to say “Oh, yeah. It was that day.” This year, this time around I suggested it would be fun to go visit where it all began.
The weather was perfect. It was almost identical to the way it had been when we were there as kids. The part of the park where he asked me to go steady was fairly deserted. We were disappointed to discover that part of the area was turned into a railroad track with a bright red covered bridge with white outlines (like the barn from a Fisher Price farm play set). The tree where he asked me was still there. I could still see my hook getting flung on the ground behind us as I attempted to learn how to cast a line.
After we walked around for a while we made our way to a picnic table in the shade close to the pond. We sat down and enjoyed some Crazy bread we got at Little Caesar’s Pizza. There was a cute little male mallard duck swimming in the water just in front of us. I separated a small chunk of bread from my stick of crazy bread and tossed it to our new guest.
We reveled in the years that had passed between us. We marveled at how little the park we had that beautiful moment between us had changed. We were amazed at how we had grown and changed. He had taught me how to fish at this park. He taught me that he was a good guy willing to be good to me. He showed me I was not a piece of meat but a human with thoughts and feelings. It wasn’t until I chose to let him in to be trusted that I was able to open up to who I really was.
I am amazed at the rarity of our situation. I am in awe of how as we grow old we continue to grow closer despite all the drama and crap that life has thrown at us. I am blessed with his presence on a daily basis. He is my champion in all ways. It still makes me smile when I see that sweet, shy boy standing in front of me trying to ask me to make him the only one in my life. I am grateful that he made that simple request because it has led to a life filled with magic and wonder. Thank you OJ Watson park for such a wonderful memory.
Check Out Two New Poems! Nobody Wants To Be Noble https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license/nobody-wants-to-be-noble/ The Paper and Metal War https://sharingmidlifecrisis.wordpress.com/poetic-license/the-paper-metal-war/
Sorry for the bad link. I was rushing to post.
It amazes me that one instant can alter the course of your life so severely. Looking back to before our adventure began we were drowning in despair and heartache. It wasn’t always that way for us. We were blessed with a beautiful family and we worked very hard to get a home in the country. This home was what we thought would ensure our future, make us whole, etc.. After all, it was the American dream. Then came the financial collapse and we were caught in a struggle to save what we believed to be our only purpose, home ownership. We were clinging to what we believed was our only real dream. We were at the whims of the courts and the bank. We were simply shells. Going through the motions of living and struggling to keep what we felt made us complete. There are no regrets for our circumstance. We mourn only the energy wasted on languishing in our own misery to keep what might not be ours to have.
Then he saw an ad for a really cheap but nice motorcycle. I had never been on one before but knew that Mike had grown up on a dirt bike and missed that feeling. This one small purchase removed the sword of Damocles that hung heavy above us. Whatever happens with our original dream happens. The real life we are living on the bike is what matters to us now. We live and die by the trip.
I never understood the fascination with sitting on top of a motor on wheels flying down the road. I do now. It is hypnotic, euphoric and sublime. I have known nothing that is as intoxicating as a ride on the bike. I’m strictly a bitch in the bitch seat because I can’t wrap my mind around being able to command such a powerful beast into following my lead. I’d much rather wrap my arms around my man and enjoy the ride.
That is what this blog is about. Our adventures on the road, the instant friends, the weird moments, the potholes and the unusual detours. I call this our shared midlife crisis because we’re both at that age [you know our kids are leaving the nest ( well technically, they should leave but are no longer our legal responsibility and whatever they do to the house, they do)]. Don’t get me wrong, we love our girls but we did have them early in life and suffered for it in order to come out on the other side young enough to enjoy our post-children lives.
That age I spoke of is 40 and 42, respectively. It still blows my mind that just this one thing opened the door to a world that we are ready to discover. The odds have always been against us. We met when he was 16 and I 18. We are members of Gen-X. We had our children young and have only the school of hard knocks to thank for our education. We really, according to the statistics should not be together. I am also awestruck that we have discovered a new, and exciting hobby (ala midlife crises) together. He didn’t go out and get the bike for himself. We got it together.
We are learning who we are as adults without children and finding out that we really did hit the spouse lottery. It was all entirely by accident. I couldn’t be more grateful. It is in the stretches of highway when all you can hear is the mixture of wind and motor that I marvel at the life I have with him. I am a total pussy when it comes to heights, speed and anything that would logically lead to pain. So, my nature makes me adverse to the motorcycle world. It is only the fact that every atom of me has faith in him that I dare sit on a motorcycle.
I’ve learned in this last 6 months of riding that fear has a larger hold of me than I had thought. Fear is still a large part of my decision making process but when it comes to Mike and the bike, I choose Mike and the bike over all. I know the reward far outweighs the risk when it comes to Mike and the bike. I’ve also discovered that we are both gypsies at heart. Fellow travelers, wanting only to envelop the soul of the road, needing only to dance with eagles and horses. We have embraced the world as our home and have embarked on a journey of discovering its many rooms. I look forward to having you all along for the ride.