25 February 2006

Guilty as Charged


The last piece of promised repetition is here.

The bike is a 750 Yamaha which I rode from 1982 to 1986 by when responsibilities finally overwhelmed me and brought me to heel. However the image of the PC screen at the foot of the post was rather more recent. I positioned two events like book ends. You all know I use colour coding to distinguish fact from fiction but in these stories the pretense at fiction only thinly veils autobiography...

She lay back watching me pull on my leathers. Her skin soft and white against the burgundy sheets. “I will see you again, won’t I?” Her enquiring eyes followed my hand as I picked up my key-ring and wallet.
“You always ask that, yet you know I can never give you up!” I leaned down and as she closed her eyelids I kissed first one then the other with a tenderness that brought a lump to my throat. “Besides, I haven’t yet mastered the art of disappearance!” I grinned in a lame attempt to lighten the crushing emotional atmosphere.

I lowered my crash helmet before leaving her house and closed the front door with a soft click. The 750 was an anonymous black hulk in the shadows. It was after midnight and neighbours’ houses were unlit. A glance up at her window located the ghostly shadow I loved with my life. I lifted a black-gloved hand in silent goodbye and eased the bike off its stand. Pushing my steed to the end of her short close was my way of showing respect. She liked that.

Away from prying eyes I thumbed the starter and the Yamaha burst alive. Twisting the power on I launched into the black night with a cone of white light speeding ahead of me. The race home was my usual suicide dare. I took the racing line between high hedges, centre stand grazing the blacktop through each tight bend, front wheel pawing the air as the big bike unleashed fabulous acceleration.

I shouldn’t ride like this but then I shouldn’t fuck like this either. The random possibility of death on two wheels was my penance for sins of the flesh. Only the skills of balance and reaction kept the breath in my lungs. 2 large tins of Special Brew were waiting in the refrigerator as reward for making it home alive.

As always I jumped the crossroads on red, fast. Russian Roulette in the dark was narcotic, like my beautiful lover. I flicked my eyes down at the orange dials to see both needles pointing straight up. No traffic on these country roads so I wound up the four-stroke howl to 120mph and felt the hurricane blast pushing me backwards. A deer stood motionless ahead and I flashed by before really registering it. Fuck it, that’s the sort of chance you take when you ride with the devil.

My road was in darkness too. I killed the engine as I coasted up the driveway. The 750 began its familiar loud, metallic clicks of cooling that meant safety after a hard ride. I closed my own front door softly, slipped off my boots and padded up the hall in socks. From the lounge I could see a faint blue glimmer. I crept up and stood in the doorway.

As my eyes grew accustomed to the gloom, the shape in front of my PC resolved into my wife. “So where have you been...?” I felt the hammering in my chest. “Well...?”

My life had reached its crescendo. I didn’t reply. My throat was dry and I thought of the refrigerator. I dropped my gloves to the floor. The gorgeous salty scent of her sex was still strong and fresh on my fingers. I could not look at my wife, instead my eyes were drawn to the PC. I frowned, wondering why my e-mail page was open. Suddenly an ominous ‘ping’ cut the air and announced a new incoming message:

The heart-stopping words ‘I love you’ hovered over the plasma screen. A branding-iron, burning white-hot pain into the flesh of the damned.

“You're moving through rough waters, motor boy,
and swimming in your sleep.”
REM – So Fast So Numb

19 comments:

NMAMFQLMSH said...

WOW PV...that was beautiful. The story and the bike. Makes me want to move to England.
I see you,
JJ

Queen Neetee said...

In this piece, your bike was just as much apart of your rendezvous as you were. The bike, the goodlooking, clean, 750 Yamaha was an affair within itself. I can hear the love you had for it when it took you away from danger and into another kind of late night danger that threatened to punish you with the speed of more frightening pleasure.

Though your - then - wife asked the question, “So where have you been...?” and you ...felt the hammering... in your chest, as she continued with, “Well...?”
Surrealistically, the computer screen breathed words that you two were testing.

I gasped out loud when I read those words. Your bike was parked and you were on your own.

Oh my goodness! This was again, excellent writing about something so painful. And of course, you made it live again. I was glued to every word then shocked by the reality of it all.

Excellent writing about an unbelievable memory.

Thank you for opening up your life once more.

Perfect Virgo said...

JJ - 3 cylinders, shaft drive, tight yet nimble - the bike I mean! Glad you liked that, it all happened long ago but England is pretty much the same.

Neetee - At age 28 I had a fantastic relationship with my bike. Fascinating that you should spot that, I didn't consciously consider that when writing. Yes, man and machine in perfect harmony (mostly.)

The thrill of a 2-wheeled chase, therapeutic as it was, was sadly not enough to escape from all life's troubles and that's were the drinking came in. There are a couple of journal pieces about that in the archives on 6th May and 17th June (approximately,) well I am a Virgo!

This was an unsettling period to say the least and still fresh in my mind. You might guess the previous "Park" story considers the other party's position. This may shock you but my then wife is still my wife. Hmm...

In my own sorry defence I will say only that I don't make a habit of this! The difficulty is I have met a very small number of exceptional people. I rest my case :)

Queen Neetee said...

Wow! She's still your wife! What an amazing woman!

I must let you know that the way you've written your memories have at no time presented a display of pride despite of the pain. To me it was obvious that this is not a habit for you and that's one of the reasons that I was able to read this. Otherwise, if I had detected smugness toward that kind of pain that has ripped so many of us up from where we thought we were to be planted for life, I would have said, "Hasta La Vista, baby!"
:)

Perfect Virgo said...

Neetee - nothing I write is smug in fact it is often extremely self-deprecating - but you have already noted that :)

In a way I write stuff like this as a sort of atonement. I can hardly tell the people involved in person, so I make do with putting myself up for public humiliation instead. More to the point I am pointing out to myself time after time that I am a serious person and one who feels guilt.

I feel intense emotions most of the time which is tough for me to live with nevermind my wife! I find it hard to take anything lightly and put heart and soul into everything, including all the stuff I post here. Thank you so much Neetee for reading, empathising and most of all for not judging.

sirreene said...

Good story.

Faith said...

Yo, dude! Why can't I leave a comment about that gorgeous machine of yours up there? Have fun and don't hurt yourself (too much, anyway!)

boulies said...

Oh please be careful on that new bike of yours. It is beautiful but not as beautiful as your writing. Motorcycles don't inspire me. But I have to say that the honesty in you writing comes through loud and clear and it truly is an inspiration. I was having trouble finding my way to write a story about my past. I'm serious when I say that your recent posts have helped me to find the voice I need to get the story out of me. Before that I was in a frozen state about it. Now it's starting to happen. Don't be gone too long. I'll be needing another fix soon.

Perfect Virgo said...

Sirreene - one day I'll sit and write about fluffy bunnies and happy endings and baking bread and choirs of angels. Until then it will have to be the ugliness of human reality. Hey, isn't it time for you to be washing those clothes on the rocks in the stream? ;-)

Faith - I'm an old man so I'll be super careful. I hope I don't strain anything slinging my leg over!

Boulies - the mistakes of our pasts are not easy to write about. Sometimes I think setting the feelings down accurately and using as humane words as possible is as painful as giving birth. You want it out of you but the process hurts and when it's halfway out there's no way back.. But what do I know? I'm only a man. I will be visiting to see how your next piece takes shape and am delighted you have found the inspiration.

boulies said...

I'm glad to see you're alive and responding. I had some scary visions of you and your new death machine. I know what you mean about wanting to get something complex and emotional out of you and how it is a one way process. I don't know exactly when I'll post this story. It's someone that has peripherally popped up in my life recently and is somewhat well known in the music world. That is what makes my story hard for me to explain. When I write about my past with him, for some strange reason I feel like chicken little and the sky is falling on my head. But I'll never mention his name. If I was of a different nature, people could have a field day on the internet with bits of what I know. There is no guilt on my part. Guilt would really be felt more on his side of the picture, if on anyone at all. (which I hope not). I may post more poetry before I get the story out. But you truly helped me to see where to go with it. The honesty I mean. Not worrying how poetic it may come out, but that it comes out real, and hoping to maybe bring the two together as you have in your writing. Although I must humble myself and admit that your writing is sublime and I can only meagerly attempt to approximate your ability to merge art and real life.

Perfect Virgo said...

Boulies - after posting this I began to have grave misgivings about it as it is so intensely personal. I am a loner in real life as may or may not be evident from my writing but I find the blog outlet a useful release. However this may have been a step too far. It upset me a lot to re-post but it attaches to t he previous post for obvious reasons and as we said before when something is half out you have to pull it all the way. With forceps if necessary!

You have piqued my curiosity now and I will be interested to see how you approach your story and what style you choose. Perhaps now you have a clear idea of where to go with your story you can take your time with it. Poetry in the meantime sounds good.

I rode hard and fast today but safely. This will achieve 0 - 60 in 2 seconds and a top speed of 175mph so it deserves the utmost respect. A fast ride clears the mind and also the sinuses let me confirm!

Your final words of praise were jolting. I haven't heard that sort of appraisal before and am honoured. I need to take this break now because recent episodes of startling intensity have threatened my sanity. The bike and some home life is in order now so please bear with me.

Patry Francis said...

A story that had me on the edge of my seat right until the final emergence of that computer screen.
You are extremely talented--but then I've told you that before.

boulies said...

I am a loner in real life too. I really relate to what you're saying. Have a great break, relax and have some fun with your new bike.

Perfect Virgo said...

Patry - those words of encouragement are music to my ears. Self-esteem isn't exactly abundant right now so a message from a published author is high in value.

Boulies - Loner-ism is ok I think it says you are comfortable with your own company. Riding a motor cycle solo is a good passtime for a loner.

finnegan said...

I am riding alongside your tumultuous feelings with my own horsepowered vehicle, p.v. It's called a "merry-go-round".

On my ignominious ride I smile with a set of longish chompers---each time I get to the 360th° called home,
I whinny for more.

finnegan said...

I wanted to say that your post here feels like a self-inscribed scarlet letter.

Perfect Virgo said...

Finn - life's a merry-go-round and your vivid description implies you've been running in circles and not getting anywhere. Too much tumult is tantamount to a typhoon.

Finn-again (-egan!) - I resorted to self-torture. Stupid really because that's a selfish reaction.

[I could say all others involved are utterly blameless but however I describe it, I broke it so it was my fault.]

GEL said...

Powerful, open, and fluid writing.
The importance and love of your luscious bike, with it's freedom, beauty, and exhiliration is an apt metaphor for the other overwhelming feelings you grappled with and still haunt you. Wheeeeeee! I can envision you.

I identify with the loner aspects and other parts of this lovely piece of writing.

It seems that the aching guilt within you has been festering and is now "puncturing your tires" so you need to let the air out yourself(like you're doing here) before you can move full-speed ahead with more peace of mine, I hope. This is a difficult and brave journey.

I admire your openness here. I've been on a break from blogland. Upon returning I pulled two audio posts that names no one but was even more personal than some of my other poetry. By reading yours and others in this circle, I am again encourgaged by from within myself to go for it. It sure was cathartic to have made those audio posts. I feel I let myself down by pulling them. So, they will go back up.

I'm also a Virgo and most definitely not perfect. (I bet your name is tongue-in-cheek.)As you reflect on this time in your life, I send best wishes and no judgements. Please go easier on yourself though. I don't know if it's a "Virgo" thing, but I am harshest on myself. To pull this out IS like giving birth. I'm a woman who most definitely does NOT believe that women hold the corner on the market of sensitivity and introspection.

Take care

Perfect Virgo said...

Silvermoon - welcome. Thanks for this thought-provoking comment. You have clearly read this piece very carefully and so you understand the underlying emotions, both historic and current. I have to concede your observation "grappling with feelings" nailed it. Some have read this and empathised and I love them for their comments. I am delighted another Virgo can see the sadness here and not be distracted by judgements on fidelity. (In fact only a Virgo would make the point of stating "no judgement." Thank you.)

Yes this was therapeutic, the last in a recent series of soul-bearing essays. Choosing to re-post your audios seems a step towards confidence in ones approach. It is too easy to feel beaten into silence by overwhelming emotion.

As to "breaks" you can see I am stepping back at the moment. I plan to write again but for the present I am devoid of appropriate words. I won't bore you with repetition here, my recent archives reveal details of work and life changes which I am still adapting to... Wonderful ideas flow through my mind during my long days of quiet and solace and I will fashion them into tales before long.

So you DO believe in Virgo traits!! I try to go easy but I am my own harshest critic and I beat myself up at regular intervals for failing to achieve immaculate perfection. Yes tongue firmly planted in cheek with this sarcastic personal pseudonym!