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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Things Change


Years pile atop years. As the count climbs higher, the mind and body change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the decades granted. I’ve been lucky to last this long, and I’m sure to appreciate however many more years may still come. Admittedly, I’ve wasted a few but, all in all, they’ve had a salutary effect...on my brain. I am truly grateful for the wisdom that can only come from years of experience. As for changes to the body, well, that’s a different story. Although I’m somewhat bemused by the proliferating “laugh lines” and silvered hairs, I would dispense with all the other changes to the body (post puberty) if I could.

* * *

My friends and I were loitering about. I heard a mewling. Funny isn’t it, how a plaintive cry can sound directionless? I tried my best to locate the creature connected to the cries. I searched high and low.
I peered betwixt tires and shrubs, behind tree trunks and beneath bumpers. This all took a while before Eureka! A cat...crammed beneath a curbside storm water grate. Some black-hearted cretin had stuffed a scrawny cat beneath that heavy iron grill. I fished him out and called him “Sewer”.

Sewer was the funkiest feline that ever came to stay. He looked to be an implausible Abyssinian/orange tiger concoction with a body designed by El Greco. I mean this cat was ALL ears, snoot and legs...one elongated sinewy soul. Never saw anything like him before or since.

It took me only a day or two to discover that Sewer LOVED to fly. He lived for leaps to and from unbelievable heights. He would crash into me begging to be tossed high into the air. He would leap onto a screen door, hanging by his claws as I waggled the door with him plastered spread-eagle near the top. He could easily propel himself to the top edge of any open door, the tops of refrigerators, cabinets, shelves or any other improbable landing strip high above the ground where he would perch and bat at my hair as I wandered by. I rechristened him “Astro Cat” (“AC” for short). I’d never known such a daredevil. He would have absolutely loved bungee-jumping.

Things change.

There came a day when I saw AC coiled on the kitchen floor, rump twitching, eyeing the refrigerator. This was nothing new. In fact, it was daily amusement for AC. He sprang. His front paws touched the top edge. His hind legs did not. He fell backwards, spinning as he crashed to ground. He landed perplexed...confused and shaken.

And he never tried to leap that high again. AC, the cat with cravings for the derring-do oozing from his pores had come to ground. Oh, he still gazed skyward, rump twitching, but he never launched himself into the stratosphere again.

* * *

I crouch beside my cobwebbed motorcycle. Rump twitching. I know I need to ride. I crave to be mesmerized by the white lines connecting the plains to the mountains and on towards the seas. It’s a gnawing hunger that must be satisfied. And here I stoop beside the machine that has carried me to so many places over countless miles and realize that it won’t carry me such distances ever again. The years have piled atop years and the body has changed. I simply know my once-Spartan carcass couldn’t take the pounding and the stress.

So now it begins. The search for a “proper” touring bike. One of those bulging behemoths that offer plush seating, robust shock absorbers, and a myriad of creature comforts that once evinced a measure of scorn in me. They’ve now become necessities.

My hunger must be sated, but I can’t feast on humble victuals. Soon enough, I will come to sit astride some plush ride, a bit embarrassed, a bit bemused, more than a wee bit humbled.

Things change. But the road still calls and I will answer.

Some things change. Some never do.

* * *

15 Comments:

Blogger citizen of the world said...

I don't mind making soem concessions to gradual aging as much as I mind the changes in life that blind-side me.

Sun May 03, 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I can certainly understand your point of view, Citizen, given that you've been blind-sided recently. Me? I was blind-sided by a bus at age four that laid me to waste...and that was just the beginning.

I wish that time/age simply asked for "some concessions". In my case, it's demanding total capitulation. But I'm stubborn.

Sun May 03, 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger shadowlands6822 said...

It is good to hear that you are hearing the "call" to ride.
Dan and I started out on a rebuild of a "Sporty". Dan took off the shock absorbers and made it into a "hard tail". I had not ridden that much, but I soon learned that, if I didn't want my "hard tail" or my teeth to break, I had better watch the road and let my knees do the absorbing rather than my behind.
It only took 2 years of this to make me look at one of those lux kind of rides. I was over being so "hard core". Thank God for Tour Glides and air shocks!
There is no shame in any of it. Instead, there are hours of pure bliss and I would encourage you to get busy and find the right bike for your journey. Riding season is almost here!
I do miss it. I even thought about trying to find a bike for me to learn to ride. I don't know how my employer would react to one of their visiting nurses riding a motorcycle on home viists, but, honestly, I would not care what they thought.
Yes, Jonas, you need to be "in the Wind" Happy Hunting.

Sun May 03, 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Once you are sailing down the road on that behemoth, Jonas, you will love it.

Once the wind is in your face, the sun on your shoulders and that white line blurring hypnotically ahead of you, it won't matter one iota what you are riding.

You will be transported.I hope you find your new ride soon. *hugs*

Sun May 03, 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger deb said...

I have a cat like your Sewer. A cat that likes to launch herself.

A comfy motorbike doesn't sound so bad if it allows you to get out on the road.

Mon May 04, 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Selma said...

If the road is calling you, you should get your motor runnin'. I would certainly love to hear your tales from the road. How amazing would that be?

That was one incredible cat you had!

Mon May 04, 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger tipota said...

beautiful piece jonas, love the el greco description of the cat, a nod to the unbelievable cruelty perpetrated on animals, a hearty yes yes to the idea of flight. it sounds as if you are ready and able, now about to step beyond into willing, enjoy it, enjoy every moment of finding a new transport, getting yourself onto it and go go going!

Mon May 04, 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

Oh Jonas, start to finish, perfect. Keep twitching.

Mon May 04, 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

Oh my dear your ass will thank you in the long run...Hubby had a Goldwing and grimaced at times when we would go out with the Hog guys.... BUT!

He walked straight at the end of the day!

Tue May 05, 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Our bodies are just the vehicle we use to experience conscienceness. But our conscienceness deserves a smooth, luxurious ride. Right Jonas?

Tue May 05, 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger FrankandMary said...

There are burdens & benefits to all these changes, but I'm still really feeling for the cat....
At least I find I know better, and am more aware, so I don't replicate past mistakes. But I still love to leap, perhaps with a little more caution.
~Mary

Tue May 05, 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous joanne said...

i'm grateful for the experiences so far... but i'm not sure i've accumulated much in the way of wisdom along the way, at least not enough to measure up with the perceived suffering... too many days i feel far older in my body than my years marked off on the calendar reveal...

(hoping there will be pictures to share when you find the new motorcycle to accommodate the twitch)...

Wed May 06, 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

Another fellow blogger took a ride through the U.S. on his motorcycle a couple of years ago. He chronicled his journey on this blog: http://buffalospath.blogspot.com/

I hope you share your experiences with your devoted readers throughout your trip. I also hope you decide to cross the border and stop by Montreal. I would love to meet you if you do.

Thu May 07, 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

I sincerely hope, with all my heart, that you heed the call.

Thu May 07, 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Like Anna said, if you do cross the border, please toodle along all the way west to Winnipeg. It would be a pleasure to meet you and have a nice chat.

Sun May 10, 10:27:00 AM  

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