been taking the van these days because it’s friggin HOT and because this spiffy almost new econoline is so tight and rolly it makes me feel safe with a future of well over 100K trouble-free miles which is about all anyone can reasonably expect these days.
before getting this thing i would usually slip a leg over the aprilia: having a lock on traffic and parking usually trumps haring around in a fullsize boxvan, but nowadays air conditioning makes everything right and increases my IQ by at least one point per degree.
then there’s the shade factor to consider and, oh yes, think i’ll call and reschedule that skin slough cause i’m barely healed from the last one and just about to begin the regime of dabbing some kind of special acid on all the rest of the cancers on my leg for the next month or so.
i once told myself i would haul out a motorcycle on errands instead of the car for my own ridiculous idea of still being ‘in the game,’ that being the game of life which involves youth and belief and hope and still cutting a rakish figure. of course i can only dimly imagine the purple bag of shattered gaping bone shards that would result from even a minor bailoff these days. and still…
where is that damned aprilia?
on some particularly delusional days i would even tell myself i was riding for the sake of the poor planet and its dwindling resources, but that particularly does not fly with the V4.
it’s really why I love it so damned much. just a moment ago i heard a little car start up next door; sounded like a nasal hair trimmer. everything from the starter motor to the tinny little pistons to the click of the key in the ignition had been reduced to auditory and also basically every other kind of nothing. when it whispered away it was like a cat slipped off the porch. if there was any gas involved in this exchange it was less than sipping, it was like driving on the molecular weight of energy consumption that computers and capitalism and donald trump had decided would be meted out to what remains of the fading middle class.
not the aprilia. computer averages fuel consumption along with rider anal pucker and planetary tilt and comes up with a figure on my last tank: 15.3 mpg. actually, that’s a little worse than the van.
that V4. that fucking V4. the starter tears at its gear, engine explodes like about fourteen ounces of fuel collected in the pipe and blasted a few baffles right across the street. i have to wait for pedestrians to move along before i set fire to this bomb.
stopped at the bank and when i got ready to go a homeless guy was parked on the sidewalk right behind.
you might want to think about moving, i said, as the exhaust was pointed basically in his face, before i start this thing. but he didn’t appear to notice.
i hit the button, heard the blast and didn’t look back.
as i was dropping into gear i did take a peek and the guy had a big filthy smile on.
man, he said, it IS loud!
so, while everything else is learning to eek every calorie out of the pie, the aprilia guzzles its meal in great hairy bears of combustion, soaking in it, throwing it out the window just for fun, setting fire to it in the most childish and irresponsible kinds of ways, more way more than you could ever use, or dare to fully explore, ready to tear the legs off fifteen good men without a bobble…
pull out, clutch it in a bit just to blip the throttle, feel the gas run through it like a flaming river, drinking, gorging. the throttle is connected directly to the space time continuum, reeling up road exactly how far and fast you twist the grip.
under acceleration, everything becomes weightless. all motor, circuits open, drinking in the life of jurassic centuries – endless, intoxicating, riding that thick and gorging wave of sound.