Looking back on that very special moment I wonder what made it so special. The fact, that I had waited for such a long time? Strangely enough I had not been planning it. Or pictured the day from the moment I got her onwards.
In a way it probably was like taking a new baby home. Your life changes the minute you are home.
At the dealer’s it had been coffee and a few signatures, then I was taken outside. There she was. She had materialized in black and chrome.
I was given a small introduction to introduce me to e few technical features but also to make me get used to her. Like being introduced to somebody you don’t know and being small talked through the initial insecurity.
We slowly circled her, he was talking I was listening and admiring at the same time. What a beauty she was. But she didn’t feel mine. Yet. Was still strange. Tough , black and remote.
Only when I started to put all the gear on: jacket, scarf, gloves etc. I began to feel that this was me. Me really doing it. I put the sunglasses on and mounted her.
Was this going to be the unity I had hoped for?
Starting her I wondered about the sound: not as loud as I had expected.
I just drove off. She felt hard and tough but also easy to handle and very straight. A no nonsense thing. Just like I had wanted her to be.
Round the roundabout towards the next crossing, waiting for the traffic to allow me to take a turn. That was me standing there. Me and my Harley.
My joy rose with the rise of velocity. Faster, happier.
A loud roar escaped me, then a few hysterical giggles. I felt as powerful as a god or a godess rather. Although I did not feel particularly female at that point. On the contrary.
I felt tough, a real biker now. Finally at home because I was on the move. Safe in my adventurousness.
At first it was easy.
The thought of having done it was enough.
Secret smiles would cross my face at the oddest moments – I’d bought a Harley!
The weather did its best to stop me going mad. An icy cold winter held my country and me in check. It felt as if spring would never come.
It did of course. And heaven decided to celebrate the day of days with glorious sunshine and temperatures above zero. March. After a night with very little sleep I was a nervous wreck.
Two hours now as I am writing this. Two hours and she is mine. The nervousness is painful. Tears lurk behind my eyes. AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS!! The happiness is hardly to be borne. I feel as if I could explode in laughter, tears and screams at the same time. I wonder if all those tough bikers feel the same. Inside only, of course.
What if I look like an idiot at the dealer’s. If I can’t get her started? If I drop her in front of everybody?
Amazing how ridiculously “teenagy” you can behave in your forties.
Of course she does. Doesn’t she? If a woman knows anything, then she knows how to shop.
I decided to do it in style. Buying a Harley-Davidson isn’t like going out to get some shoes and end up with some more shoes, a jumper, a coat, a sandwich toaster and a skirt. And maybe another skirt in a different colour.
A bike is a one and only job.
Only you….. and me!
So I went to the hairdressers (I needed an appointment anyway), I dressed in black and made my way to Rick’s., the Harley-Davidson dealer. Felt like a million pounds.
I could see a row of bikes though the window as I got out of my car. Temptation behind glass. Happiness was close and manifold.
Entering the massive showroom nearly took my breath away. But I tried to look as blasé as I could.
A guy came towards me. He didn’t look at all like someone who is selling a dream of freedom and power. More like someone who is selling insurance policies. Shouldn’t HD salesmen have tattoos all over their skin? Long hair? A dangerous demeanor about them? At least a beard?
What can I do for you? He asked clean shaven.
You can make me happy. I replied and added with a slightly cheeky smile: With a motorbike!
He grinned. Do you know what you want?
A Sportster 1200 forty-eight edition, black. I said as sharp and clear as possible. These were the magic words that would open up a new dimension for me. Like a matrix key or a spacecraft for another universe.
Coffee? He asked.
Yes! I grinned.
The deal was made. She was mine.
The moment left only vague traces in my memory.
That point in time when it dawned on me that one day is maybe already in the past. That my today had passed it somehow. That warp of the human time line is what is generally called a midlife crisis.
The things you wanna do one day ….. and have never done. That shock of seeing that it might be too late. Maybe you will never do them…. Ever!
But you had believed you would all your life.
People react very differently to that realization. Well, no. They don’t. It is a gender thing really.
See, men in their forties start looking for fresh flesh, young flesh. One that preferably does not speak but perform. In bed. They share their beds with younger women and it makes them feel better.
For women, that is naturally a different matter, a piece of flesh that doesn’t talk much is what most women already have in their marital beds. That piece of flesh often is the reason for having a crisis, not the solution to it.
I am not married so that fortunately does not apply to me. But I do feel just the same the unfortunate threat of getting old.
I my twenties I used to make sarky remarks about dentists in their 50s with a designer leather jacket and a Harley-Davidson in the well sized garage standing next to the Audi or Mercedes. Riding a Harley was the monogamous way of dealing with age in my view.
I am not a dentist now. But I own a big car. I have a career. I even own an Kookai leather jacket. I am 45.
I am one of the despised!!!
In my teens I adored bikers. That is why I started liking bikes. I wanted to be like that, wanted to have a bike like that, leather outfit, tattoo, everything. I believed I could do it.
How come I never saw the biggest obstacle there was to me being a biker – I am a woman. I can’t grow a beard. Try as I may. No testosterone, no rights. That’s the way things are with bikers. At least with those who wear colours.
When I turned 20 I got the driving license and a Yamaha SR 500. I had no car. I had just the bike. For many years the men in my life never had bikes. I always did, a claim to be special and an escape from being ordinary.
I still had the dream. One day, I’d have a big bad Harley-Davidson. I’d be a real biker. I’d be free.
After the Yamaha in my twenties, I called a Suzuki Savage my own in my thirties, nicely customized but not exactly the real thing. Still that single piston’s rhythm was my heartbeat. Rumbling on steadily as my life wound in strange circles.
I still dreamt about the Harley but it became less over the years. The one day I am going to have one had become more of a mantra than a real intention. Dreams supply us with considerable safety as long as they stay unfulfilled. Danger and pain lurk behind the try to make them real. So leaving them to be a onetime to be fulfilled goal is the safest possible way to go through life.
I was caught up in an endless scene. But paradise takes time…..