I just can't leave you people alone. I go away for a bit and bing bam boom -- it's bad craziness and big giant changes.
The plan was to return in September, but who was in the mood? The plan was to tell you about the mystery thing I so rudely teased you with last May, but then the Horror came along and I felt like I was left holding the string of popped balloons.
I still have a lot of murky emotions about the terrorism; it was a very personal attack, and I stumbled into new feelings with depths unplumbed. Anger remains the most massive and recognizable beast.
Before the attacks, it had been a summer of fun for me. I took a vacation from worry, as it was affordable. I let things happen and rode their course. I looked forward to laying out the serendipitous events here in this journal. I even took notes.
But now it is impossible for me to tell you about my summer in the way I had planned. What was originally meant as a juicy reveal with fanfare and all that kinda stuff will now just be statements of fact. First, the mystery thing:
I got my motorcycle license.
And a new Vespa.
Okay, it's like this...
Last fall I read a newspaper article about the reintroduction of the Vespa motorscooter to the U.S. After importation of the spunky little Italian bike was banned sixteen years ago due to new emissions standards, the manufacturer, Piaggio, is back with a new model. Cleaner, bigger, and all 4-stroke stylee, it rocks my little bad boy world.
So, anyway, after some number crunching, wistful gazing toward the horizon, and highly-refined spousal lobbying, this one became mine in June. I spent my summer on it. I zipped up the coast to Ventura a couple of times, and scooted down into L.A. as well. We're a team, my pony and me, and we get stares and double takes and unsolicited stories from older gentlemen whose eyes glaze over when they tell me the tales of the Vespa they used to have. People flag me down. Small crowds gather around it in parking lots. Everybody smiles.
I've had it up to 75mph. Danger is my business.
Ironically, a boyhood friend of mine was killed this summer on his new motorcycle. It was a pitiful accident, and his death was a short sad drama played out at night on an Oregon highway. I'll talk about it later.
I was a basketball coach this summer in a parks & rec program, shepherding preteen boys and girls, including Amy, through their first real attempts at the game. It was a blast, and reaffirmed my faith in the generosity of children.
I went albacore fishing off Mexico with my neighbor Dave and his son. I caught the biggest albacore on the trip, and that's the gall dern truth, people.
Amy began a program of therapeutic horsemanship. She has made the sweet graduation from Barbies to horses and helps out at the stables just to be near them every week after her ride. And although she is still more prone to giving Pokemon-type names to the imaginary horses in her own imaginary stable, adolescence is approaching, and it won't be long before she's drunk on the pure lilting equinity of a "Buttercup," a "Trooper," or a "Flash." I also have a feeling when the hormones kick in she's gonna grow a mane.
Anyway, it feels good to be back. I had other adventures I'm looking forward to telling you about: mingling with the very very rich, reuniting with friends after a dozen years of separation, parties, photo safaris, late-night neighborly companionship around the backyard (it's done!) firepit. I'm sure it'll all come out soon enough.
Thanks for reading.
"Not Dark Yet" -- Bob Dylan -- TIME OUT OF MIND
"Never confuse movement with action."
- Ernest Hemingway