Since I live with the world’s #1 recluse, I seldom interact socially. However, yesterday, several buddies saw to it that I would mount my Harley and go for a ride, even if the weather was less than cooperative.
In the morning, I got dressed in a pair of jeans and my favorite Chippewa firefighter boots and took several LOLITS grocery shopping. I assessed the conditions, and thought, “it isn’t going to dry up. My planned motorcycle ride for today won’t go.” Darn it… I was feeling as gloomy as the weather and needed a ride to clear my head.
But two cops, two firefighters, and three bikers had other ideas…
While it was not raining, it was darn wet all day, including the roads. Wet roads can be slick, and a tumble (more likely a drop at an intersection), was not acceptable. So when I got home from the shopping trip for my senior pals, I informed the spouse that I wasn’t going to take a ride, and changed into all-black sweats (matching my mood) since I was not going out any more.
However, bike cops are a fearless bunch, and they ride in all weather. Firefighters are fearless, too. Bad weather doesn’t stop them. Some of my motorcycle club members also own nothing but a motorcycle, so they also ride in all weather (except, I hope, on ice.)
Yesterday at 1100, I was about to make the call to cancel a planned ride with two buddies, when out in the drive I heard the unmistakable sound of not one but several Harley engines. A knock at the door followed. JB, my close friend who is also a motor officer in my local PD, took a look at me and said, “hey man, you gotta get dressed. We’re taking you for a ride. I know how you feel about riding on wet roads, so I promise — we won’t go far and we’ll escort you safely all the way. How about it?”
Spouse looked at me and said, “you need this… go.”
I looked out in the drive and there were seven bikes there — 2 cops, 2 firefighters from my local FD, and 3 club buddies. I waved and said, “okay, give me a minute to change clothes, and I’ll be right out.”
I ran up to the bedroom and pulled on clothes that were quickly available — which happened to be a leather shirt and my CHP breeches (that I had asked my spouse to sew where some threads had come loose.) I pulled on a pair of Dehners, then went back downstairs.
Meanwhile, JB was admiring my new Langlitz jacket. He handed it to me and said, “man, this jacket is awesome!” I put it on. JB looked at me and said, “cool bad-ass biker!” I just smiled. (How many gay guys get called a “cool bad-ass biker” by a motor officer?)
Some of my other friends had already pulled my truck out of the garage, and moved my Harley into the stall. They were even adding some air to the front tire that had gone low while parked since my last ride in early December.
They wanted me — me! — to ride with them. I am truly grateful for such caring friends.
I pulled on my new Seer helmet and mounted my good ol’ iron horse.
We rode just a few miles to a local favorite cop hangout — a local watering hole close to the police station. That place is known for great pizza.
We ordered lunch, drinks, and sat around table and just talked about anything and everything except anything in Washington DC.
My friends said that they were really worried about me. I had “gone dark” on a social media platform and they had not seen me around. They had feared that I was clinically depressed.
I know the signs of clinical depression, and I don’t have them. I sleep well, eat okay, interact with others naturally, and have no bad thoughts of suicide or other self-destructive behaviors. I am doing well at work. My spouse and I are okay, given the ongoing medical challenges that come up almost every day for the spouse. (It’s always something.)
So for several hours, I hung out with “the guys.” I very rarely have a guy’s day (or night) out. How thoughtful are my friends to reach out to me this way.
Life is short: occasionally, it is great to be on the receiving end of “show those you love how you love them.”