Sunday, February 17, 2013
Stranger in a Strange Land
Hot tea, a pen and small notebook provide company until friends arrive at Saint's Cafe on Sunday morning. Familiar rituals, touchstones, reminders along the road which makes up a life. And until recently a ride on the Vespa played an important part.
The morning sun and blue sky was strong enough to have me thinking about sunglasses instead of the scattered snow showers predicted. Last night the desire to ride was strong, insistent, whispering until I found myself on my daughter's Yamaha Vino under a sliver of moon just before midnight.
Silent and waiting in the garage the Vespa still suffers from a simple mechanical failure. Soon, soon I'll make that repair.
Winter remains on the road in the form of gravel and grit, just part of the additional risk a rider must consider in cold weather. Walking the dog before the ride an argument grew in my head between the rider experience in sub-freezing travel and a stranger who questioned the wisdom of riding a scooter at 19F. With a mental hand gesture I left it behind and soon found myself on the road again if only for a short ride into town.
Saint's Cafe on a frigid morning, a cold world outside well seen through freshly washed windows.
Something was different this morning, I felt a stranger to this frigid world. The expected rush didn't come, only the noise of the earlier mental arguments. Maybe it was just the cold but I felt oddly mortal standing on the gravel lane when I recalled a line from Robert Heinlein's book Stranger in a Strange Land: "There is no safety this side of the grave."
I need to remember that.