Twisted and Broken

A red Italian. She roars to life with a flick of my wrist. A mischievous smile crosses my lips. A Ducati v-twin with 993 cubic centimeters of power, menace and sex wrapped tightly in a dark red steel lattice backbone. I pause to take in that unmistakable body, lustful in the way that Italian’s seem uniquely able to conjure and craft. It seems to whisper “climb on” with every furtive glance. It’s 6:30am and I’ve only been awake for a few minutes. As soon as my eyes broke the serenity of deep sleep, I knew I only had one goal. Ride.

Off with a bark from the Duc between my legs. The sun is bright and already warming the summer air. At speed, I can feel the cool of night still clinging to the shade and every breeze. Lean into the curve. Counter-steer further tightening my arc. A sense of joy replaces the exhilaration of the initial minutes in the saddle.

I’m slow to realize that tears are streaming down my face. Fog clings to a valley. I see the light dance off the grass in a glittering open field. Tall evergreens partially veiled by fog. The sun still bright in my sights as I accelerate down the hill into the mist. Such aching beauty or is that an ache from within? Crying and riding and enjoying the love of speed. Awed by the gorgeous scenery. The deep sorrow of loss mixes fluidly with the wonder and joy of the ride. The pain doesn’t lessen the joy. It doesn’t diminish the experience. Not spoiled, but sanctified. All I feel is a reflection of how deeply I love; how connected I feel to this, to her, to life. Tears flow. The ride, sacred.

As I twist through the aching beauty of a Washington summer morning, I’m reminded that we’re all a little bent and broken. It is part of the fullness of life. A broad smile lifts wet cheeks and breaks my silent reverie. A twist of my wrist and flashes of red sweeps faster down and around the corner, then disappears.

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