Speed first. Safety last.
When I first read that sticker on Tom’s motorcycle tool box, I vaguely remember trying to impress him with an offhanded remark like it was a competition, “Yeah, I was built for speed.”
Unlike this man with a history of flying at mach speed in a fighter jet and racing motorcycles on dirt tracks, there was no evidence to support my statement, other than occasionally walking briskly and dramatically ahead of him toward a public toilet due to what I’d claim was, “digestive issues that run in the family”.
Nevertheless, I remember even as a youngen’, being driven to push pedal to the metal:
In an amusement park bumper car, I’d floor it, head-on ramming the poor soul stuck spinning in a corner (nothing amusing about that, Bad Heidi). In family go-kart races, it was a fight to the finish, rather than being an impressive loser and letting my younger nieces and nephews win. On the Antique Auto Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm, security removed my driving privileges when I repeatedly rear-ended the (slow) car in front of me. In ‘you’re a big girl now’ years, I throttled to 110 mph on my motorcycle, riding on US 50, Nevada’s “Loneliest Highway”. And I still thrill when accelerating 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds with my V8 engine.
But baby, the times they are a changin’. Now the virtual sticker on my tool box reads: Built for Comfort.
After the oxymoronic “Zen Dragon Boating” incident, and at my current age of 59.6, the “maturing” process is waving hello like a Stone Age Grand Poobah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes at a home-town parade. And riding that wave is the realization that it’s time for a new car; one in which I can egress without having to cling like an octopus tentacle to the door for assistance. I confess to the car dealership salesperson, “All riiiiiiiiiiight already (like they’re personally to blame), I’m ready to trade speed for comfort”….(somewhat).
Then there’s the shoe situation; the local charity folks call my name as I surrender my fashionable high-wedges and heels, week by week, pair by pair. Just yesterday, after I enthusiastically told my niece-in-law about my groovy advanced comfort shoes “with a faux buckle that hides velcro” she replied, “You mean like a toddlers?” Good god, it’s true. We regress. With new perspective, I re-examine my shoe collection and realize it could live in the orthopedic closets of Mildred and Ethel in their residence at, “The Sunshine Home for the Elderly and Disabled”.
What’s next?! Letting chin hairs grow rampant with n’er a care? I could go on but I shan’t. It’s 4:20 p.m. Time for…….dinner.
PostScript: It’s come to my attention that recent posts have mostly dealt with age. You know this is all in play. I’m so fortunate for so many reasons — to have legs to wear any kind of shoes, arms to drive any kind of car, and the means to live in a house…with a view of a distant horizon. Which is where it seems lately, my head is at. Next month I shall return to Earth (in my shoes of the same name), and ponder something…different.
“Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.” – Desiderata poem
“I hope I die before I get old (talkin’ ’bout my generation) This is my generation
This is my generation, baby” — The Who
“Now I am older, the more that I see the less that I know for sure.” — John Lennon