The Writer's Cramp 8/10/21
Motorcycles Don’t Have Spare Tires
We should have talked it over, now that I think back on that day. Motorcycles don’t have spare tires.
A fun trip, he said. We’ll just go a few states over, enjoy the scenery, and be back in a few days, he said.
I liked the visit to the big lake. We stayed in a fisherman’s motel.
“Does this room even have a bathroom?” I asked Mike.
“It’s down the hall. At the end of the hall. Just knock before you go in, they said at the front desk.”
“Shared bathroom? Are you serious? Does it have a lock on the door?” I could envision some grubby fisherman walking in on me.
“Go check it out, let me know.” Mike laid on the bed and quickly fell asleep. All that fresh air and sun on the bike must’ve tired him out. Day one over and done.
The next day we wandered around a ghost town of sorts. Seems the Air Force left this base behind some years ago. Creepy empty town. Until a grizzled guy on a 4-wheeler comes up.
“What’cha doin’ here?” He had a rifle strapped to the front of the vehicle. I prayed it wasn’t loaded.
“Just passing through,” Mike smiled as we headed down the deserted street.
More 4-wheelers appeared. We left in a hurry, traveled a way through clouds of grasshoppers. Bugs in our hair, our face shields, our jackets, our leather chaps, our bike. Bugs, bugs, bugs.
That night we spent under the stars in a small campground near the river. No one but us and a skunk. Good times. Day two over and done.
The next morning we decided to make our way south toward a bigger city. Time to resupply the small stash of food we carry on the bike. Heading into a small town in a big wind, I hear a noise.
“Mike, do you hear that?”
“What?” He yells at me, hard to hear over the wind.
The bike starts to wobble, so we pull over. Bad news. The rim of the back tire is eating the rubber. Not good. Mike goes off on foot down the street to seek help. I’m left to guard the bike.
“Hey, are you okay?” A woman walks to me, seems concerned.
“Oh, no, thanks, I’m fine.” I tell her the situation.
“Well I just can’t leave you standing here by yourself and all.” We talk for several moments. Then another person stops by. He also is concerned.
The three of us chat for some time. We talk about the state of the nation, how everyone should serve in the military, how friendly this town is, where we should stay tonight if we need to. The man leaves, he has to go to work.
He is Morgan, she is Nancy. “I’m Amy, glad to meet you.” Nancy and I talk for some time more. “If I had a journal, I’d write all this down.”
“Tell you what, if you’re still here when I come by here in about an hour, I’ll bring you a journal.”
“No, Nancy. Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I’ll just sit here, on the church steps. The sheriff’s office is just over there, the post office is there. I’ll be fine.”
“I hate to leave. But, okay. God bless, take care. Pleased to meet you.” And off went Nancy walking down the street.
I wait for a short time on the steps of a church. Then I see Mike. He’s walking. Not a good sign.
“Seems they have to order a part. They’re bringing a tow truck in a few moments. It’ll be tomorrow before we’re fixed, you okay?”
“I’m fine. Just had two visitors.”
“Really? We don’t know anybody here.”
“Perhaps they were angels. They were worried about me all alone here by the side of the street. They say angels are all around us.”
We got a room at one of the motels. When we checked into the room, there was a journal on the desk. I opened it.
“Dear Amy,” it started, “I pray your time here is short, and your journey back home is uneventful. Take care and God Bless, Nancy”
Mike looked over my shoulder.
“I think she was an angel.”