Pretty little red thing


“Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.”

No, this is not mine. I saw it parked on the side of the road in Bend, Oregon and thought secretly how I wished it was mine.

Now don’t get me wrong—I do not want a motorcycle. They scare me… or rather I should say that I’m scared for them…for all that unbridled lack of being surrounded by vehicle, there is that much more unprotected…and if you’ve been on any interstate within the limits of a major metropolitan city, those are not friendly roads…

My husband bought a motorcycle shortly after we were married. It was just one of those things I suppose. There was no dissuasion. No sign indicating he was even thinking about wanting one. He simply comes home from work one day, not in the vehicle he left in, but rather on the back of a black motorcycle. Thankfully he had not sold his truck, merely left it where he’d bought the bike. I wasn’t mad. It was his money, his choice…I was just a little disappointed that I had had no clue.

May it be known however, that we owned that motorcycle for all of one week. As his parents lived up the street from us, and he, even though in his mid 30’s, did not want them to know he’d bought a motorcycle, we would have to turn off the motor, coasting past their house—always trying to appear incognito. As I would sit behind him holding on for dear life, I would silently shake my head thinking how this charade was pretty stupid. Then there was the trip on the interstate to visit a friend in a neighboring state. After coming home late at night on the wide open interstate, in the dark, with the tractor trailer trucks zooming all around us, with me praying like nobody’s business, he sold the bike the following morning.

But I always wondered why he bought it. Was it an impulse? Are not most things like suddenly coming home one day from work with a motorcycle impulsive? Is it a guy thing? Women, for all the talk of being impulsive, women think about such purchases, they ruminate over such, courting the idea if you will…toying with it in their mind…imagining seeing themselves on and with a “bike”….decisions as to color and matching helmet and clothing are big…such a purchase with a woman is more premeditated as there are just simply too many determining factors to wade through….”will I use it for work or just for fun? Will it be bad for my hair? What will I do when it rains? Does it make me look fat?”…..on and on we go.

But this little beauty—she’s a real cutie. Perfect for maneuvering in and out of tight spots–or so I would imagine. After spending time in Italy a few years back, I saw so many woman on vespas of their own. Woman dressed to the nines, going to and from work, weaving and darting in and out of the horrendous chaos known as Rome’s traffic. If they can do it, why can’t I? Or is that a European gene that this southern United States girl simply does not possess? I’m not terribly coordinated. Would that be a problem?

Vespa does translate to wasp–as these little cuties do their fair share of darting and buzzing to and fro—and after sitting in a Taxi within Rome’s labyrinth of streets, I can see how a vespa can equate to being a wasp. Suddenly, out of no where, a vespa would appear right beside us where there was not another lane. The traffic light just turned red, we stop but the vespas shoot out like angry wasps in hot pursuit of an assumed assailant–just waiting to inflict a painful sting–just daring anyone to say..”hey that’s a red light back there….”

But my hair. I would have such a time with helmet hair. I wouldn’t be able to go somewhere, taking off the helmet and going about normal business, I’d look a fright. Short hair is not conducive to hats and helmets being removed…not like long hair that can still come across as flowing luxuriously in the wind—no, short hair is flattened and matted to one’s head….pleading to have the hat or helmet put immediately back on the now squashed hair. That would be a problem.

And then there’s the whole interstate thing—you know what a bug looks like on a windshield after being hit by a vehicle traveling 70 to 80 mph??? That is not something I would like to experience.
And what happens when it does rain or turns cold? I’d be a moving popsicle or a drowned rat….can’t get too much done looking like either a popsicle or a wet rat. And where in the world would I put my groceries or goodies from a shopping adventure?! Certainly not in some little basket on the front of the bike—-no, I need a trunk or at least a backseat.

All of this was running through my head that afternoon as I suddenly stopped on the street in Bend, Oregon to snap the picture of this cute little red thing….telling my husband “now, that’s what I want!!” He turns and looks at me, states, “yeah, and you’d get killed on it too” turns back and continues walking up the street. I linger a bit longer, imaging myself sitting on it and driving it—ooooo. Then I snap back to reality, tell myself, he’s right, and turn back to the sidewalk, only to go scooting off in order to catch up with him… leaving that cute little red thing behind me waiting for its rightful owner.