More than any other motorbike, Harley Davidson conjures up images of an easy-riding, non-conformist lifestyle. The term, Legend has been applied to it, not only from the company itself but from those who ride them; or aspire to ride them.
Yesterday I tried to marry three things together, but I failed.
The story that I was writing was about a man who I know who discovered that his life was about to end prematurely; motor-neurone disease had taken root with out him realising. For a man who had incredible powers of endurance, as a long distance runner, this must have been a betrayal beyond belief. Life has its little jokes, existential ironies that are played out in tragic dramas; on little stages.
We all die, but what is gained from this type of cosmic bullying beyond reaffirming the fact that life can suck? I suppose that the God that some people choose to believe in sees this as just another little reminder of his omnipotence and our inbuilt fragility.
“What’s the point?” I would say to that type of cosmic bully, “You’ve won, anyway.”
I suppose the point is the same point that that type of god has been making for the whole of time; we are mayflies caught up in a dreadful eternity of summer promises.
So, what happened to my story?
When I woke up this morning, I made my usual trip to the Apple (man’s invention, not God’s) and looked at the reading figures for yesterday. The Last Ride hardly featured. My marriage of motorcycles, the Mother Road (Route 66), and a motor-neurone sufferer did not exist.
I went into the post and only the title remained. I checked some more without any luck. I scoured my drafts file, but that brought me no luck either.
The Last Ride had disappeared and it did not take much to connect that disappearance with the lesson that was taught at Babel, rendered to Prometheus, or writ large in the pages of Frankenstein.
And yet there are times when we grow and think and wonder. We stray into that place where questions have to be asked.
“Why am I here?”
“What is the meaning of it all?”