I can't wait to see my good friends again. I've been away for too long.
On a totally different note, I had nostalgia hit me square on the jaw this evening. It didn't so much slap me as it whipped me across the face. I would say that it's funny how the littlest things can trigger memories, but this isn't funny in the least -- I think it left a bruise on my cheek. Tonight as I was standing on the porch and basking in the mild weather our neighbor went out to the parking lot and started up his motorcycle. The sound of that little engine was very similar to the exhaust note of my snowmobiles (moment of mechanic geekiness: it is interesting they sound so similar since I'm sure the bike is a four-stroke engine and the sleds are only little two-stroke engines). Right now all three of the snowmobiles are back with my parents on the farm, tucked away in the back corner of one of the pole buildings under their covers. I don't think that my father has tried to start them since 2000, and it makes me feel sort of sad because I'm sure the gasoline has turned to varnish by now. I spent a minute or two listening while the bike warmed up, and every time he gave the throttle a twist my heart felt a little pang of memory. It's been years since I've been riding and I realize now just how much I miss it. I want to get out in the powder again and feel the chill of 80-mph winter wind against my face and throat. I want to come in from a ride with frozen fingertips and embrace a hot cup of coffee. I want to wake up in the morning and see frost on the windows and think Today will be a beautiful trip, I bet we can put 120 miles on easy. I want to see a bar and grill on the side of a trail that has a parking lot full of Polaris, Arctic Cat and Ski-Doo sleds... with not a pickup or car in sight. I want the sting of salty pub fries on my tongue to follow a mouthful of greasy burger after a hard day's ride. I want to laugh at my father's dirty jokes and wonder how far we can make it on the trails tomorrow if there's a fresh coating of snow in the morning.
I want to get away for a while and just lose myself in the pure joy of having 588 cubic centimeters rev to life at the slightest press of my thumb -- I loved that feeling of power at my fingertips. I imagine it's the same sort of high that NASCAR drivers get when they slide behind the wheel, and it's no mystery to me why they do it time and time again. For me there was nothing quite like the sensation of being pushed backwards on my seat as the skis leapt forward and the woods to either side of me were reduced to a blur. I want to experience all that again, and soon.
All I crave today some love in the afternoon