Mainely Dark

/ Teaching Years /

1967, July, my son got born. He and Hilary remained in Manhattan while I moved our furniture up to Waterville ME where I was to teach starting with the fall semester. I’d rented a little house, renovated, on Winter Street: idiot me, I was 29 years old, had never had a regular income, now I’m married, now we have a baby, a big dog, our car was a VW beetle. I’m about to start earning the pittance teachers are kept without respect by, my contract with Colby College was for one year, I’ll earn $8,000, and have to move all over again, get back to NY: and I have two motorcyles. My road bike, the YL1 Yamaha, 100 cc twin, adorable little thing, blue, was too cute for words. And I’d just bought a 100 cc Yamaha trail bike, bright yellow, tough as a tank, tons of torque (for a little thing) …

bk, all grown up with his own wife and kid, was just here for Christmas. On his way home he writes an email about keeping his flashlight in his pocket while walking in the dark, one sees better without the light. So I wrote him the following:

Bike Dark
Maine Woods at night
bk got born, I was moving us into Waterville ME. I had my Yamaha 100
cc twin, adorable little thing, and a one lung bright yellow Yamaha
100 trail bike.
These days you can’t turn off an mc headlight, those days it was all
manual: if I turned the lights out the lights were out.

I’d spend the day setting up the house on Winter Street, then, at
dusk, climb aboard the trail bike and head for dirt roads leading into
woods. I’d bike into deep woods, douse the engline, douse the lights,
shut my eyes while I lit my pipe, and smoke for ten minutes or so.
Knock the pipe out, crank the engine, look around me, then set off: in
total darkness.

What I saw was blotchy, but I could see, a little. I could see the
skunk in the road, the porcupines in the trees. I could see the pot
holes, sort of, no guarantees.

never forget it. just 15 mph or so was plenty adventurous.

pk Stories Social, Hierarchical
by Age by Theme by Others Institutional Stories

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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