Jojo, you are on my mind
At 39, I’m at the half-way point in my life…if I’m lucky. Don’t tell me the best is behind me. There is much I want to do.
Recently I’ve been hit with reality that the youth of my days have passed, evidence in my friends and family. A once vibrant young beautiful West Virginian princess, Little Man’s mother is now heavier in weight, slower yet working harder than ever now witnessing the onset of stress related health problems. It saddens me she is not healthy, I still love her and like many others, I don’t want her to pass before me. I couldn’t stand the experience.
Not loving her in the same way, I just didn’t take time to consider how I would see life change through others. My response is sobering hesitation. It’s obvious, with my head down, I’ve been too distracted. Now, I realize 39 years have passed me by. What do I have to show for it?
What I have is my son. Friends and some family. And, my health. Finally, I have recovered my health again. I have the new business. A source of independence and perhaps a steady income.
Jojo, don’t you understand, I bet everything on you and Little Man? Don’t you know I had a plan? Almost ten years (8 yrs) of my life has been in pursuit of you following that plan. What have those years done to you? Where have you gone? Why the silence? What did I do? What didn’t I do? Starting a new improved life with you was the intent. About to turn 25, where your life has only begun, you were my reason. What we learned about each other on the Harley was enough for me to make a choice to find you again.
From the moment I chose to pursue you, resistance was all I saw, never knowing it would take me this long. My motivation was to meet you and create a new life continuing from where we left off. Not living in the past, just continuing on a path showing you all the things I had learned enjoying something new even special together. The rides on the bike may have been good, what I was about to show you, no ride could have compared.
Where did you go?
Why didn’t you let me share life with you?
You’ve been overcome by my past, now unrecognizable, you’ve forgotten what I have to give.
Just an image of something so much greater, I am not the source of what is bad in this world. Despite what the past may show, it was never me. You try walking that path.
With this second chance in life, I’m going to take it, don’t want to waste it.
Where did you go?
Did you even really love me then?
Knowing you must go, letting you go sets us both free.
Knowing that leaves me alone. Empty. Saddened. Dark. Lost. Hurt. Missing you. Wanting you. Needing you. Silence.
Not looking for a simple woman for companionship. It’s you I want. Without, I will do without.
When did you stop believing I could?
Where did you go?
Still love you now
What I write is for you to read. I write to you, show me a sign.
Bargain by The Who, 1971
Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for the Who, wrote this as an ode to Meher Baba, who was his spiritual guru. Meher Baba was from India, where he worked with the poor and served as spiritual adviser to Mahatma Gandhi. He developed a worldwide following by the ’60s, and died in 1969 at age 75.
No disrespect to Gandhi, Meher Baba or spirituality, in fact, I’ve experienced the theme of “Bargain.” Losing everything materially, to recover taking a new form. No longer living as a warrior, reluctantly even painfully walking away from the community tore at me. This song fits right with my experiences. Much from choices I made though were beyond my control. Meaning, I couldn’t sit in place and take hit after repeated hit. A choice had to be made, some were not made wisely. One of the choices was to get Jojo. It’s the way I handled that choice. Losing her when I lost everything led to new-found rage and conflict within me that knew no right from wrong. No matter how bad situations became, Jojo’s memories pushed me through the worst where I endured. That choice to leave her was only meant to find her and Little Man again. To win them, meant I had to first find myself. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, I had to lose everything I owned. Do it all over again, giving up everything for just one chance with her and Little Man, you are damn right I would. Their relationships mean that much to me. That experience and the risks are my bargain.
Just take a moment listen to the words to see what I mean. It’s all about a woman.
“I’ve got to lose me to find you. To catch you, I gotta run and never stop.”
“I’d pay any price to get you…I call that a bargain, the best I ever had”
That important, that impressive.
On the horizons I see her, on I move.
If my voice does not break through…I will raise the voices of the world.
Beauty is the quality present in a thing or person giving intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern. Beauty’s definition can apply to art or most associated with a woman even life. What is beautiful to one person is not to the other.
The sweet smell of her perfume. Her neckline leading to her shoulders, her profile or the way she carries herself. Her femininity. Her eyes, their color, shape. How she cares for the details watching her carefully address her eye lashes and brows. How she takes forever to apply her make up every morning. The way she bends her hands at her wrist. When she admires her own jewelry, a purse, hat or the most favorite to women of all ages, their shoes. Her laughter when it may not have been funny. Her love of gossip, the taste of a dessert, skinny jeans and short shorts to surprise flowers making her friends jealous. Two hour hair cuts. Failure to understand or her love of sports. How she loves romantic films, a love story, song or dramatic TV even plays at the local theater. Wearing glasses from time to time. to her spring dress and how her long legs look amazing every time.
Her character and the rare things that upset her. How success motivate her efforts. School work, house work, on the job, in the yard even rubbing elbows with the best. Her love of Ford Mustangs and motorcycles. How she dresses for our rides on the Harley. Her courage for learning how to ride the Harley and her radiating spirit of freedom. Steadfast strength in times of adversity, yet her vulnerability. Love of family and adoration of friends. Her ankles and painted toes. The color and vitality of her skin. What she hides to later be discovered unexpectedly. The ring I want on her finger. Long phone calls, texts, blood-red painted finger nails, lipstick and a glass of wine. Her secret love and obsession for chocolate. How she brushes her hair back over her ears whether to catch my attention or to see what is in front of her. How she holds a baby on her hip just right yet manages life all around her. Despite a million responsibilities, she still manages to paint the walls in renovation of the house. Her firmness and strength defending the family.
Her taste of food and amazing ability to make anything you can imagine. Or how she makes the simplest food seem like gourmet. A night on the town, a restaurant, or together at home on the couch. Her ability to speak the language and listen to adolescents and the smallest child to the baby. The mother in her. Loyalty, patience and endurance. Her tears when she silently wants to cry. The lover in her and making love as good as the first time. Her patience, intelligence and strength. Her encouragement when the chips are down. How she smiles with energy. Her humor. Silence with her eyes closed leading me home. The feeling of her slightest breath against my skin. Her beauty.
When alone I feel nothing. With Jojo, I feel life all around me.
With Jojo I felt the greatest, she brought the best in me.
Jojo felt like taking life by the horns and going for the ride of my life.
Riding for hours at a time with her holding on is like no other. Being 14 years older and going nowhere good, steering the Softail Deuce in and out of traffic or down some backwoods path leading back to the shoreline, I was the one in control.
She was too young for me or herself.
Didn’t she want me to?
Memories at night have the speedometer highlighted in orange with the needle pushing past seventy.
As Jojo held me tight, with feet floating in the air on the foot-pegs, the “V” twin-engine hummed like a fine oiled machine between my legs. Within the piercing bright white headlight, the world would approach as we made our way to no where in particular. With asphalt passing beneath our feet, we were just with each other. All night long into the early morning, riding. The past is not what I want. Not even the same motorcycle. What I want is for the light in her not to burn out.
Tell me she will respond wanting me again.
It’s been eight years since I last saw her. A year and half since we last exchanged emails. Every month an email or two, even a letter sent, never receiving a response. Refusing to quit, efforts at communicating are tireless where only hope she will respond. Faith, one of these days she will change her mind saying how well she is doing and how she will try once again.
After all this time, not a day has passed without a thought about her. She’s in thoughts when I lay to sleep throughout my dreams and when I first wake. Everywhere, her images carried through the worst of times and best of moments. She’s not a fleeting thought. The opposite. Jojo has become seared within the mind leaving a deep image guiding this course.
Needing to find her again. Everyday, simply want to hear her voice, see her eyes even receive a response telling me she hasn’t forgotten
This personal journey has been long even exhausting. Repeatedly questioned myself. At the end of the day, no matter how much time has passed, what people say or how much resistance is faced…the drive remains. She’s that important. She means that much.
This 2003 100th Anniversary Edition Harley Davidson Softail Deuce did it all. The very source of peace and so much conflict afterwards. My bike shared with Jojo for over nine months and 4,500 miles of riding together.
Day, night, morning or afternoon, in the surprise rain showers to blazing sun. By the Gulf Coast ocean front, to Sea Side, from Pensacola to Panama City and Destin, so many days and hours we shared on this bike. From the last ride I shared with Jojo, I sold this bike and never rode a motorcycle again. Call it grieving, call it what you want. Without this bike, Jojo and I never would have learned about each other the way we did.
What is one supposed to do? Found her smiling, eager to spend more time with you. Everyday riding your motorcycle, nine months together swiftly passes by. You do it wrong. Time and responsibilities force you to leave. She stopped smiling. Was it because you approached her, or because you chose to leave? You won’t know that answer.
Without saying it face to face, you would soon return. At 16, she is too young, messages written in code encouraging her not to quit on you leaves you in limbo. On with her life she goes, yet not once did thoughts of her leave your mind. Still wanting to find her, you move on, plotting the course of a new life to intersect with hers. Obstacles soon force you off course far greater than yourself beyond your control. Sometimes six months at a time, you’re taken away farther from her. No matter what is, failing to navigate close enough showing how serious you’ve become disrupts the efforts. Months go by, years pass by no closer have you become.
Silence. For almost a year her silence is deafening. What motivates is loud and clear, the experiences of her, images play and replay reminding how good her presence is, leaving you to want more. Instantly, naming off a hundred details why you love her. Her eyes, her laughter, tears of joy and sorrow, intelligence, boundless energy, radiating attractiveness…
Memories are all you have…you drive on.
Yet to be married…she pushes you further. No matter how many storms on the horizon…
Still on course.
Even if alone, I move forward.
What would you do?
The ride. When performed right, the ride becomes another level of thought. The true ride is when your motorcycle becomes the well oiled piece of industrial art it was meant to be. While on distant roads far away or near home, your bike reaches a rhythm state or pattern on the road, specifically a back road in the middle of nowhere. Much preferred over interstate or major highways, it’s here where these rides define the meaning of your bike. The experience resembles how relaxed you get near an ocean or perhaps when you play golf. Alone doing what you love. At the whim of the environment no matter what the weather is, one way or another, you find yourself immersed in what nature throws at you.
Something as simple as noise dictates how well your motorcycle ride goes. The wind. In your face, covering your eyes. Without protection, your eyes flood with tears, yet, flowing past your ears, the rush of the noise is only topped by two things. The throaty sound of it’s chrome engine combined with the hacked off split exhaust pipes without baffles. Together, they bark out orders pleading you to find more asphalt. Even the feel of the pavement moving below your feet, leaves a sensation of a steady vibration putting you at ease at one point, on a high the next moment. The smells of the sweet fuels and toxic fumes mixed with the pine forests you breach onto salt water in the air near the beaches you by-pass. It’s your sight capturing the entire ride in the roads in front of you plus catching every detail of trees passing by to your left crossing through your right side, finally those in your mirrors left behind.
Once you get the repeated patterns of traffic down, speed fluctuates with your mood. If you are at peace, you cruise. If you are filled with angst about the days gone by or she never calls, kick your bike into fourth then fifth gear going from seventy into eighty hang on for the ride. Or, simply relax and enjoy a wide open road alone crisscrossing a far off mountain pass or distant desert valley.
It’s here the ride becomes the very reason you chose to climb on the bike that day, or every day for that matter.
Rain showers and slick highways depress you. No matter if at home or work, every day you find yourself daydreaming about the next ride. It all comes down to your very source of peace. Letting the bike do the work while all you do is hold on for what’s next, steering with the chrome handle bars accelerating with your right hand.
With the twist of your grip, the bike opens up as you force more fuel into the pistons speeding the bike up faster. Your searching for that next bend in the road, hunting for the way of new beginnings. The feeling of the experience is what your motorcycle is all about. The rush of power unleashed beneath your feet is like no other. The ONLY thing making your bike better…is the beauty sitting right behind you hanging on you enjoying the same ride.
Together, the bike, the ride and this woman are the simple things in your life. It’s your experience.
Thanks to Xandimusic and the World Music blog. Here is a Melbourne, Australian band called Children Collide with their song “Loveless.” A different video leaving you hanging till the end. In their words…
When your time has come and gone, you’ll be happy when I’ve moved on.
When you’re challenged by the truth, find some friends who’ll lie to you.
You’re loveless. It’s ok, you planned it well.
There’s a feeling in your bones, you just might end up alone
Wake up! Get this day over with so we can all enjoy Super Bowl Weekend. Start off your Friday with My Chemical Romance. A band long filled with angst released in some damn good songs. A perfect welcome to a fine Friday Morning. Go ahead, the words are simple. Sing along!
“I want something to die for, to make it beautiful to live.” Queens of the Stone Age
A great song by a great band with Drummer Dave Grohl, lead singer of Foo Fightgers and former Nirvana drummer.CAUTION: If you don’t like racy or near inappropriate animation images of a woman, do not watch. Simply by-pass this post. It’s only posted for the damn good song it is.Thank you Prepare to Cross Over
I’m the same, I’m the same, I’m the same, what do you want me to be. I’m breathing in this silence like never before. Foo Fighters 2011
Separate ways with changes, no longer recognized.
One more ride is all. Sweet sounds, images alive, the simple feel.
Not alone, wander yet miss you. Want you for you.
Don’t be lost in the past, for you won’t see…0nly curiosity.
Fear not, I’ve become…that good man.
Prepare to Cross Over