With the trappings of Everyday stripped away, what’s left wouldn’t fill a saddlebag: a pack of
smokes, a change of clothes , a .22 pistol and a half-dozen rubbers. Some might call him an
optimist. He’s more likely to answer to “Spider”, though; he’s been carrying that handle for
nearly as long as his given name.
At midnight he turns out the lights of Haber Hall, locks the back door and steps into the lot.
It’s dark but Spider doesn’t need much light, the big bike is in the spot he’s claimed as
his own, a narrow space between the hall and an ancient phone pole.
She fires easily and settles into a nice throaty lope, exhausts adding their vapor to the still night’s
mist till his departure. Call him the breeze.
On nights like this the big girl wants to stretch her legs and that means riding a road that has
never seen a doughnut shop or a Trooper’s snare.
Jamming through the fog, the bit of pavement lit by his headlight is the only thing clearly
visible. Out of his eye’s corner, though, he can make out dim shapes near the shoulders of the
road, deer, waiting to ruin a traveler’s night.
Spider twists the wick. Better a bullet than a target.
Being a bullet comes at a price, though, and that price is paid in miles per gallon. The need
for fuel cannot be met on a desolate stretch of road or in a town closed for the night so he
makes for the U.S. highway. There are no sheriffs, they’ve bagged their limits and called this
night a day. In their absence nocturnal truckers pick up the pace, masters of all they survey
from high in the cabs they call home. Lights flash or horns sound as Spider’s big girl flies past
these large, fast-moving rigs.
“You ain’t my fuckin’ brother”, he mutters, remembering a gravel road in Missouri.
Soon enough (or all too soon) The City begins enveloping the road like a burgeoning freak show.
From an overpass he can see some black motorcycle club’s lighted touring bikes, their formation
glowing like a gaudy, moving carnival midway on the surface street.
One of their stragglers passes, glaring at Spider’s fine features, unaware of being momentarily
upgraded from an oddity, to a potential statistic. He might intimidate in Dallas or Freeman,
but that dog won’t hunt in Spider town. It’s just as well he chooses to drop off at an exit ramp
rather than being dropped on the freeway, Spider has somewhere to be.
Twisting through perennial road construction, the trail spirals down into the heart of the city.
Denizens of the neighborhood move through the night like sharks in a cold, dark ocean,
eyes hard and predatory. His kind is an unknown quantity, though, and they keep their
distance as he makes his way past and turns down a narrow dark street.
The big bike rolls to a stop. Stripping his gloves, locking his forks and gathering his gear
takes a few moments, moments spent enjoying the taste of anticipation that lay upon
his tongue as real as that of a copper penny.
The lady waits by the door, wrapped in darkness, a gift waiting to be given.