I’m on the motorbike behind Ed and we are weaving our way to campus (construction makes a snake of the normally easy and straight road). I’m in a hurry so I opt for the fast ride rather than my slower pedal-power cycle.
I think Ed is a stellar motorbike rider (even as I also think that he is a bored and therefore indifferent car driver). On the rather small (by Harley standards) Honda, he dominates his space on the road. He exudes confidence and caution all at once. He’s in control.
We stop near the Law School and I unload. I look up as Ed draws my attention to a Harley man. They’ve grown old – he tells me. I think – ahh, age. Once the bad boys, now they worry about stiff knees and pension plans.
A young man zips by, reminding us of what it was like to zip through life with fire in your eyes and knees.
After class, I walk by a student parked on a bench. He’s thinking it through, he tells me. I’m hoping he’s thinking through what we just discussed in class, but I don’t really know. My thoughts have already cycled forward: I’m back to thinking that men’s minds work sometimes in mysterious ways.
There’s a wedding up north in Minneapolis this weekend. That of a daughter of a supremely close friend of mine. Ed, by virtue of his traveling companionship with me, is invited, but he wont go. He says he could not sit through any wedding and to my knowledge he has never attended a wedding.
So how do you explain the fact that a favorite NYTimes clip for him to watch, along with (typically) a sentimentally sobbing me is the Styles-Vows video, where two people explain to the rest of us how and when he asked her (or he asked him, or she asked her, but almost never did she ask him) for her hand in marriage?
Weddings conjure up for me the great expanse of a lifetime. And they make me think of friends who married and stayed married.
I do tonight something I have done on and off for the past several years, but never with much success: I search on the Internet for my best college friend – a woman who has disappeared from my radar screen, to say nothing of my computer screen. This time I think I have found the vital information that I need.
I reach for the phone and call her, but no one answers. I leave a message, without much hope that I’ll hear back.
Ed is doing a Wednesday Night bicycle ride now. Last week, I had ready a plate of rice and shrimp in a fresh and honest spicy tomato sauce for him for when he returned. He was so dehydrated that he passed on the dinner and ate a half a watermelon instead. This week I have a chicken vegetable soup and a watermelon waiting.