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  • Robert Farago

I Must Be Crazy

I am going. Come what May, I’m leaving Austin on a Honda Gold Wing for parts unknown. Meanwhile, I’m struggling with both the prospect and practicality of leaving my current life behind. This isn’t news to regular readers, but hoo-boy is the angst amping-up.

I think it’s because I’m old AF. I’ve lost the pedal-to-the-metal vitality of youth.

On the positive side, I’ve come to realize the wisdom of Clint Eastwood’s maxim “a man’s gotta know his limitations.” On the negative side, I’ve pared down to what’s safe and predictable.

Honey I’ve shrunk my life! Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. To quote the Westerns of my youth, it’s quiet out here. Yeah, too quiet.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Since I shipped my youngest and ex number two off to Canada, I’ve slipped into a comfortable routine: coffee, eat, cigar, edit, publish, tidy, write, cigar, lunch, chores, edit… ending in a bed the size of Rhode Island, nestling into sheets softer than meringue, and I don’t mean the dance.

There are variables – motorcycle, gym, socialize, cook, gun range, paperwork and more. But really? It’s wash, rinse, repeat.

In terms of possessions, I’m no longer a material girl. But I like what’s left: the view over downtown Austin, dishwasher-safe titanium cookware, kidney-shaped writing desk and killer sound system. For example.

At the same time, I have comfortable options for clothing, music, food, transportation, sex – everything a 64-year-old man needs.

The idea of abandoning my condo and putting all my worldly goods in storage is deeply disorienting. What do I do after my trip? Where will I live? How will I live?

Knock, Knock, Knockin’ On…

And then there’s the 64-thousand-dollar question: will I live?

The other night, a gal pal assured me that backwater bumpkins would covet the Gold Wing. Me, not so much.

The prospect of being the target of murderous motorcycle thieves may be a paranoid fantasy. Thanks to a “word to the wise,” it’s now my fantasy. As if Instagram’s crash dash videos aren’t vivid enough.

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I’m heading to The Tail of the Dragon, a road best known for motorcycle fatalities (318 curves in 11 miles). I’ve bought a ticket to Australian Hammond B3 wunderkind Lachey Doley’s Nashville gig in July.

Other than that, no set plans. No set routes. I’ll avoid major highways wherever possible. And… that’s all she wrote.

Those Who Have Gone Before

Speaking of writing, I’m checking out the chronicles of those who’ve been there, done that.

Rush drummer Neal Peart’s transcontinental motorcycle diary Ghost Rider was both boring and depressing – as you’d expect from a Canadian commemorating the sudden death of his daughter and the slow death of his wife.

John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley is miles better (so to speak). Spoiler Alert! He finds America right where he left it.

I was shocked to discover the Cannery Row writer’s camper van trip only lasted three months. I’m gonna spend a year on the road? As fellow Jew Sammy Davis Jr. asked, what kind of fool am I?

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is still the sine qua non of long-distance biker meditation, but my God it’s dense. A college-level philosophy class dressed-up as a travelogue, written in the pre-internet age of ginormous paragraphs.

A new friend gave me a heads-up on Jason Momoa’s Max TV series On the Roam. Lazy-eyed Aquaman jumps on a chopper (monkey bars and all) to worship at the feet of tower above American craftsmen.

Not my monkey bars, not my zoo. I’m not a celebrity and a camera crew’s not gonna chase me (unless it’s OJ Bronco style). Even so, it’s nice to know someone else is interested human excellence in pre-robot America.

The One Thing That Could Hold Me Back

I’d be immeasurably more reluctant to leave my current life if I shared it with someone who doesn’t fall into the FWB category. I had a couple of dates with a woman I met in Whole Foods. That ended when she proved less enthusiastic than a Carolina Panthers fan.

I’ve got a gun range date in three hours with a whip smart woman who’s extremely easy on the eyes. Who just cancelled before I started editing this paragraph. Seriously.

My dating history has a worse win - loss record than the aforementioned football team. Leaving me emotionally bloodied but unbowed, barreling towards an uncertain future.

Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity

When I get wobbly about this two-wheeled, one-year odyssey– an increasingly frequent occurrence – I console myself with the words of Indian filmmaker and actor Shekhar Kapur (above).

I’d have put the word “and” in there, but what do I know? Again, I’m determined to find out.

Meanwhile, if you could upgrade to a paid subscriber at $8 a month, it would help stiffen my resolve. Win - win?

Either way, anyway, I’m on my way.


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