Friday morning, scarred for life

04_14896.jpgEarly this morning I’m riding my motorbike home from a friend’s house.  My head is foggy from too much wine, too much singing into the warm night.  Back there my friend is still sleeping; the world seems to be sleeping with him. 

The low autumn sun is behind me pushing my shadow along the road like a ghost of me; me and my bike.  I glance down at my hands and shift in the seat feeling my legs against the tank; it is one of those moments when you feel everything. 


And with the dawn comes a dawning; I realise I am not scared anymore.  The motorbike accident, that outback road and looking up through the blood-smeared visor of my helmet, the silent longing to be, to not lose consciousness, to stay alive to the blue, blue sky above me.  And my friend appearing over a hill and speeding towards me and cutting the bloody jeans from my legs and bathing the hole in my knee.  And me too shocked to feel anything, even the fractures and the torn and bloodied elbow.   Just the empty road and the smell of petrol pouring on to the ground and the taste of dust in my mouth.


Now it is this holiday Friday and I realise that my hands are my hands and that wind is washing my face.  I notice that I am actually here and that I am not afraid anymore.  Underneath my jacket and pants there are scars.  My ankle is still swollen after 6 months and there are these strange indelible bruises like birthmarks. And the motorbike is scarred too, scratches and gouges in its red paint, pieces torn away and discarded.  I instinctively and gently touch the cool tank with my hand. Well, fuck me, I think. Here we are, my motorbike and me, both of us scarred forever.


But at least we are scarred for life.



Filed under australia, fear, life, Men, motorbikes, self

6 responses to “Friday morning, scarred for life

  1. It impresses me that the human spirit has this ability. The ability to come away with more from life and a new lust for life when it is nearly taken from you. I wonder if people who have never experienced facing their mortality come to this place also? My scars are also healed, but I am here. I did not “go gently into that good night.”

    I may be scarred for life, but my life is not scarred.

  2. Hello, Beauty – to be scarred by/for life is a good thing; it shows you were here, that you actually lived, don’t you think?

  3. I like it how you see the scar almost as a medal. You suffered and you survived this ordeal with you motorbike. What a beautiful way to describe the human way. We are not humans that have things happen to us one after the other. We make those happenings mean something. So indeed scars can be like a medal, of how you took life and its challenges.

  4. Good for you, but it’s been about fifty years (when you were a ‘sissy’ if you wore a helmet) since I was on a motorbike. Luckily I came off in a muddy ditch in a country lane. I decided then and there to save up for a car. 🙂

  5. Scars are a great way to remind ourselves of what we have lived through and/or overcome. I hated my scar for a while, but now I just see it as a part of me and yes, that I am here and actually living.

    (Not to mention it is fun to show people!)

  6. Up til now, I’d not thought about my scar much. Avoided it, really. I think I would be a stronger person today if I’d thought about it as a life-medal, as a reminder that I’d lived as opposed to a reminder that I almost didn’t.

    Thanks for this post.

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