Early 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.