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It's Nelly's World


alec vanderboom

I am, and then I am not.

The magazines piled up on my bedside table through the winter: BMW ON, Cycle World. They had something colorful on their covers each month--what were those things? They had two wheels, and what looked to be some sort of human crouching, lizard-like, on top of it, clutching something in each outstretched hand. Huh.

The snow piled up against the garage doors. Occasionally I would beat my way to one, throw it up, to get the skis, the sleds. The garbage can, to go to the dump. Large gray-covered shapes, I was vaguely aware, were also there; I would glance over to make sure there was a glowing green diode on a small black box sitting on the floor next to one of them, attached by orange extension cord snaking toward the outlet on the wall. Then bang, the door went down again.

I was not. But now, the temperature rising bit by bit and the snow beginning to darken the pavement of the driveway with slowly expanding water, I am.

I am a motorcyclist again. I stayed up till midnight last night, suddenly possessed by the contents of one of the magazines, which I at last cracked open and could not stop reading. Here's the rally I will go to. Here are the tips for riding better, and here is the endless stream of information of all types, too much, too much to absorb. I am suddenly feeling the initiation of a turn, the downward pressure on a grip, the magical balance of weights moving places, becoming something else. I am thinking about tires again.

(How is it that, several feet distant, you can feel your tires, every molecule of their being, though you are made of different stuff?)

I had entered a fugue state, I realize now with appreciable surprise. And with the coming of spring (its warming promises), I am becoming something else too. At long last.