March 27, 2013

Falling On My Own

Walking into Village 631 was like coming home, for just a moment. Staying in San Diego temporarily while on our Road Pickle trip, staying in a motel, for some reason San Diego feels strange and not like home at all.

Perhaps it's staying in another part of town and the vibe is completely different from the one I fell in love with, or perhaps because it is temporary I can't let myself attach again. Whatever the reason, Village 631 felt comfortable, like touching down for the first time after floating for a few weeks.

The smell of coffee and pastries filled my head, Bob Dillon warbled above and the cool San Diego breeze poured in through the open front restaurant. I relaxed with a hot chai latte and asparagus quiche and fretted over this painful sense of fear that keeps lurking in my psyche. The first night in the motel I was terrified, telling Highway I was simply uncomfortable, because I didn't want to alarm him. But I really wanted to tear my hair out, tear the walls down, hide somewhere safe, in a soft pillow of home. My mind kept telling me that I am home, that this is what I wanted, to stop being afraid, that nothing had changed. As soon as Highway wrapped around me, the fear eased. I clutched my kitty blanket and drifted off to slumber, awaking with a renewed sense of adventure.

But when I'm not looking, that Oogie Boogie Fear creeps in my back pocket, climbs up my back and wraps around my throat. The choking begins, the desire to run to the pillow-of-home, the shattering confidence falls in shreds around my boots and I shutter within his grip. I feel the need to reach, touch, hold something safe.

A few days ago I was pulling off Interstate 5 after riding for a little over an hour in the cold and damp along the coast. My left leg ached that morning when I woke, so the damp only increased the pain. When I reached the end of the offramp and rolled up beside Highway and Blackbird, I eased to a gentle stop. I placed both feet on the ground and the searing pain in my left knee shot up leg. Katie Scarlet began to dip to the left and my knee buckled and gave out from under us. I shouted with all I had, trying to will that leg to stand, trying to find a strength within me I hadn't reached, to keep that motorcycle from falling. Out of nowhere a strong hand grasped my left shoulder and shoved me upright.

"Thank you," I said to Highway, shocked.

Where had he come from? I didn't even see him there, I was trying so hard to do it all on my own. He smiled and we pulled into the gas station. Throughout the day I thanked him a few times for saving Katie and me. He just smiled each time, saying nothing.

As I am writing this, I look at Highway as he sits beside me, working away on his laptop. He's finishing a work project that was overwhelming me. He had stepped in when I asked for help, without complaint, picked up the reins and handled it. I look around for Oogie Boogie Fear and he's nowhere to be found. He doesn't seem to hang around when Highway is here. I remember again that I have already found my home, my safe place, my solid ground. He's right here, on my beside me.

My father told me that learning is remembering what you already know. Doing it is demonstrating that you know it. I know Highway is my home. Now I have to demonstrate it, trust in that, trust in him. I have to trust that he's not going to let me fall.

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