May 10, 2013

The Battle of Las Cruces

female-motorcycle-riderYou could call it "The Battle of Las Cruces". At least that's what I'll remember most of our visit here.

Highway and I have been arguing, yelling and fighting for nearly 24 hours now. We slept a few hours, but during the night I was awakened 6 times screaming from nightmares. Some of them just bad dreams, some of them memories. Memories of the man, my mother's friend whom she pimped me to at the age of 15, raping me, pissing on me and then put his cigar out on my back. I still have the scar to remind me. . . Memories of emptiness and fear and loneliness.

Highway and I worked this morning, avoiding each other, but being friendly nonetheless. As soon as I spoke about the events of last night, the fighting began again. Your girl Sash was on her knees, begging Highway to just tell her what to say so the fighting would end. Highway was at a loss, as broken as I am, struggling with the scars of his own childhood of abuse.

Being on the road does something to people. For me, I have no home to go home to. I have family and friends that would take me in, but that's not MY home. Highway is my home, but when we fight, I have to face the realities of what would happen if we weren't together anymore. Having nothing but a backpack, a tailbag, a motorcycle and myself, I realize that my life is very small. I realize that I am a ghost, a whisper, a shadow that most people forget soon after I am gone. Having no roots means having no anchor, making me nothing but a small sailboat in a storm.

motorcycle-riderAnd this was a storm. The Battle of Las Cruces waged on inside as an unexpected rainstorm rolled into town as well. The thunder clouds opened up and the rain poured. I wanted to get on Katie Scarlet and ride, but the fear of riding wet roads for the first time kept me locked in the prison of the tiny motel room, fighting, crying, begging and sobbing. I don't remember what was said before I ran out; I only remember his voice behind me, blocks from our hotel, chasing me in the rain.

Soaking wet I looked him in the eyes and explained that I'm broken. It filled me with shame to admit that there are times that I'm not strong, but just a frail, fragile girl under all of the fanfare and grandiosity. I stood in the rain, barely able to weep any longer, explaining that Sash was dead and all that is left is this broken child. The child my mother beat and pimped out and neglected. Ride as many miles as I like, run as many years as I can, fight as many fights as I have, and I still can't escape the remnants of a broken child. Highway took my hand in the icy New Mexico thunderstorm.

"You're worth coming after. You make me a better man. I can feel myself, for the first time, when I'm with you. It hurts. It hurts so much, but with you I can feel the pain, the sorrow, the emptiness and loneliness. Before you, there was only loneliness. Now, because of you I can feel the real self underneath. And I can feel love. Because of you."

He gently led me back to the motel. After making a cup of tea for me and embracing me for awhile, he mounted up to ride to the pharmacy for me, picking up my prescriptions and getting something for dinner. I have hear when soldiers enter the military they are broken down before they are built up. I never knew what that was like until this moment. So there I stood in the cold Las Cruces rain, running nowhere, realizing I had nowhere to run, knowing that the heartbreak would always follow me. I'm as broken as I've ever been. I have no fight left in me.

But that's what I came to find on this trip; myself. What lies underneath the perpetual activities of everyday life. Ironically I ride my morotcycle to stop moving and listen to the sound inside my own helmet. Take everything I own away from me, work my body until it's so sore and bruised I can hardly move, take me away from everything and everyone I know, and see what's left. I found a broken child.

I can't say where it goes from here. It frightens the Hell out of me that I don't know. . . I guess we'll all find out together.



  1. Take nothing for granted,your not broken. Your alive,strong to have overcome,strong to continue in any situation because you will. We all have a story,some harder than others,some with more pain always pain and loss there is always loss. We must have the power within ourselves to be able to focus on what is of value and of importance to us. I pray you both realize your power together is strong and magnificent but its the blend of two forces. That never means your power solo is less than ...oh no because the secret is solo your even more powerful. We just choose to share it ,which tunes us in really. safe travels...let the skies clear,forget the differences,refocus,embrace life. Being alive and in the moment. its all we have ,take it not for granted.Big Hugs from the Hellcat pretty lady,you keep smiling,your on your journey. Its going to be beautiful.

  2. It keeps going forward. Going back isn't a very good option. Yep, you fell off when the moron backed into you. You became a bit timid, unsure, questioning , "Can I really do this?"

    STOP questioning, embrace this as the adventure you have dreamed about. There ain't no quitting on this ride sister! Now tug up the big girl panties and get to riding. That is where you have to go from here!!

  3. Tina:

    You are not alone, you have Highway. You are on a ride of a lifetime, riding your bike and seeing what this big country has to offer.

    The Past is the past and it shouldn't dominate the Present. As AHD said, "move forward", see beyond the horizon, chase the rainbow but don't look back, we've been there before and we don't want to go back there

    You are more capable than you believe. Stop doubting your abilities. Help Highway enjoy his time with you, riding his bike and exploring America. Don't create doubts for him too

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Tina,
    I know what it is like to be broken. We are breathing, living, human beings, our glue comes from the inside. The healing begins now.That little girl is still there, but guess what? She survived and grew up. Now, the woman she has become, has the choice(and the chance) to choose. Home is where you are, family is who you choose, the ones you love. Blood is just kin, family is love. That rain was a turning point for both of you, embrace the love you share, YOU ARE WORTH IT

  5. Heavy, heavy.

    Being on a road trip with someone causes a kind of claustrophobia, a "this or nothing" anxiety that can create issues with incredible swiftness and intensity. I think that until you're both able to really fall into the routine of being without routines your fuses might be just a bit shorter than in a "settled" situation. That's nothing against you, or any of us -- the human mind needs patterns and routines. That's part of what makes us a superior species: we figured out the routine of putting seeds in the ground and waiting for them to turn into food.

    So, already y'all have the natural and reasonable fissuring that travel can induce. Unfortunately, y'all also have monsters. I've got one, too, and he is a motherf**ker.

    A while back you said the seat of a motorcycle is too small for emotional baggage. But unfortunately monsters have their own terrible, choking means of travel. They will always catch up. And what I've discovered is that as we get older, monsters get ever more evil and clever. More and more skilled and vicious. So, they can take the tiniest thing -- so tiny you don't see it -- and fashion it into the most terrible thing.

    Spill orange juice on your shoes in the morning and by midday your monster has you reliving the time you were beat up by three kids in front of a girl you had a crush on. That's how devilish my monster is. And it sounds that yours has a hell of a lot of material to work with, terrible awful things to pull out of your memory and torture you with, using reasonable strains such as a road trip or physical pain as its starting tools.

    So, I think to myself: what would I do in that situation? Weep, probably. Go through hell and hate each moment of it. But no doubt your monster is like mine in that it will eventually give respite (that's part of its evil -- it won't just kill me) and when that moment comes, try to remind yourself that although the past terror was real and cannot be forgotten or ignored, the present terror is manifesting, unintentionally, from yourself. That monster is getting its strength from you. But the strength to pick up and move forward is equally within you.


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