September 16, 2013

Cagers Don't Get It

My mother would never understand, nor would my sister or my brothers why I choose to ride. Even though my brothers have ridden motorcycles on and off over the years, they would never understand why I've given up all of my possessions to devote myself to the road.

Being misunderstood by my family is nothing new, considering they've never understood a god damned thing I've ever done.

"Why do you always want to talk about this? Why can't you just forget about it?" my sister would shout. "Can't we just pretend none of this SHIT happened and be sisters? Why do you want to bring up all of the past?"

I wanted to talk about our feelings, our childhoods of abuse and abandonment, and find some sort of kinship between us. Carrie didn't want to discuss it. She wanted to run from all of it, until the times it welled up inside her and she exploded in anger. Carrie goes off like an atom bomb, destroying everything for miles. The pain she holds inside becomes too much to cope with and finally the steam has to release. Innocent victims lie in tatters around her, broken, bleeding, crawling for safety.

"We don't want to talk about your feelings TINA," my mother would repeat time and again. "That's just you, because you're not normal. I don't know why you want to talk all the time. All you do is babble. No one wants to hear it."

After all of the years of physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse at my mother's hands, I was still afraid of Suzi when I was an adult. I found myself still wanting her approval, still longing to find a place in my family structure, even though I was most clearly the black sheep.

My brothers are in and out of prison on a regular basis. In fact, each has spent approximately 2/3 of their adult lives in prison. Most of the initial crimes were for drugs, but over time their crimes became violent. Regardless of what initially sends a young man to prison it has a way of making any man a very violent, dangerous human being.

This is my family of origin. A dead father, an abusive mother, and a group of angry, violent siblings.

Fortunately, my father remarried after my parents divorced. When he died in 1990 he left behind my step-mother Kathy. She and I have a beautiful relationship built on honesty, trust, and humor. I can call Kathy any time of day or night and share stories of our travels, my sorrow, pain, or joys. She is always available for me. She calls me too, always reaching out to keep close and share her laughter and tears. I tend to take her for granted, as we all do with those we know we can count on.

So what makes Kathy different?

Kathy understands why I need to ride. This is probably because Kathy rode her own Sporster for many, many years during a time when few women rode and with men who rarely let women ride. Rolling with 1%ers most of her younger years, my Dad being one of them, Kathy learned all she knows about life with people who understood a thing or two about freedom and could smell drama and bullshit a mile away.

When I ride I feel myself. I feel my heartbreak, my challenges, my desires, my hopes, my past, my future, my dreams, my fears. I feel every bump on the asphalt and I see my road ahead of me. I can smell the dead skunks, the blooming flowers, the damp trees, the choking exhaust, the forest fires and the filthy pollution. I can feel the temperature drop, the sun on my shoulders, the rain in my face, the wind trying to push me over.

Cagers don't get it. They can't feel any of this. Insulated, safe from the realities of the road, hiding in plain sight, pretending that they are going somewhere, only to find they are playing it safe, they choose to feel nothing. And they can't understand why anyone would want to feel this way. Perhaps this is the one distinct difference between Cagers and Riders: The desire to feel.

"I think it's good that they excluded you," Highway explained to me awhile ago. "They did you a favor. You were never going to be happy being 'one of them'. Now you can be honest and be yourself."

Those words released me from my own prison. For the first time I didn't need to belong, to anyone or anything. I gave myself permission to be different, to act on my own desires, to listen to that voice within me.

I finally found my place in the world. I can feel, really get down and feel what's inside of me. And if that's "not normal" then I don't care. And anyone who thinks there's something wrong with that can fuck off and stay the hell away from me, BECAUSE I INTEND TO FEEL MY WAY THROUGH LIFE! I'm not going to "pretend" this shit didn't happen. I'm not going to "pretend" just to make you fuckers feel better about things. This is how I deal with MY LIFE! This is MY FUCKING LIFE and I'm so exhausted with trying to be something and someone who makes all of you feel good about yourselves.

Do I make you uncomfortable? I don't fucking care. You can suck my dick if you don't like it. Deal with it or get the fuck out of my way.

For me, riding is feeling. Writing is telling. I have a life where I can freely feel my emotions and freely express them. I have finally found a place to be true to myself, my nirvana.

All this time I was a rider in a family of cagers. No wonder I never fit in.


  1. Another great, honest, from-the-heart post. I'm trying to think what I wrote that sparked these thoughts.

  2. Sash:

    It has only been during the past few years that I decided to stop pleasing others and try to please myself. We have to live our lives without regrets. There are people who are never satisfied until you are convinced to see things "their way", or do things the way "they want you to"

    The past is the past and we can't dwell on those things over which we have no control.

    I can sense that there are things that still bother you. LET IT GO, be thankful for what you have and move on. You will be happier for it

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. Ride it all out darling. its your life, your ride you rock.

  4. Ride it all out darling. its your life, your ride you rock.

  5. I bet that was cathartic to write.

    We can not live our lives the way other people want us to. If they truly loved us they wouldn't try to pigeon hole us.

    Live your life for you, it is the only life you have!!

  6. Sash - the only person you have to please is yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. We all carry our sorrows with us, but at some point you just have to say "screw it, I am not a victim". As for letting go of toxic people sometimes it is one's own family and as hard as it is sometimes you have to choose to let go for your own happiness. I too am to the point in my life where I really don't give a rip what people think. And you are right CAGERS DON'T GET IT.

  7. You go girl...another insightful, honest, and heartfelt post.

    Parts of it made me feel a little uncomfortable, but I recognize that as my problem based on my own insecurites...and besides, if you do have a dick, I really don't want to see it. :-) ~Curt

  8. You go girl...another insightful, honest, and heartfelt post.

    Parts of it made me feel a little uncomfortable, but I recognize that as my problem based on my own insecurities...besides, if you really did have a dick, I wouldn't want to see it. :-) ~Curt


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