A man passed me on the highway. This is not an unusual thing to have happen. Believe it or not, 1992 Ford Explorers are not the fastest vehicles on the road. More often than not, I tend to ignore passing vehicles and focus on praying that my car does not explode.
This man was different, though. His red Harley reflected in the sun. The man seemed to control it with ease, his tattooed arms steering it effortlessly through traffic. He had no helmet on, clearly not worried about the fate of his skull should he crash. It wouldn’t be a problem anyway. He was never going to crash.
As he left me in the dust, I had one thought.
Holy crap. That guy was cool.
I have never been that cool of a guy. At one point, I thought I was cool. That was in high school, though, when everyone thinks they are cool. As it turns out, I was not even remotely cool. To this day, I have lived up to the lack of cool my high school self laid out for me.
I will never be the guy on the motorcycle, cruising down I-35 with the wind blowing through my hair. I may wish to be that guy, but it will never happen.
For starters, I can not imagine getting any tattoo. At one point in my life, I knew I would get a tattoo. It would be an interesting conversation starter, people walking up and asking “What does your tattoo say?” and me saying “It’s Latin. It means ‘All or Nothing.’” Then they would ask if it was because of the Cher song and I would say no, but no one would believe me. Even in my tattoo fantasies, I wasn’t too cool.
Then, I heard what a tattoo really was. It’s a needle. Not a needle like when you get a shot, but a machine that takes a needle and stabs you repeatedly, leaving ink under your skin that will be there forever. You are paying someone a great sum of money to stab you over and over with an incredibly sharp ink pen.
As if that were not bad enough, I would be worried the entire time that the tattoo artist did not know what he was doing. I would just be waiting to hear a “Whoops.” Not to generalize, but the tattoo artists I have met do not look like the smartest, most well-read people in the western hemisphere. You ask for a tattoo that says “All or Nothing” in Latin, you may really get one that says “Eat atAlice’s Restaurant.” You have no idea whether they can translate foreign language accurately or not. Unless the tattoo artist has his master’s degree hanging on the wall next to the certificate that declares it unlikely that you will receive a flesh-eating bacteria in that establishment, I am not interested.
Since I will most likely never find a tattoo artist with a graduate degree, I can kiss that part of cool goodbye. There is still plenty more, though. I could still get a motorcycle.
Every time I see a motorcycle, I wish I had one. I remember reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” romanticizing the relationship a man has with his motorcycle. It was as if that motorcycle was freeing him of all of the world’s troubles.
Once you get passed the world’s troubles, though, they can also kill you.
Now, I do not care for death. Dying does not sound very pleasant. I am very much enjoying being alive and dying would really put a damper on that. If I was to die, I would like to go peacefully in my sleep, not flying through the air at 70 mph before sliding to a stop on the pavement.
If I had a motorcycle, I would be the least cool biker of all time. Not only would I have a helmet on, very uncool, and a complete leather outfit to protect me if I crashed, I would also be wrapped in bubble wrap. Then I would drive 20 mph under the speed limit. I might even ride on the sidewalk, where I am less likely to get hit by another car.
If only they made motorcycles that were enclosed and kept you safe from the outside world. Maybe add a couple more wheels to make balancing easier. Motorcycles could also use a bit more storage space, so some of that would be nice. Pretty soon, my ideal motorcycle is a sedan.
No, I will have to admire the cool from afar, never breaching their club. Of course, that also means I will never have to listen to loud and incessantly raucous music, nor will I have to jump into any bar fight. I will be free of the pressure of being aloof all of the time, which is impossible for me anyway. How can you stay aloof when you have so many things to comment on?
I will leave the act of being cool to the guy on the highway. He is way better at it then I would be anyway.
- Town of Webster Makes the Stupid, Albeit Well-Intentioned Decision to Allow 14-Year-Olds to Get Tattoos (bostinno.com)
- Tattoofest 2012, Tampa, HomeAway (homeaway.com)
- 6 Things You Need to Know Before You Get a Motorcycle (shedens.com)
- Motorcycle Safety: Some Thoughts For Spring (danielrrosen.com)
- Indelible Ink (fistofail.wordpress.com)