=== i know! wow, do you ever think about how come so many are afraid? === huh? === to live, to be free – it’s better than being afraid… anyway, thank you – those two were being frightfully persistent; had you not come by, i’d have had to fight them; they’d probably have won, huh? i mean, they were following me earlier but i was able to out-ride them – then, there they were again… why do guys always do that? ===
because they didn’t want to see who you are; they wanted control, sick bastards. you’re not afraid, are you? === well, I was starting to go there. but if you’re afraid, don’t you forget to think? so I guess I just fight to stay thinking. it happens, doesn’t it? i mean, you know, like those times you’re in some situation and you’re all adrenalin and it’s running through you – after is only when the shaking starts? your knees give way, you know – don’t you? i should be shaking now, but somehow, I’m not – like it resolved before it happened. fear that is, it went away before the reaction happened. does that make sense? === perfect. you’re… === huh? === so little, so wild and calm at the same time. === I’m not little! === okay, relax; you’re not little! === …but if you hadn’t come along, maybe… I guess, I don’t know – it’s so much, I mean – you’re brave and have honor – there you were… I’m amazed; you know sometimes people are horrible. you’re not. thank you, don’t you wish everyone was like you; it would be better wouldn’t it? – better go; guess i am upset, i ramble when i am. you take care sir – please know I’ll always remember you all shiny and beautiful and maybe kind of sad too that there aren’t more of you… sorry, i’m blowing it, huh? === don’t go. you are rambling though, quite a lot (and he brushed my hair out of my eyes)… sure you’re not shaken too much? === no, i’m okay. i think i’m trying to show you gratitude, i guess. how do you do that and what can i say? “so glad you weren’t hurt; thanks?” === you just did. come on – brush yourself off, follow me – i’ll show you something beautiful to relax your thoughts. if you agree it is, then that’s two of us think so – and i’ll always know someone else can see what I do… that’s more than enough. === okay. === but you know, i’m not gonna tell you what it is i’m showing you; that’s up to you to find on your own. okay? === okay, i promise. === you promise what? === i’ll see it. come on, take me. ===
and off we road, further up towards the top. I had to follow from way behind: without a helmet, I was eating his dust (and he was way better than me on a bike); he kept stopping to look behind, make sure I was okay… about half way up, he completely stopped and killed the engine (I finally caught up with him). he was laughing so hard, he’d dismounted his bike/took his helmet off… laying down on this grassy area then he started laughing out loud so hard it was as if he was floating with the heavens. i got off the Suzuki and sat down next to him… quiet, just watching (so pretty to watch – i’d never seen anything as amazing as this man with his joy).
after about ten minutes, he’d quieted down…
=== we’re not there yet; why’d you stop? === how do you know we’re not there yet? === cuz I don’t see what it is you want to show me. right? ===
he shook his head in agreement while smiling but didn’t say anything for a few minutes more then:
=== let’s talk some more. === about what? === life. here, let me clean you up. ===
he removed a canteen from his bike and first drank from it, then took his shirt off and used the water to wet it/wipe my face…, but the dirt just smeared into mud…
=== tip your head back. ===
so I did and he poured some water over my face; and then with his shirt – much of the dirt came off.
=== you want some? === thanks…okay… there’s life === – and I pointed up to a hawk, circling overhead…
=== instincts and good eyesight and hearing. what a lucky bastard. === what? === oh, sorry – hearing’s bad; just one ear – def. === no! how’d you lose your hearing? === it was a long time ago; an infection. === wow, you can’t tell – I mean in those movies you act in: you’re perfect. === so you do know who I am? === yeah, of course I do, why? === i don’t know, just it didn’t come up. === under the circumstance, I thought who you are today was more important than who you played in a movie I’d seen; don’t you agree? === thank you; just it usually does. === that must be sad, I’m sorry. how do you function without being able to hear? === I yell a lot. === at everyone? === no, inside – easier to hear. === hmm. === think so? === think what? === I’m perfect? === on-screen or now? === both. === oh, yes, now most definitely, and you’re brilliant and so remarkable (I was talking about him acting at this point) and your own instincts – without full hearing… every word you speak, it’s like the world stops. that must take a lot of concentration and then when you move: your steps, the way you move your neck, you move a finger and it’s more noticeable than anything else on the same screen and memorable: your eyes/that stare is for others to see through them, whatever it is they want to see – you don’t dictate. === wow, you should be my publicist. === no thank you. === which movies have you seen? === i’m not good with names, but one you were a rodeo cowboy, think your name was Junior. === Junior Bonner? === uh-huh – that’s it… another – this one I know cuz it’s one of my favorites, saw it twice: Papillon, wonderful – and when you jumped! I cried I think more because of that scene than any other movie ever… it was the most perfect triumph ever witnessed – the anguish of being captive… so emotionally enduring the control over a soul and then the intimacy of never giving up until finally, freedom – I cried uncontrollably off and on without reason for weeks – seriously, i was a mess; and then the western one with all of those other actors. === The Magnificent Seven? === yeah, I think that was the name.===
he just smiled at me…
=== the way you shook that shotgun – you could see it in the other actor’s face – he was furious with you; not his character, him personally. === you noticed that? === uh-huh, cracked me up. === he started laughing again
=== yeah, Yul was upset. === you did it on purpose, didn’t you? === again and again. ===
now, i was laughing.
=== why? === because it was what was supposed to be and needed to be in there for him to be real. === good answer; I like you – oh, and Bullitt – that one’s my favorite cop movie, I think. === come on, see the top of that hill – the one with the oak? === uh-huh. === that’s where we’re going; i’ll follow you this time so you don’t suffocate. === you know, you are better than me. === I am? === uh-huh, have you ever thought about racing professionally? === yeah – do you think I’m good enough to race? === oh yes, you’d be really wonderful at it. === you don’t read movie mags much do you? === no, why? === nothing – come on I’ll follow you; there are a few tricky parts on the way up; do you want me to tell you about them now or are you okay with finding what’s ahead as we go; i promise i’ll stay close? === let’s see how i do; if it gets too confusing, I’ll stop – how’s that? === do you want to wear my helmet? === no, the confinement keeps me from concentrating, but if I screw up I know how to fall pretty good- I promise I won’t hurt myself – so, here I go? === you’re on. ===
and off we rode; he stayed exactly two feet behind to my right the whole way – remarkable, every movement I made, it was like he knew I’d be leaning/turning/ stalling/lifting right before I went into the maneuver; and he mimicked everything I did perfect. sometimes it felt like I was following him – that’s how quick his reflexes were – looking behind, he was already lifting as I was starting – remarkable (really!). (side note: though he never told me so, I really think he followed so exact and so close, so if I had started to spill, i’m pretty certain that man would have been able to react fast enough to catch me mid-air before I ended up in the dirt) about 500 yards before the oak tree, we stopped again. it was open area.
=== okay, you got me up here; how about we race the rest of the way? === even-steven?! (he started laughing again -this time at his own joke.) ===
=== the race will only end after we get to the tree and climb up it… cuz though you may be better than me on bikes, i know i can out climb you – so then i get a chance – okay? === okay. ===
i was wrong! that man didn’t climb the tree, no! – one leap to the first cross-v and without using his legs/feet, grabbed each of the branches making the y and hoisted his whole body up. i could never do that. it was so remarkable to watch, i forgot i was supposed to be scaling the tree at all – just stood there watching.
=== come on, i thought you were going to beat me? === don’t think that’s possible – how’d you do that? ===
he started laughing again… === here, === and he was now hanging from the v with his legs anchoring him onto the tree to reach out his arm for me to grab/hang onto… and pulled me up.
=== you good? === uh-huh. ===
(to be continued)