I know I’m lucky to be able to devote a whole garage bay to my motorcycle illness.
Three motorcycles fit in there easily. Four if pressed. Five if desperate measures demand it, and sometimes they have.
That ‘Garage of Blessings’ is probably a contributing reason why I still have a 45 year old motorcycle that is still largely dependable.
Sweet Doris From Baltimore and I have been well nigh consumed by the project of constructing Teardrop Camper Version 2.0. Its gone from years of planning to months of solder and sawdust. Because the cabin is being constructed currently, there is a need for tons of floor space to convert to cutting, shaping and finishing plywood, and given how completely insane the weather has been, its been temporarily necessary to relocate the three remaining motorcycles that live here outside.
My bikes have been parked outside before. It was no big deal.
Did I mention that the weather has been completely insane?
After Sweet D and I had finished a long day of work that resulted in the entire cabin of the Teardrop being joined and set in place, it was time for a brief Ibuprofen party, a good quality Oat Soda, and some much needed rest.
The weather report showed a line of rainstorms coming in during the late overnight — the weather radar looked like a train of red boxcars that stretched out all the way down the Appalachians and well past Nashville.
I remember thinking – having seen the radar – that it was going to be a noisy night.
At about 4:13 in the morning, I hit my face on the roof of my bedroom.
I’d been in deepest R.E.M. sleep, and now I definitely wasn’t.
I didn’t know who I was, who you was, where we were, what was up. You know, the whole everything. Nothing.
There was, though, this NOISE.
It was like an air raid siren, like a missile launch, like a Great Lakes Lighthouse Foghorn at a distance of three feet.
The combination of being blown out of deep sleep and this incredible, knock the wind out of your lungs, thundering noise was enough to produce at least ten seconds of total mental paralysis.
You never have a electroencephalograph handy when you need one, but to have run mine then would have shown perfectly flat lines and the soft rushing emptiness in the mind of a Zen Master.
Then my mental boot sequence wrapped up, and cognition came on line.
“SHIT! IT’S THE HORN ON THE SLASH 5!”
I pulled on some sweatpants and faux crocs, and sprinted downstairs.
The tiny bones of the plan had me turning on the outside lights, and opening up the left garage door, which would put two steps from the bike I had thoughtfully parked directly under my bedroom window, and three steps away from my tool chest.
I cleared the house door, crossed behind the new trailer, and got to the garage door.
I threw the door open.
It was absolutely, totally pouring. I found out later we’d gotten 3 inches of rain across 4 hours. The next day, doing triage, I found water inside the topcase of the LT that was sealed and latched.
It was RAINING.
Not that you could hear the rain, though.
If you’ve never stood five feet directly in front of a set of Fiamm Freeway Blaster Dual Tone horns, wired directly to a really healthy battery, and stuck on, I can’t really recommend it.
It’s three days later and my ears are still ringing.
It took more force of will than I’d anticipated to actually walk toward it.
I grabbed the bars in my hand, and bopped the horn switch a few times, and the sound of the end of the universe morphed into a sick sounding bleat, and then stopped.
I was not taking any chances, though.
I unlatched and flipped up the /5s Police Saddle. I could see the big Philips screw on the new DEKA battery’s ground terminal. I hopped to the tool chest, pulled out the big Philips, and pulled the bike’s ground bolt.
It was over. For now.
Quite a few of my neighbor’s lights were on, and I was more than a little damp.
I went upstairs, and used my bath towel to dry off.
I got back in bed, but sleep wasn’t going to come back easily.
In my head, the beating of the pouring rain sounded like Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns.