Late one night
I was out for a ride on the bike
on a long desert road called State Route 27.
The moon was full and bright.
Stars peppered the warm August sky.
The road was empty
and the night was asking
for a high speed run.
I decided to open it on up.
Let her go right to the edge.
Let her really breath.
I brought her up to around one thirty-five
and settled in for a ride long, fast and low.
The headlight shouted out brightly in front of me
and the engine wound out in a high pitched yell
as the white lines blinked quickly on by
silent and oh so fast.
My senses were as alert
as they could possibly get
and in spite of the darkness
every detail of the passing road
jumped out at my eyes.
I swear I could see
the gravel embedded in the rushing asphalt
and the barbs on the wire fence
at the side of the road.
Like so many times before,
I fell once again, in love with life,
the rapid beat of my heart.
and the quickness of my rolling breath.
Just then in my shimmering mirror
on the horizon behind me
I saw the headlight of another bike
coming up hard, coming up quick.
Ten seconds later
a slender figure on a dark blue chopper
blew by me like I was standing still.
I rolled the throttle wide open.
Pretty soon I was doing about one forty-three
but I couldn’t catch her
and I watched her taillight
quickly become a distant dot on the road.
Right before it disappeared,
it looked like she pulled over,
I backed on down.
Before long I was coming up beside her.
I came to a stop
and shut off my bike.
–Figured I’d rest for awhile
and chat with the lady.
Leaning on on the seat of her ride
having a smoke
was a beautiful woman, maybe forty
with deep blue eyes and long dark hair.
She and her bike had kind of a glow about them.
Very subtle but bright at the same time.
Friendly but kind of mysterious.
Very quiet, kind of peaceful,
I nodded hello, not knowing exactly what to say.
She nodded back and said
in a voice like a love song by Dido,
“Evening. Nice night for a drive.”
I looked back at her
and knew I had to wonder out loud.
I smiled as best I could and asked,
“Just who are you?”
She shrugged and said,
“Oh, they call me by lots of names.
You probably know me as ‘I am,’ or ‘Alpha and Omega,’
or some of that other useless stuff humans like to say.
You all really need to learn
any word you want can mean everything
or nothing at all
as you so choose.
Why don’t you call me ‘Sparky,’
or ‘Wiggles,’ or ‘Effy?’
That would suite me just fine.”
“You’re God? Or maybe an Alien?” I asked.
She chuckled and said,
“I’ll leave all that up to you.”
I looked at her confused.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Like you, I’m just out for a late night ride,” she smiled.
I still didn’t know exactly who she was
but I did know she was someone very, very special.
“I’ve got so many questions…” I stammered,
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“One of the really nice things about people” she said,
“Is that they are very curious creatures.
Always full of questions.”
“So what’s the right point of view?
We have so many…” I asked.
“You know all those religions and philosophies
That people bicker over
and fight about all the time?” she said,
“Well they all have a few good ideas,
every one of them.
They all carry around a bunch of bullshit too.
And science is pretty much the same way.
People really need to learn to think
in a many-sided fashion
Instead of just bi-valently.
You can put that in your pipe and smoke it,” she smiled.
I thought about that for a minute
Then I asked,
“So what does the future hold?
People seem so messed up a lot of the time.”
She took a drag on her cigarette and said,
“You know, some guy once said
that the meek would inherit the earth.
Well, I’ve got some news for you
—they inherited it some time back.
But humanity is kind of a fixer-upper species
and change can happen only so fast
without making a big mess of everything.
Imagine the best of the 20’s and 60’s.
Imagine the golden ages of music
and the intellectual leaps forward
during the Renaissance.
These are previews of things to come.
But humans have a ways to go.
You’ve got to get it through
your thick, Cro-Magnon heads
that every time you disagree
it’s not good to start killing each other.
And you’ve got to learn to make governments
that don’t attract power mongers quite so fast.
It’s also important to learn to make companies
that have a conscience
and a genuine sense of human decency.
And you humans really need to learn
to share a lot better.
“I said, “Geeze, we sound like bratty children.”
She chuckled, “Well, Homo sapiens
Is a pretty young species.
If all humanity were a single person
you’d be around twelve years old, by my reckoning.
So you see, you’re just starting to grow up a bit.
Far in the future, when you’re much older
you humans will have great adventures
and do great things, if you ask me.
She took a drag on her smoke, then continued,
“I have to tell you,
there will always be some inequalities
because that’s the only way to build a world
in which you can strive.
But one day people will seek to better their spirit
with the same enthusiasm
that today they use to build better guns
and make more money.
There will also always be people better and worse
because that’s the only way to make a world
where those who need to can learn to improve.
But one day the worst of men
will be as kind than the most generous human
of your time.
One day men will fight their personal ignorance
and fear of their own inner beauty
with the same determination
they use to fight each other today.
All this might sound kind of strange
considering the way humans are right now
but you can make this future
a reality one day for all mankind
by making it a reality for yourself today.
For humans, improvement happens
From the bottom up and from the inside out
One person at a time.
Now, don’t think of being a good man
like it means you gotta be
all pansy and syrupy sweet.
One day humans will be kind of like
the good-bad guys of the universe.
They’ll have kind dispositions
and big hearts
but with a lot of edge
like a good rock and roll song.
But humans need to realize
that the most powerful things in life
don’t always end up fighting each other.
You all have the bad habit
of often thinking the greatest tests in life
involve war and fighting and killing each other
when the biggest challenge a human can face
is learning how to love better.
Effy took one last drag off her cigarette.
She glanced at it and said,
“Did I bother to mention
you really need to get off peoples asses
about smoking these things.
it’s really not worse than overeating.”
Then she smiled and said,
“Damn! Enough talking. Lets take a ride.”
She got on her bike and cranked it on up.
I could see the sky move a bit when it started.
I got on my bike
and hit the button to light the tubes.
Effy waited as the ground shook
with every thump of her engine.
Then we pulled out onto Route 27
and pretty soon we were doing around one twenty-five.
We rode beside each other till almost dawn.
Just as the sun broke the skyline,
I felt kindness and compassion wash over me
along with a dose of ‘Fuck a fine mess’ too.
Then Effy down shifted
and gave me a thumbs-up.
About ten seconds later all I could see of her
was a tiny red taillight fading into the horizon.
But I’ll tell you, as the night had rolled on
with us riding side by side
I knew what it was to feel joy.
Dewey Dirks—copyright 2009