Wary still of familiar break of day, I greet morning with my usual degree of hesitation, simple nod of acknowledgement suffices where others might extend warm welcome.
Though I rise late, these early hours pass slowly, dragging me, reluctant participant in unfolding drama of life, through murky territory of mind where obscure metaphors dally.
In hazy dream I leave behind, surly bad boy biker with seeker eyes drinks water at the bar, thirsty for something other than Miller Light on a rainy night.
He separates self from raucous crowd of cantankerous carousers, companions he rides with by day but distances himself from each night as he becomes an outcast among a band of outcasts.
“Wolfman” leads boisterous hell-raisers among whom he used to feel at home. His distaste for them, for who he used to be and pretends still to be swells like infected bite.
He sees me walk into the bar, only place I find open at when my car breaks down on stretch of road. More frightened to stay put than darken the doors of honky-tonk heaven,
I have walked the quarter mile to the finest establishment in this God-forsaken town. Dripping wet, I order 7-Up and scoop up handful of stale peanuts from crystal dish
that doesn’t seem to fit downscaled décor. I find myself between two worlds, safe suburban enclave where I used to be at home and winding highways I travel after dark, free to be who I would become.
At opposite end of pinewood bar, he gives a half smile and raises water glass. Odd choice of drink on such a dreary night, I think, then laugh at absurdity of observation and down another swig of caffeine-free soft drink.
Black leather jacket and biker boots suit him, yet there is something distinctly familiar about him. Something with which I instantly identify swims in his eyes, deep-set, dark and wise but discontent.
Recognition of kindred spirit sparks some buried ember of hope that has lain hidden in my healing heart. Grateful to know others also ride between two worlds in search of truth, I return his smile.
We pass the hours in silence, content to drink to solidarity that surprises us this blessed stormy night we share stranded in bleak barroom island. Last night’s dream lingers, imparts
astonishing gift of grace and a reminder in harsh light of morning’s rude awakenings that miracles materialize in the space between two worlds for those who dare to ride and cast expected roles aside.