Aug 25, 2010

The lament and the joy

The ruins of a wasted monsoon lie in my cabin at work. It's shocking. The carpet is worn but clean. There's not a wet patch on it. Not even the faint imprint of a wet motorcycle boot. I haven't grappled with the problem of hanging up wet kit to dry. My table has never been baptized by brown water dripping of my usually spotless lid either. This entire monsoon has been an utter disaster.

I duly dusted off my trusty DMS boots, pulled out my favorite waterproof gloves and that cheap set of waterproofs that are in their last rainy season before a new one is needed. To no avail.

It wouldn't be fair to say that I haven't been in the rain, mind you. A zillion showers have streamed off my visor this year and when I wasn't riding, I've enjoyed the heady rattle of rain on my windscreen as well. But this isn't enough.

I love commuting, you know that. I deeply, deeply enjoy commuting in the rain. It's a peculiar challenge that appeals to every one of OCD habits. I love the fact that my knowledge of the roads I am riding is used fully. I usually know what lies beneath the water on my commute. I don't slow for potholes as much as remember what's under the water and the blast through it, thrilled by the water splashing off.

I haven't been able to do that this season. I've just not been here.

That changed last night. Carl Orff's Carmina Burana played impossibly loudly in my head - the loudest, most intimate music system of them all. I restarted my Fazer after a month off it and made my home in a sparkling display - I'd like to believe - of superbly, smooth uninterrupted riding.

I realised that I miss being able to use parts of the road other users don't trust in this season. That rising up on the pegs to whizz over potholes with utter smoothness is a thrill all of its own. And that I deeply enjoy this. I'm often caught yelling cheery things to myself in the helmet as I do these things. That there are moments in there when I reach out and touch the innocent highs that you lose once your childhood is over.

But as of last night, the blue phase is past. The Fazer is fueled up and ready. And as am I.

In fact, today, I aim to turn up a cocktail party in full kit. Hopefully it will be splattered with muck and rain. I will nurse my iced water (slice of lime, please) until the key in the pocket glows red hot and it becomes time to head home.

And thank the lord I live far, far away from work. The monsoon will be here another 20-odd days. And by jove I intend to make full use of the days IO have left.