Thursday, May 09, 2013

Bikes, Wives and Body Parts

Old man porn is surfing Craigslist for a motorcycle.

No, it is not "mid-life crisis".  I had my mid-life red Bugatti twenty five years ago.
It is almost painful to admit my life was such a cliche. (Probably still is, but I'll figure that out in retrospect yet again if I live long enough and don't end up with dementia.)

The Wifey says The Bike is my second childhood.  She's right, of course.  My last bike was 44 years ago. I paid $625.00 for it brand new.  A Yamaha two stroke twin.  I couldn't afford the "Widow Maker" Kawasaki triple. I still can't because now they are ten times the price they were in 1969.

I found a killer deal on a Suzuki 650 single.  Low maintenance, cheap to fix, easy to remodel. I've done a little chopping and cutting on it already.


It is hard to look "hard" in a blue pinstriped shirt, Dockers and a backpack with oatmeal cookies and a peanut butter sandwich in it. 

Hell's Orthodox? Maybe I should wear my "Neo" cassock. Better that than tight leathers at my age.  (Yes, I do wear a helmet, it is under my arm with the 3-bar cross on the back of it... I couldn't resist.)  I've thought about getting a "My Little Pony" or "Rainbow Bright" backpack to wear while I'm riding but they don't make them in adult sizes.  Oh well.

So, in other news, the Wifey and I celebrated our twenty year anniversary this week. She's still a beauty, and mellows nicely with only one Long Island Iced Tea.  In spite of how I've treated her over the years and all the things she's discovered about me that weren't so clear in the beginning, she still loves me.  I'm a blessed man.
I've been married now 40 years, but not in a row.  I still wrestle with guilt and "what-ifs" for the divorce.  It is a hard trade off to know your own happiness and contentment caused so much grief and pain to others. I know intellectually I couldn't forsee all the consequences.  I know intellectually neither can I prognosticate the outcome of a different decision. Life's threads can't be that easily unraveled and rewoven in retrospect. Joy and pain get magnified by years as the incomprehensible consequences continually manifest themselves.  And yet, intellectually, who does not live so regardless of any decision we've made?

This is where I start sounding like my parents.

My one year "pre-existing condition clause" on my school insurance expired this year, so I've begun getting all my aches and pains of 30 years of construction work checked out.   So far:

Sleep study done to find out why I fall asleep in 30 seconds, at the wheel on the freeway, at stop lights, and during sermons.  It would be nice to email all those preachers and tell them, "It wasn't you..." though I think it was.  (I get the results next week).

Heart stress test done.  After 30 years of fast food for breakfast and lunch, 250+ cholesterol count, high blood pressure and a red meat, bratwurst and pulled pork diet my heart is clear.  Physical labor and the miracle of red wine, I suppose.

Speaking of hard labor.  The podiatrist walked into the exam room and stood at the door and said, "I bet those hurt... you don't need to be a podiatrist to know your feet are messed up."
My big toes are fused from arthritis.  That changes how you walk and causes knee, hip and lower back problems. Duh.  I will need joint replacements in both my big toes.

I went to an orthopedist to check out my knee, neck and shoulders.  I need a right knee replacement.  It has been "bone on bone" for quite a while he says, and is riddled with arthritis.  My neck has arthritis that causes the upper back pain, but can be managed with cortisone shots.  My shoulders have arthritis and possibly rotator cuff damage. An MRI next week will confirm.  The doctor said he will probably have to snip some tendons on my biceps to relieve some of the stress on the front of my shoulders.

Basically, I will be in a boot, in a wheelchair, on crutches, or in a sling for the next three to four months. 

They always ask, "Why didn't you get this checked out when you hurt yourself or noticed the pain?"

Well, I suppose the true "Art of Manliness" is, if you don't have insurance, are the sole income feeding a wife and six children, and can't take 2-3 months off to rehab, you take six ibuprofen, drink two beers and go to bed.  Yeah, it was hard. But, even if it was my own damn fault, even if I would have had to work and feed someone regardless of a divorce or not, I can look back and say "I manned my post."  No brag. But no regrets, at least in that arena.

At 60, there's something to be said for that.

60 comments:

inokinja Jelena said...

XB! Oh, SP, be real careful out there, my former next-door neighbor (in his fifties) got rammed by two trucks, or got somewhere between them on his motorbike. Means he spent half a year in hospital and one of his legs is permanently shorter than the other. Well, perhaps that's how you could avoid the replacement of joints...

Chocolatesa said...

Wow. Well better late than never I guess. I'm discovering/getting fixed a lot of boo-boos with myself too, except I'm half your age. Went for a sleep study too (will have results the 3rd of June), am very eager to know if there's something they can fix!

Drewster2000 said...

S-P,

I just wanted to say how honored I am that you would continue to share your life with us. I'm only 45 and I can probably count on one digit the number of elders around me who live their lives openly enough to shed some light for those around them, guidance for how the rest of us should live, what it looks like and how to deal with it.

So thank you sir!

And by the way, my two words proving that I'm human were "his eossion". So whenever you feel old and crumbling, please remember that it's not erosion, it's "eossion". I'm not clear on what that means but I'm sure you could ortho-fy it somehow. (grin)

Chris Jones said...

I can look back and say "I manned my post."

When I was 25 I wouldn't have had a clue what you were talking about. Now that I am looking 60 in the face, as far as I am concerned, that's what it's all about.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Well done, s-p. and congratulations on the wedding anniversary. I hope you will spend many enjoyable hour working on you bike; you deserve it. But if you hope to have a 30th anniversary, better not ride it. A 60-year-old who is no longer used to it, on a bike!

elizabeth said...

now my husband and I just celebrated 7 months of wedding bliss yesterday... one of his family's sayings is 'what could possibly go wrong?' i.e. about things that could be dangerous. Not that it stops them...!

I admit that falling asleep at no notice and driving a motorcycle sound iffy to me. Had a neighbor women die when I was 17 who had a problem with falling asleep unexpectedly and did so driving home one morning (She worked nights) and drove into the morning school bus. it was on the news, etc. the latest local tragedy; my parents wedding anniversary... 4 children without a mother, the youngest I remember crying as he as walked that aisle in church with his mother gone. Sadly for them, their story only got much worse.

so do take care, I know your wife and children love you and I must say we do rather like having you around these parts in the blog world.

so just take care and keep us posted on the medical things; we will be praying for you.

PS: I continue to love your humour and the backpack part.

Steve said...

Elizabeth, it is a true miracle I haven't been killed or killed someone falling asleep at the wheel. It is a "constant remembrance of death" to ride with me. Maybe that's why my wife is so spiritual. :)

Margaret said...

Husbands can make wives very spiritual! (I thank God for mine!) God grant you both many years of wedded bliss and many years of health and joy! Thank you for sharing these thoughts as they sum up so well so many of my own!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Please do not push your luck, Steven. We all love you!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a sixth toe poking out the side of your foot there. You did some high-quality work to earn that, so good on ya.

Anonymous said...

Steve, happy anniversary. 33 years here, and not all of it fun, but we have made it and love each other because and despite. I hope the docs can get you all fixed up. Aging isn't the fun thing the tv ads make it look like, but we can do it with help! :)

Hugs,
Babushka Joanna

Dimmer said...

Only when you ride while holding your helmet & drinking a latte & talking on your phone & taking a long drag on your ciggy & turning a corner & abusing the driver next to you (all at once) then you are a true G.O.B.- (Greek) Orthodox Biker- Go Steve!!!

s-p said...

Dimmer, LOL! Hilarious! What an image, Mr. Panos on a Harley. I'm trying to figure out how to smoke a church warden's pipe and ride the bike.

Anonymous said...

Removed the front fender, little paint, new handlebars?... it's looking good, Steve. Was your Bugatti a Bug...atti? Even 20 yrs age real Bugattis were above contractor's wages. The widowmaker of my era is the V-Max. I still want to get one and then stick a sidecar on it because they never handled well in the first place. The rumor the first couple of years was that a third of them killed their owners. Sorry to hear about all the work you need done, I'm typing this with my left hand as I recover from surgery on my right wrist which is supposed to get me riding again after a year away. May the Great Physician grant you healing of soul and body.
Fr Nathan Thompson

s-p said...

Hi Father, Yes, and took the sissy bar, tail turn signal lights and saddlebag bars off. It is primer right now, I'll do final paint after all the mods. The Bugatti was a VW kit car. I had to put 200 pounds of sand bags in the front trunk to keep it from pulling wheelies if I took off a little quick. I had a vintage WWII leather flying helmet with goggles and a long scarf. HA! They make a sidecar for the 650. I think it would be awesome. I have the perfect wife and dog to ride in it. :)

I do remember when the V-Max came out. Yikes! It would be cool, but I know I'd ride it like one. HA! I hope your remodel goes well too. I'm looking forward to being able to walk again. With the foot surgeries I'm hoping to be healed up by fall, the perfect riding weather in Phoenix. It is almost already like riding in front of an oven.

Anonymous said...

All props and respect to you for truly manning your post, but the "damn fault" is with our stupid system that doesn't insure everyone's health care as a basic, fundamental given. It really steams me that someone who works as hard as you couldn't get health insurance. Screw that.

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