Tuesday, July 19, 2005

numb and number

by tom nowak

at a certain point in my life
i smoked a lot of weed and
i hitchhiked around a lot and slept
around as much as i could

on a cross country trip with
my girlfriend wendy
we were stuck somewhere in the middle
of America
near michigan
as i recall
sitting near the road smoking some good
michigan green and watching the clouds
playing hide and seek in the afternoon sky

a guy in an old ford falcon station wagon
pulled over and asked where we are going
well i said wherever you are going is fine with us
he looked like bob dylan to me and i wondered if it was him

i looked in the back of the car and all kinds of tools
were strewn about
bob as i now called him was chatting us up
he was talking about the government
the weather, the rainforests, politics, protests
all the hippy crap i was so familiar with 'cause
i was a hippy at that moment
we discussed the things he spoke of
and he smiled at our like-minded agreements

well bob revealed he works for a local boat manufacturer
i was impressed
he told us he and some friends have been working on a boat
i say what kind of boat?
he says a big boat
big boat to me is anything bigger than a rowboat
i say cool
he said we are going to sail all over the world
and bring back to the people of America
the news of what is really happening
sounds like a good idea to me
he said he and his friends have donated all their time
to building this boat and
they are going to sail around the world
hmmmm i think this might be interesting

he said they have room for another couple
i look at wendy and then myself
we are a couple
hmmmm i think, room for one more couple
wendy said, yeah pete, we're a couple
he asked if we want to see the boat
sure i say, because we got no place in particular
to go at the moment
we pulled into a marina
we parked and follow bob down to the docking area
we were walking among all these little cabin cruisers
and i was thinking that maybe this isn't such a good idea
after all and then
all of sudden we stoppped in front of the "queen mary"
i look up at this boat in total surprise

wendy gasped and rolled another joint
bob said well what do you think?
want to check it out?
i said sure man and we walk onboard
i was expecting a marine guard to be there
to pipe us on because the boat was incredibly large
but no one but us was on board
we travelled through this incredible boat
three decks and three masts
it had diesel engines and was fitted for the high seas
the staterooms were incredible
all work was hand done
all equipment was complimentary from the
place  where bob worked
we spent a couple hours on the ship
bob said well think it over and come back later
like about nine tonight
we are having a meeting, pete
and i will put up you and wendy  to join the crew

i say all right man, sounds righteous
so bob dropped us off a few miles away from the boat
on a public beach
wendy rolled another joint and we settle down
for a tantric sexual encounter that far surpassed
any boat ride i ever took
needless to say we missed the deadline
we missed the boat!
and we missed becoming founder members
of a "greenpeace" type group
oh well marijuana is an evil thing, i have been told

Monday, July 11, 2005

numb and number narratives by tom nowak

in the narratives that follow, tom nowak
tells the story of pete holmes, also his
girlfriend wendy, as they fly down the
north california highways on his old black harley
with the wolf pack, an outlaw biker
gang in the seventies

the pack is deeply involved in macho
hearty-partying, meth, cocaine, acid, both
using and selling

to these guys beer is a soft drink,
marijuana is a mild sedative

they like the hardcore stuff in every area
of life, bare knuckle fisticuffs, wild biker chicks,
harleys, 9mm's, sawed-off shotguns, and they
like the kind of drugs that keep you up for

tom nowak depicts with much candor how
the wolf pack motorcycle club follows the
"code" of an anarchic tribal youth gang, busting heads
"when they have to," and "ruling their lands,"
their territories, like the warlords of prehistory

nowak is writing their epic, instead of men
on horseback, badasses on hawgs

to view the full numb and number narratives
sequence, click-on the july archives

to see another tom nowak sequence about young
biker gang kids coping with returning from war
in vietnam, see the may archives

numb and number, #2

by tom nowak

it was a hot summer day
twice as hot as the temperature read
wendy and i stood near a freeway on-ramp
in the hick town of modesto
we had just smoked a number wendy had rolled
carefully she put the stash bag into our knapsack
we were enjoying the sun and the buzz
a chp car drove by us
the driver gave us the look
the look was a modified version of the pissed off mother look
a few moments later the same chp car with the same driver returned
this time on the off-ramp
he was definitely looking

i became very paranoid
i thought of jail and immediately connected it with the weed
the car had made a u-turn and was headed back towards us
i kicked the knapsack into a storm gutter
the cop smiled at us as he drove by
i waved, wendy waved
as soon as he was on the freeway i went over to the drain opening
i got down
and proceeded to push through
unfortunately my shoulders were too wide
i couldn't get in
wendy tried next
she couldn't make it in either
we needed a rubber person to get the stash back
i yelled the best obscenities i could muster
as loud as i could

a youngish dude, definitely rubbermade
strode over from the opposite side of the ramp
i saw what you did he said
what's in the pack?
weed my man, i replied
humboldt bud
ahhh he sighed
well look man, i can get into that opening, rubber guy was saying
i'll get it for you if ya give me a bud
deal man i said
well in a flash the rubber boy had slid into the drain
i asked how he was doing
fine he said
i was reminded of the tunnel rats i had seen in a different reality
he pushed the pack up and out
he came next
he was covered with dust but not wet, due to the dry season
he smiled and dusted himself off
wendy had the stash out and was rolling like there was no tomorrow
i gave the dude three fat ones and he smiled a large full-faced smile
his day was made
i lit one up that wendy handed to me
i took a long deep drag
i handed it to the rubber guy
he toked a hit in i thought would kill him
in a few minutes we were sitting on the ground laughing
we smoked a couple more joints and the little rubber guy split
wendy and i sat and waited for a ride

after about twenty minutes a vw van stopped
a fringed jacketed normal looking kid opened the door
where you going? he said
l.a.  i answered
cool hop in
wendy sat in the back
i sat shotgun
the guy looked at me
i had long hair, a d.a. rough look
he smiled and said
i sell health food
ahhh i said
that term health food immediately made him cool
it was a counter-culture thing i was into at the time
i told wendy to roll one
she rolled a fatty and we all toked on it
the guy got really loaded
he said that it was great weed
i said humboldt
he nodded
hey he said want to go to a party?
sure i said, after all it is friday night

we pulled into north hollywood beach about 9 p.m.
we pulled up to an upper middle class house
he said to wait while he went in
he returned a minute later with a grateful dead girl
he introduced us all
she took my hand and said
don't be surprised with anything you see inside
and don't look too long at anyone
ok i said

we got into the place and started walking through rooms
we walked through the main room and it was filled with people
all sitting around talking
they looked at us then got back to their business
i saw military officers
a civilian judge 
and a ton of money
then i noticed the dope
bales of it in the next room
ahhh i said
the old overseas connection
we followed the dead chick upstairs
we make these she said
and she handed me a bong
she filled it up and lit it
i took a long toke
i coughed
i was sent into the next dimension
totally blasted
we talked and laughed and toked
time passed without our noticing
the dead girl said
wanna go make love?

i said sure
wendy and i had an open relationship
i could sleep with anyone
she couldn't sleep with anyone but me
i went off with the girl
we stepped into a room with a hot tub
she helped me remove my clothes
and then she stripped hers off
wow she said
what are all these scars?
a different life i said
we slid into the tub
we played and played and played
then we smoked and smoked
resting on the bed
i saw the girl look at the time
well she said the party is over
i looked surprised
she said time to go

she walked back to the room wendy was in
wendy hugged me and kissed me
i said to her, let's get going
we followed the girl outside
the same guy was there that brought us to the party
he said i'll give you a ride into the city
ok i said
we climbed into his vw bus
we travelled a while on highway one
i said, look pull over man, we are going to sleep on the beach
sure he said
he pulled over
we said our goodbyes and left
wendy, that was the strangest party i've ever been to
me too, pete, she said
we walked down to the beach and laid down on our sleeping bags
wendy rolled one and we smoked it up
we made mad love and fell asleep to the sound of surf breaking
one never knows what the next moment will bring
in california

Thursday, July 07, 2005

jack hooks us up

by tom nowak

we pulled into the drive and parked
the house was very rundown
the neighborhood was also rundown
so the house didn't look out of place
we walked up the creaky stairs
and came to a halt in front of an old door
i knocked a couple of times
we heard someone inside walking towards the door
the shade moved and a man peeked out
hey man i said
hey he said back
he opened the door and gave me a big hug
how are you doing, pete? he asked
i'm ok jack, this is wendy
wendy this is jack
come on in he said
jack was tall, thin and had very long hair
appropriate for that time
sit anywhere he said

the music stopped playing in the background
i'll be right back, jack said
he came back into the room and smiled
i have a timer set for one hour on the music
it stops every hour and i have to reset it
i do that because i lose track of time
i laughed, very cool i said
jack pointed to a plate on the table
help yourself, he said
the plate had a pile of cocaine on it
we just got this in yesterday
let me know how you feel about it
wendy drew us up several lines and offered the plate to jack
she always had a knack of knowing the rules
jack took the plate and inhaled the lines
i got it next
as the lines entered my nose
it was followed by a rather strong burning sensation
jack laughed at me
wendy, the old trooper she was, took the lines in with no problems
jack looked at her and said do more
she did and then the tears appeared at her eyes
we all laughed
that comes from our south american pipeline
i nodded

you remember bill west? he asked
yes i replied
he was a pilot in the air force, wasn't he?
jack said yes he was
now he works for john and me
cool i said
as i recall you came here to increase your weed trade, i said
yeah he said, we still do that
but the shipments from southeast asia
are going to come to an abrupt halt soon
the u.s. is pulling out of vietnam
and that means all our guys over there are coming home
we still have some shipments coming into hamilton and travis
but we don't know exactly when it will stop

it seems that when one wants to open an illicit trade
that can be supplied from a foreign country
it makes things easier if a war is happening
and you have troops there
the easiest troops to have help are draftees
because they really don't want to be there
and you need the help of the air force guys
the navy guys and the army guys
to make anything in vietnam work
you need the army to talk with local
black market guys
the air force to transport as well as the navy and army
and if you know the guys before they go over
it is easy to set up a machine
a well-oiled machine only needs one thing
to keep it running
and this machine had been running on auto since 1966
if the government had followed john's lead
money could have bought the whole country
john's shipments from vietnam leave tan son nhut air base
(because the customs service at tan son nhut is rampantly corrupt
heroin comes from laos on commercial planes, thank god for u.s. money)
empty military cargo planes are filled by the ground crews with
weed, hash and anything else that is sellable
the main supply is weed but the other drugs help with finances
as the shipments hit the u.s.
small airfields are used for the landing and discharge of the goods
hamilton is a great place because it is only a few hours away from san francisco
and it has no tower
no tower means that any plane with military markings can land
produce an order that is made by our contacts in the rear
and refuel and drop its load
the load is watched over by our guys here on the payroll
they load it into trucks courtesy of the u.s. government
and it is shipped to a central warehouse in san francisco

neat, pretty and very profitable
jack and john had now branched out
they were using ex-pilots from the war to fly down south
and run cocaine into the u.s. using the same field
hamilton was a key
the war was a key
the black market was a key
money was a key
jack poured more cocaine out onto the plate just as the music went off
an hour had passed

riding shotgun

by tom nowak

warm with a cool breeze
haight street was booming
wendy and i were to meet jack
in a small cafe on upper haight
the people on the sidewalks were all happy
they smoked weed drank wine and pushed, life was good
we got to the cafe and spotted jack
we went over to his table and said hello
jack asked if i was armed
i said of course
good he replied
i need to pick up some cola, pete, and i need an escort
want the job?
of course man, anytime
we walked to his van
we drove to the freeway on-ramp and headed south
redwood city was the destination

we drove through the dim-lit streets
and snorted coke as we drove
jack pulled up in front of a small stucco covered house
wendy stayed in the car as jack and i went inside
an armed mexican met us at the door
we said hello and he nodded
hey pablo, jack said and pablo said hello
hey, holmes, he said nodding to me
long time no see
yeah i said how goes the world?
is ok, holmes, is very good

well what do you have for me? said jack
six keys of coke, eight keys of weed, high quality
and 20,000 pills of pharm speed
for those of you that need to loose some weight
pablo laughed
not one of us in the group was more than 110 pounds
anything else? jack asked
well from san diego i got some nice purple blotter
and meth from who knows where
ok jack said, i'll take it all
pablo smiled
cash, check or credit card?
we all laughed
jack handed pablo a stack of hundreds
pablo counted out a bunch and handed the rest back
just like mc donalds you get change back he said

we sat and talked for a few moments and snorted the obligatory lines
then jack said thanks and off we went
with pablo's crew to load the shit in the van
we hopped in the van when it was done and wendy smiled at me
jack drove and i sat shotgun, literally
i had a double sawed-off sitting next to the seat
as we crept towards the freeway
a car pulled up next to us
a nice dark colored low rider
the window rolled down
hey,eesee, want to buy some real ones?
jack said no and increased his speed
the car kept up with us
i saw a gun come out of the car's window

i yelled for jack to bend forward
i fired both barrels into the front seat of the car
i don't know if i hit anyone but the car pulled to a stop and no one got out
we hit the freeway and headed back to the city
well, jack said, that was pretty interesting
usually they try and hit me more than once
but that's the price i pay for doing business down here
i laughed and said, yeah i guess
wendy took the shotgun i handed her and reloaded it
she handed it back and i said, no you keep it babe
let me drop this shit off, jack said
and we can go to a party, ok?

sure man, sounds good
yeah at the old place, you remember it? in noe valley
ahh yeah i remembered it all right
it had belonged to a star once
and it was wildly decorated
we dropped the dope off with jack's partner and did the obligatory lines and left
the party is for harris, jack said
harris, i said
yeah he just got home from england
he did three years for us over there
smuggling hash
i wondered what happened to him
jack laughed
jimmy and bill and their old ladies will be there
they just got in tonight
jimmy and bill were friends from home
jimmy had been a drill sergeant and was a wild man
bill had been a captain in army intelligence
he had been stationed in germany and married a german girl
she was the double of eva braun, i never missed a chance to tell her

before we went into the house jack reached into a leather bag he had
here man he said, as he handed me a package
i said what is it?
5,000 hits of purple pyramids
ahh i said, thanks
no problem said jack, thank you
we went inside and moved around
jack went into the bedroom with harris as soon as we got in
and snorted a bunch of coke
people went into and out of the bedroom all night
i talked with clark and jimmy
i showed clark the acid
wow, gimmie some he said
and i peeled off about fifty hits
jimmy took them from me and disappeared
i'm sure everyone would be tabbed before the night was over
clark asked me if he could have some
sure i said, here, and peeled off a hundred
he disappeared
wendy and i strolled the rooms looking at people
we said hello to those we knew and just smiled at those we didn't
the bedroom door opened as we passed and jack said to come in
wendy and i stepped in

jack was there and so was harris
fresh off the plane, fresh from a british jail
hello i said, and put my hand out
hey pete, he said, long time no see
yeah man, how was the jail over there?
well going to jail there is a lot like getting hung
i said what?
he said well at first it's a shock to your system
then you get used to hanging around
we all laughed
i was well taken care of, he said
i didn't give anyone up and i even got the hash sent
yes jack said, and it sold really well
we sat at a long table and jack poured heaps of coke out
we snorted and snorted
and you know what?
the radio in the room went off
an hour had gone by
i smiled and jack reset the radio
we had all gotten into the hourly return to silence

jack left and we talked with harris
wendy stretched out on the bed and purred
harris and i talked old times
we snorted coke all night
at about 4 a.m. we got up and walked through the rooms again
jack had left earlier
jimmy was tripping and having a good time with his old lady

clark, the evil bastard
had given jimmy's brother bill massive amounts of acid
bill was talking weird shit
he was philosophizing about who the hell knows what
jimmy came out and told bill to go sit in the bedroom with mrs bill
jimmy then yelled at clark for giving bill so much acid
well, clark said sheepishly
i thought he could handle it
well he can't, jimmy said
we sat in the kitchen and snorted coke
after about an hour bill came back into the room
he had shaved his moustache off and had makeup on
he also had all his wife's clothes on including nylons
his wife was frantic
bill carried on just talking normal bill stuff
i was having a hard time to keep from laughing, but clark burst out
ahahahahah he said, holy shit bill
bill got indignant and left the room
jimmy looked at clark and said, ok we gotta take him somewhere

we walked bill down the stairs
i guess jimmy and clark were gonna take him to crisis
as we walked away from the door a police car pulled over

shit i thought, armed and dangerous and carrying drugs
the cop nearest us rolled his window down
what the hell is going on?
well, jimmy started to say
and the cop caught a glimpse of bill
bill said, sergeant arrest these men in his best captain's voice
the cop looked at him and then at jimmy

get him off the streets, and they drove off
we all laughed except bill
we got bill into the car
and jimmy, clark and bill drove off
i took wendy's hand and we started the walk home
the radio upstairs stopped
the hour's silence had just happened again


by tom nowak

as things go
time never stands still for long periods
(which i think yogi berra once said)
and as jack had prophesied
the war was over
saigon fell and all the boys came home
one way or the other
southeast asia was no longer available to jack
as a cheap source of dope
luckily he and his partner had already branched out
cocaine was the big moneymaker
and jack had an incredible setup
wendy and i met jack at his new house
it was modest by the neighborhood's standards
but hey marin county was mostly ultra rich
or deathly poor, and only deathly poor in a few areas
we sat and listened to music and drank wine
and of course snorted cocaine

jack introduced me to a man who had been there when we arrived
his name was brown
he looked like a narc
but he wasn't

it seems jack had a friend, another dealer
this friend had been rolled into a carpet, beaten with baseball bats
and all his product and money confiscated
the local consortium of dealers was panicking

this man brown was the answer they had come up with
he was ex cia, ex special forces, ex human
after saigon fell, there were a lot of exes in need of employment
jack had hired them to find the guys who had ripped his friend off
they did
one guy was in prison and four were dead
the dead guys had not died peacefully
one had been fed tons of acid and when he peaked
he was taken out to the marshlands and a shotgun
stuck down his throat and the trigger pulled
the others were even more brutal
the guy in prison was willing to stay there forever
the outside was a death sentence for him
the guy, mr brown, smiled at me and offered me a position in his company
what about it holmes?
no thanks i replied
although the thought of doing it paraded across my low-functioning brain
for a moment

jack walked mr brown to the door
the radio went off, signaling the passing of another hour
jack reset the clock and came back in
we snorted some coke

jack asked if i had any more false i.d.'s available
i had set up him and his partner john
with passports, birth certificates and social security cards
all legal from a relative standpoint
(when you live outside the law
your perspective of what's legal changes)
sure i said, no problem
jack had invested along with his partner
in real estate
all under phony names
they had millions of dollars invested
in the green triangle of northern cal
best sinsemilla in the universe grew there
their future was set

jack asked me if i wanted to run the city end
for him
i was honored, and answered sure man
we snorted coke for the rest of the day
wendy and i rode back to the city
we had a modest apartment near a biker bar
we would go down occasionally and talk with the bikers
they belonged to a club called the wolf pack
they were badasses

i traded coke and weed to them for guns and speed
it was a happy relationship
also i had a harley and they were my insurance policy
days of drug induced euphoria turned to weeks
wendy and i were a happy pair
sunsets at the cliff house watching streaks of red and orange
were not uncommon
sitting lazily on the balcony
sipping wine and snorting coke as the sun
slid over the edge of the world
was mesmerizing

wendy and i got home early one night and had a phone machine message
it was one of jack's brothers
phil asked me to meet him at jack's house
i said sure, and wendy and i hit the road
on my old black harley
roaring across the bridge
listening to the pipes back off and the engine's thumping sound
just like a heartbeat, it was relaxing
all was right in the world

as we pulled into jack's driveway
i saw phil in the doorway
we got off the bike and walked into the house
hi phil i said, where's jack?
he pointed to the bedroom
wow i said, sleeping?
i didn't think jack ever slept
no said phil, and he walked towards the bedroom
wendy and i followed
jack lay dead on the floor
at first glance it seems he had about twenty bullet holes in him
blood was everywhere
wendy cried
phil cried
i cried
what the fuck happened? i asked
i dunno phil said, i came over and found him like this
all the stash and all his money he kept here is gone
it appears it was a drug related robbery
i asked if he had spoken to john yet
well phil said
it seems the same thing had happened at john's house
no way i said
yeah said phil, way
i shook my head
any clues? i asked
not a single one he said
we sat in the kitchen and snorted coke
after awhile i suggested we set the house on fire
to burn any evidence
phil agreed

just as we went outside the radio clicked off
jack was not able to reset it this time
the hours for him were over for good
we torched the house and jack was sent to his ancestors
phil and the rest of the group went back home
without jack no contacts were available
the money jack and his partner secreted into real estate
was gone forever
no one knew what names it was under
the dynasty had fallen
the radio had clicked off

growing up with uncle vinny

by tom nowak

uncle vinny laughed
and gave me a hug
the interior of the bar
we sat in was dim
neon lights advertising beer
from every which way cast
shadows on faces and walls
uncle vinny was the president
of the wolf pack motorcycle club
they had chapters all over the united states
canada and were exporting to europe
and australia
it was a major production
i had been a "friend" of the club for years
living just down the block from their bar
i had many financial dealings with them
i sold them dope, they gave me bike parts
they sold me guns, i gave them dope
money was hardly ever exchanged

after hanging out with the club
i had decided i wanted to become a full member
this was the first step
i would then do official hang around
duties for at least a year
so everyone could get to know me
then i would become an official prospect
i would get my bottom rocker
with the name on it of the city
state or country or the universal
nomad rocker
it was a long process that tested your
mettle and your capabilities

there was a quicker way in
felony bank robbery or murder
time would tell which path i was going to choose
right now i had to submit all my military and police
records so the club could check me out
it wouldn't take very long
the club had contacts everywhere
i liked that about them

it was thursday night
i was told to get my bike and go to the clubhouse
i walked down the street and up into my pad
wendy was sitting in the living room
rolling joints and listening to music
she was absolutely gorgeous
long sun streaked blonde hair
big blue eyes and so california
we had known each other for years
she was my girl and i was her man
she got up and kissed me
well she said how did it go, pete?
good, i gotta go to the clubhouse
it's in process
i will be back in a day or two
behave while i'm gone
she smiled
always she said
i kissed her good bye
and went down stairs
i rolled my bike out and started it

in a matter of minutes i was pulling in to dodge
right outside the clubhouse
i parked and walked towards the door
stay outside, i was told by a prospect
the meeting called "church" was just starting
they will maybe call you in after they discuss you
my opinion is, holmes, you been involved with us so much
you have minor if any problems getting in
thanks man i said
i lit a joint and offered it to him
he took it and toked a long deep one
we will have a great time bro he said
i said yeah and we waited for the next step

flying with wendy

by tom nowak

wendy ever radiant
smiling and basking in the sun
dark glasses contrasting
with the golden blonde hair
climbed on the back of the bike
we were headed for black lake
our state run, a trip
for a large group of bikers, chicks and friends
meeting at a central spot
this was a large one for
the wolf pack m/c
i was near the front of the pack
a group of bikes riding together

wendy was enjoying the ride
i could feel her close to me
like a shirt flapping in the breeze
her legs and hands squeezed me
and she held a lit joint to my mouth

at 80 mph it was hard to smoke
but it can be done
wendy had made a science out of
being able to smoke while we rode
i took a nice long toke
it filled me with spacey thoughts
nice and relaxing

a moment later a swizzle stick straw
filled with crank found its way
with wendy's help into my nose
and then a second one into the other side
i was high and happy
the speed and the weed combined for a perfect match
floating along the highway a mere six inches or less
from the surface was always a rush

when the pack of thirty bikes we were with roared by
everyone looked
kids looked and cheered
women looked and smiled because they secretly
wanted the freeedom we had
and the men all looked and wished they were us
the pack was following a long and winding road
up the mountain
we were like a single organism
flowing around each curve
the road captain and uncle vinny
were in the lead
the sun was starting to go down
and we approached the campgrounds

armed guards lifted the barricade
prospects were hustling about
going for whatever we asked
this was their turn to shine
they were our grateful servants and we loved them
we took care of our prospects
they would do anything and sometimes
they went far beyond the high standards we set
no one could mess with our prospects
if anyone did, the wrath of the club
fell like a hammer on them

i camped near uncle vinny and his wife mary lou
mary lou would take wendy off for a moment
and come back all wired, the girls like to do that
i was unstrapping my gear when a prospect came up and started helping
i smiled at him and he smiled back
well ken i said, how you doing?
great, pete, i am doing great
i asked if our gear had arrived on the run truck
yes it did he said, and he pointed to a pile near the tent

i smiled again, i pulled him close and gave him a container of crank
he took a couple good blasts
wheeee hah fire
we both laughed
a prospect would be up for the entire weekend
no sleeping just running
wendy came over and handed me a joint
i pulled on it and handed it to ken
he gratefully toked on it

i told him to come see me later and i would let him
get some sleep if he needed it
he thanked me and hurried off
uncle vinny laughed at me
you're going to spoil those boys
well i said i feel like a mother hen sometimes

he laughed again and wandered off
our state run had about a thousand
bikes and three or four thousand people
we would party all night and then the next day wander about
talking with old friends and making new ones
we would talk business and make plans for any future
business we were considering

wendy and i walked towards the tents that had memorabilia for sale
we were on the lookout for any tatooists
we both wanted to ink up
we stopped and she bought a scarf that had our logo on it
i bought a couple stickers for the machine
mess with the best, die like the rest
and support your local wolf pack or else
we finally came upon a tattoo guy
wendy and i looked at the guy's work
it was nice
we picked several out
i picked out a club war tattoo
snarling wolves rampant
wendy picked out a butterfly
we sat down and the tattoo guy put them on for us
an hour later we were all done and walking again
music was blaring from somewhere
willie and waylon singing
good-hearted woman over and over
i was getting tired and told wendy
we walked back to the tent to crash
after we smoked some more and made love
ahhh the joys of a weekend run

brother to the best

by tom nowak

six months passed
as a hang around i visited chapters of the club
up and down the coast
i helped with any and everything
i picked up broken down bikes
i escorted members any and everywhere
i fought like a prizefighter and then
i got my bottom rocker
i was a prospect for the wolf pack m/c
i was on my way
wendy was quite amused at everything

we had plenty of good weed and a new twist
it was like we could stay awake forever
and feel no ill effects
we made it, so we always had it for free
it was a rush to have your heart pound like a four stroke engine
and to ride on it was incredible, and oh yes the sex
was better then ever because you could go all night

as prospect i made sure all our functions
went off well and we all looked good for john q public
and our brother chapters would see how we took care of business

i was in more then ten gunfights during my prospect period
and there were severe casualties in each
i carried a gun everywhere i went, and wendy carried one for me too
i delivered packages all across the state
i was having a good time
i got my patch
i was a full-blown member in good standing
of the wolf pack

wendy sewed the patch on my vest
it looked great
and now i was brother to the best
every weekend we had a run somewhere
all the bikes from our chapter would meet the other chapters somewhere
and we would party, discuss business and see new members
we had lots of guests from overseas
except for their accents they acted the same as we did

the hang around prospect period
was a learning experience and molded each of the members
which was strange cause each one of us was different
i got a call one night
one of the brothers was in a bar and had everyone held at gunpoint
he was asking for me
he said he would only talk with me
i went to the bar and there he was in all his glory
hatchet harry
twelve known murders under his belt
i asked harry to have a drink with me
he agreed
i asked him to let the people go
he agreed
when we were alone he started to cry
it was the drugs and alcohol talking
but it was very dramatic
he put his gun away and we went to my house
wendy fed him and he became mild as a sated lion

he quieted down and asked if he could stay for awhile
i said as long as you need bro
he smiled and wendy showed him the spare room
harry went in and attempted to sleep
after about twenty minutes we heard a roar come form the room

harry had met our new pet ali
ali was a cayman
a small alligator
he wouldn't get more then six feet long
it cost us about $2.95 at the five and dime
ali had a plexliglass pool in the spare room
i had forgotten to tell harry
harry rushed out of the room
there is a gator in there
no bro, he's a cayman
ahh harry said, ok
harry i said, he won't hurt you but leave the light on
why harry asked, cause they are nocturnal hunters
noc what? harry said
they hunt when it gets dark
harry laughed, ok no dark in there tonight

but harry said i still want some protection
i rummaged around in the room and found a shot gun
here i said, would this do?
harry smiled took the gun and said thank you
not a peep was heard for the rest of the night
wendy and i cuddled for a while before we fell asleep
and i kissed her as she drifted off
and promised to meet her at the bench in dreamland

sort of like republicans

by tom nowak

as the activities of our club grew
so did the attention of law enforcement
many of the leadership was placed in jail
we bailed them out if possible
we also hired the best attorneys
drugs became a way to make money to cope
we needed cash all the time
at one point the club was just a bunch of drinking
fighting guys who smoked some weed, drank a lot
and occasionally did speed

that changed the last time uncle vinny did time
when he was in the last time he made friends with
some criminals on the inside
and brought a few with him when he got out
under their tutlege
we became a well-oiled crime machine
we loved it too
we were arrogant about our lifestyle
sort of like republicans

i remember a drug enforcement agent
being a pain in the ass, well they found the remains
of his car in a canyon all blown up
we had no idea who would do that sort of thing though
oh well, it was survival of the fittest
and he had done damage to many of our clique
so you get what you give

basically there was enough money to go around
the local law, the state law
and the feds all got their share
sort of like republicans
as long as money flowed so did the crime

we stayed beneath the umbrella of acting like citizens
so it made it easier to rule our lands
we didn't do meaningless crimes
we had enemies
other clubs wanting what we had
we also had ruthless members
wanting to rise to the top and
they could be quite dangerous
one never knew when one would be
welded into a fifty-five gallon drum
and sent to the beach

it was like a pyramid scheme
money from the bottom rose to the top
you got to keep some but you also gave some up
in return you got to operate in a district
hey, like republicans in congress
special interest groups abounded

we used a bike repair shop
to help launder our cash flow
it worked great for us
life was good
drugs, bikes and chicks as the saying goes
welcome to the land of kicks
wendy and i had a great time
smoking the best weed and
snorting the best crank
we rode the best, owned the best cars
had guns galore and
the absolute best of everything
we had all the toys
life was good in those reckless days
but as you know all things change

out on the asphalt

by tom nowak

one of our favorite pastimes
was drag racing motorcycles
we loved it
wendy and i would go to any races
we could and hang in the pits
when you hang in the pits
you meet very very interesting people
i learned every trick in the book
form legal to illegal to make a bike fly
down the quarter mile

one weekend we were at a track
in the middle of the desert
and for two days we were on the tarmac
by saturday night i was feeling quite ill
i had a fever, chills and was light-headed
at first i thought it was the dope i was taking
but it wasn't, it was heat stroke
wendy and uncle vinny made me lie down
in a club member's van to rest

wendy stayed with me all night
she lifted my head to pour fluids down me
she put cold compresses on my head
she kept me covered cause i felt i was freezing

and she rolled many joints for me
she also lifted my head to blow crank up my nose
wendy was my girl, she nursed me back to health
and by sunday afternoon i was already to
tackle high-speed motor sports
once again


by tom nowak

in order to really understand
one must be aware why
they happen
not to be put off by them
but to understand they happen
for a reason
yes some times the reason
is not always clear
but there is a reason
trust me

bikers have categories
for everything
especially women
women, to bikers, fall into
several categories

one is wife
your old lady, the mrs
affectionately called by her hubbie
not to be confused with a momma
which we will get to

the next category is
a girlfriend may exist
in a cooperative manner
with a wife
if they are friends
if not there is constant friction
and here is why there is friction
wives are not fucked after marriage
they produce several offspring
then just clean, cook and run errands
although they are as powerful on the
social ladder as their old man
most wives hate this sexual
and sometimes seek relief
with another man
that is a bad news item for the other man
if they are caught
they may wind up welded in a fifty-five
gallon drum if you know what i mean
the reasoning for this tormenting
of the wife has been explained
to me by a psychologist friend
seems the wife represents
the virgin mary
and who in their right mind
is gonna fuck the old lady
of god huh?

sweeties are the third classification
they are the charming upper class
girls who went to college perhaps
doctors or lawyers to be
they like running with wolves
they are the girls that a biker can fall in love with
being in love creates incredible energy
so if you constantly fall in love
you are high and energetic all the time
and yes it has nothing to do with ingestion
of drugs
it's a natural high

are hated by girl friends and wives alike
many allegiances are formed
with the girlfriend and wife of a member
who has a sweetie
to "trick bag" the sweetie into a hell
beyond comparison
the whole idea is to make her paranoid, spook her good
the sweetie sucks the lifeblood out
of a relationship and she may either
be dumped, passed-on or upped
to a girlfriend status

i knew one member who had a wife
six girlfriends, and a new sweetie at least
once a week
he was a very busy man

women perform various tasks
they hold and carry dope
they hold and carry weapons
they back men up in fights

and they cause scenes whenever
the mood hits them
they may cause a scene with
a citizen, like showing their tits
their hootchie or teasing flirtatiously
they may also whack out
and pull a piece and start gunning
people down at any moment
most women are extremely loyal
to their old man

girlfriends or wives might never
be left behind, it all depends
on the members' desires
wendy was always my girl and i never
found a desire to use any of the club

we always had a few hanging around
to give sexual favors to members
to any member that wanted or demanded it
or used to entice guys into hanging around
or to use as blackmail

mommas is a holdover term
from the 50's relating to a club chick
who would perform multiple intercourses
at anytime it was deemed necessary
they are far and few in this day in age
although some bush league clubs cling to the old-fashioned ways
similar to the actions of republicans
on holiday

as a prospect i luckily never had
to participate in the ugliest girl
you had a certain amount of time
to find an ugly duckling bring her to the club
and perform various sexual events on and with her
disgusting i know, but hey traditions
are sometimes hard to change
and boys will be boys

bear tiny gorilla fatman bones crazy man buffalo

by tom nowak

wendy and i were at a movie
my bike was parked in front
of the theater
we would park in plain sight
as a sign we were close by
you had to either wait near the bike
or leave a message and know
we would soon either be there
in person or pick the message up
we would also check the bike visually
every half hour to see if anyone
was about
wendy came back and said
two prospects were waiting
i said ok lets go
we left the theater and headed
to the bike

i had no idea what was going on
the senior prospect said
vinny sent us, we got problems
whats up man? i said
well, slick, the prospect fred
answered (in every bike club
there were various names used for members
bear, tiny, gorilla, fat man
bones, wild man, crazy man, buffalo
flathead, etc, my nickname
happened to be slick, 'cause i was slick)
we are at war, fred said

war? i repeated, with whom?
the peckerwoods m/c, he answered
ok, more shall be revealed eh?
we drove to the clubhouse
we went below ground level
to a room we had that was soundproof and bugproof
vinny was sitting at the table
he didn't look happy
hey slick, he said
peckerwoods fucked up
i listened closely

they killed a prospect, a hang around
and too tall is in the hospital
he has three bullet wounds to his head
they set the boys up and tried to whack all three
i have no idea why
ok i said what are we going to do?
well vinny said
i was hoping you could help plan
a pay back trip
ok i said

we need to have a rep from every chapter here
fast as we can
by morning if possible
i want to hit those motherfuckers
so hard they will never recover

they were, up until now, just another club
we partied with them, we fought with them
and we had friends in their ranks
now they were just enemies and must be punished
vinny and i talked for a couple hours about plans
in less then three hours members from the different chapters
were rolling in
it was about 4 a.m.

the plan boiled down to this
the leadership of the peckerwoods
would all be whacked
preferably by prospects with a member present
the prospects would then immediately be given their colors
the membership cadre at large would be harassed and beaten
and if they fought well they would be given a chance to prospect for us
if they surrendered their colors without a fight
everything they owned would be taken
tv's, houses, cars, bikes, wives, girlfriends, etc, everything
we would hit the leaders as soon as possible, hopefully by 8 a.m.
that gave us two hours to make their world a piece of shit

prospect fred and a hang around and myself
would do harold the local president
fred would do it
i would watch
and the hang around
would stand guard with a weapon in case anything
went goofy
the same thing would happen all over the state tonight
and the country tomorrow
the papers would go crazy with the magnitude
but who gave a shit
we would make headline news and the peckerwoods
would cease to exist as a club

at 630 a.m. we were in front of harold's house
the hang around stood outside with the car
fred and i had keys
we had long ago had club girls fuck the guy and take impressions
of his keys, just in case we wanted to fuck with him later
we used the keys it was a lot easier that way
we crept into his bedroom
his old lady was snoring
harold was turned away from us
i tapped him
he looked up at us
fred stuck the gun in his mouth and put a finger to his lips
i said you know why this is happening
harold started to get up and i hit him with a bat
he fell back into the bed
fred pulled the trigger once and the silenced weapon
popped and harold went to rest with his relatives
wherever they resided in the afterlife
harold's old lady woke up and started to scream
fred pumped a round into her noggin and it was all over

we ransacked the house
now here's the cool part
we left the gun
it had the fingerprints of one of the peckerwoods on it
we had gotten them by showing the jerk the weapon
and he looked at it and sighted it and said bang
leaving a perfect set of prints on it
it was the vice president's problem now

as we looked hurriedly around
we found money
a lot of it
we also found dope
not a lot but enough
we took it all
we went downstairs to the hang around
i told fred to give the hang around his prospect vest
the hang around glowed
i took my vest with the full patch on it
and i handed it to fred
i gave him a big hug and kissed him
gangster style
he smiled and glowed like a king
he was now a full member

i told the prospect to go into harold's garage
put all his bike shit in his truck and stash it
it was now ours
he grinned and said no problem, pete

we got back to the clubhouse and had to wait to go in
there must have been 150 members there
it had been a good evening
the peckerwoods m/c was no longer in existence
18 presidents gone, 15 vp's gone, all the treasurers
and most of the club's secretaries gone
the leadership was now defunct
the membership at large would be dealt with during the week
they would join us, if worthy, or perish
we were now the largest club in the state
ahh it's good to be king

she was 15 when i met her

by tom nowak

wendy was 15 the first time
we met
i was an old 16
when i went away
she wrote me once
and i never returned the letter
when i came home
we ran into each other
by accident
i was in a bar near home

she walked in like
every step was choreographed
she walked past the table where i was sitting
with two other girls
we were smoking dope
wendy came over and said hello
i immediately recognized her
she sat near me and we talked
as the music played
her hair was long
straight and california blonde
her eyes were so soft yet piercing
at the same time

she didn't care for the two girls
i was with
i could tell
as the night wore on
she walked around the bar but
would always return to me
the girls i had there were getting
goofy from the weed
wendy came back and sat on my lap
facing me
she kissed me deeply and long
i still remember those kisses

she asked me to take her
away from the bar on a ride somewhere
i said ok and we walked out to my bike

i kicked it over and it roared to life
she hopped on behind me
she wrapped herself around me
we were as one on the bike
we went
down highway one
feeling the changes in temperature
as we rode along the ocean
i put my arm back and squeezed
wendy's leg
she closed her legs against my body
as we drove along

we went to the old battleship momunment
and looked out across the ocean
the full moon
shone off the crashing
i pulled up into the park
we drove to the old japanese cemetery

the cemetery had been abandoned
and the land was now a golf course
but several large trees stood watch
a small wall was still intact
in places
and plenty of headstones stood
mutely as testimonies to those
who had passed
we sat and smoked a couple joints
we said few words
but each word had much meaning

she reached over and kissed me
we became like explorers
searching for new and exciting
treasures within and on each other
we made love over and over
wendy and i were one from that
night on

the sunny day she got shot

by tom nowak

i woke up early
wendy was cooking breakfast
and rolling joints
music crept out of the twin speakers
and floated through the house
wendy kissed me and stuck
a lit joint in my mouth
i laughed and took a long deep hit
i jumped into the shower and
sat with wendy to eat breakfast
it was sunday
a lazy sunny sunday
we had no plans and we
were going to enjoy ourselves
wendy put the dishes in the sink
and said let's go for a walk

i said sure baby
the door slammed as we went out
the air was filled with wonder
as we walked out of the house
the shot took me by surprise
first one then another
bullet ripped into the wall
i hit the deck
and pulled wendy down with me

i didn't notice she was bleeding
she had been hit and i hadn't
i saw nothing
whoever was doing this was good
i searched the opposite side of the street
i saw the glint of sun off a scope

i didn't have a weapon on me
i was careless
wendy lay there and said nothing
i told her i was going to move back into the hall
and she looked up at me and smiled
and then lost consciousness
i picked up a piece
and ran back outside
crouching in the style of the khe sanh shuffle
the glint was gone
the assassins had fled

i looked wendy over
i saw the small hole the bullet had
made at the point of entry
neat and precise
i looked at the exit hole
it was bleeding profusely
i called an ambulance
and then called uncle vinny
he didn't answer his phone

i started calling down the phone tree
i got one prospect
he said that we had suffered
a retaliatory raid by the peckerwoods holdouts
i asked if anyone was dead
he said two members, and uncle vinny
was in critical condition
the ambulance arrived
they started an i.v.and put wendy
in the back

i went inside grabbed my colors
and jumped on my bike
wendy was already in the operating room
by the time i reached the hospital
they asked what type blood i had
o positive i said
good they said, she needs some
i sat nervously in the waiting room
filling the telephone with quarters
after i had donated my pint

the attack had been coordinated
across the bay
two members dead, three wounded
uncle vinny in critical condition
wendy hanging on by a thread
as vice president i called the first number
on the phone tree
and the message was relayed to all
involved members, prospects, hang arounds
ex members and friends
there was to be a meeting at the club house
at noon
be there, was the message

i made sure there was an armed guard
with uncle vinny and wendy
the other casualties
had already been released from the hospital

i sat at the large table
in the members-only room
well i said
any ideas or names?
no one had any info yet
there was a knock at the door
a prospect came in and whispered something
in my ear

i said thanks and he left
well there were six teams
only four connected
vinny, the two dead members
and my old lady
the other two ran afoul

a member's kid had seen one team
he came into the house and told
his dad about the guys with guns across the street
that member had shot one and held the other prisoner
he was now singing like a proverbial canary

i was guaranteed he would give up all the details before he died
the last assassination group had
received heavy gunfire from the member they had
been sent to murder
they gave up and split
within an hour i had the names
and the addresses of everyone involved
it was ex peckerwoods and some

within an hour and half
i had teams in the field with instructions
to capture or terminate
the word came from the hospital
vinny was out of critical condition
i rode back to the hospital wendy was at
she was still in surgery
i sat pacing in the waiting room
i was pissed
i was angry with myself
i had been careless
just because it was safe an hour ago
doesn't make it safe now
well i would never make that mistake again
the doctor came into the room
he walked towards me
he looked at me and said
she made it
but she will need a lot of time to recuperate
there should be no permanent physical damage
she will be in a room in intensive care
go see her but only spend
a few minutes with her now
she keeps asking for you
i walked into the room and saw her
she smiled weakly
i bent down and kissed her
she had tears in her eyes
she tried to talk but she nodded out
i kissed her and went out to the prospect i had waiting with me
i want armed guards around the clock
he nodded

i rode from the hospital wendy was in
to where the boss
uncle vinny was
i walked into his room
the boss was looking miserable
they got us eh?
yeah i said but it's under control
damage was not as bad as they had intended
how are you doing?
i'll live he said, but i'll be sore
i got five slugs in me
can you imagine that?
five 9mm's, the doc said
i guess 9mm aint shit, eh bro?
we laughed and the boss went to sleep
the guards were in position
the day's deeds were done

now i went to see our prisoner
i looked at the bloody face
he flinched when i grabbed him
i said look man you gave it up
so i'm going to let you go

everyone looked shocked
he tried to smile
oh, i said but i already put the word out
you snitched your bros off
i'm sure they will take good care of you
get him home
i suspect he will have visitors waiting
they dragged him out and took him home to his place
i was told shots rang out before the boys left
payback is a bitch
i went back to the hospital to sit with wendy
i felt tired and fell asleep in a chair
i lay my head on the bed and held her hand
life sure is strange i thought, and drifted off to sleep

biker thanksgiving

by tom nowak

the first thanksgiving dinner
i had as a club friend
was held at uncle vinny's house
i brought wendy
and a lot of weed
i was sitting with the guys
shooting the shit while
we were listening to some
tapes of country music
uncle vinny had made
the ladies were flitting about
in the kitchen
fussing with the dinner
and staying out of the way
occasionally a cackle or a laugh
would rise from the kitchen

now one must understand
the biker and biker-lady
the married old ladies
were denied certain basic
forms of intimacy with their husbands
they were stressed beyond belief at times
to do impossible things
no show of affection
was ever allowed
in public between males and their mates
sweeties and sometimes girlfriends
were allowed to act differently
they could show and receive affection
according to situations

the major premise of not showing affection
in public
was to keep the object of affection
protected from dastardly deeds

outside club or even inside club forces
could use his affections
to get to a member

one might see this aloofness
as a buffer to keep
a person's friends from
being hurt, thereby causing
physical or emotional harm
to be inflicted
on a member

once a friend of mine
a club member
who was untouchable
to any pain or any feelings
of discomfort
similar to an ancient samurai
found his only close friend
a friend from childhood i might add
dead from an overdose
of heroin
he was found on the biker's front steps
strange thing was
the dead guy didn't do heroin

so back to the story
the meal was completely cooked and ready
vinny's old lady said dinner is served
one guy incurred the berating
of the others, he went to fill his plate
the rest of the group sat and
waited to be served

orders were barked at the women
this was a macho scene and face had to be saved
wendy was unsure of what to do
a friend of ours, a woman we have
known since day one, came to wendy's aid
come on hun, let's get his food she said and
she took wendy away and they returned
with a plate for me
it was heaped with all the stuff i love
mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans
and turkey, plus dessert, pumpkin pie and whipped cream
i was in seventh heaven
the other old ladies brought plates to their respective mates
and then retired to the kitchen
they were summoned occasionally to fetch salt or pepper
out of the blue the members got a call

and all had to leave
i was left alone with all the women
i found it amusing
i heard the chatter going on in the kitchen
one of the old ladies was sitting, still eating
in the room with wendy and me
i said to her
elaine that was pretty nice of you
to serve the guys food like that
she laughed hysterically

the other wives came to see what the humor was
elaine said to the assembled group of
women that i thought it was cool to see the wives
getting stuff for their husbands
to eat
they all laughed
i wasn't sure what the joke was

elaine said, well i'll confess
i did it
but i never want to
because i get no thanks
for anything
so to kind of even the score
--because at this time no one would dare say anything
was wrong
that is, no one would say in public
what was going on
and lose face --

i don't understand, i say

--well she said
we pile their plates with
everything they hate
and they have to eat it!
or look bad
i laughed like hell
payback certainly is a bitch
and her name is elaine

anarchs of the highway

by tom nowak

when i started riding bikes
you didn't need a license
you didn't need a helmet
you needed balls
my grandmother bless her soul
asked me when i spoke about it
what are you gonna buy, jr?
an indian or a harley?
i laughed
what do you know about bikes?
she smiled
well i used to get rides out to the ocean
on the back of both kinds, but i like indians best
i laughed
when was that? i asked
1915, she answered

so i guess you might say bikes
were in my blood
the first ride i remember
was with a favorite uncle
a marlon brando type
fresh home from a long war
itching to ride
he was an ex-paratrooper
and rode like a madman
which i suspect he was

after the first ride
i was hooked permanently
i hung with the bad boys
the people who had little
book learning but had lots of smarts
that went beyond the typical
they could fix anything
with some wire
and some bolts
they made parts they didn't have
and they shared their knowledge
with anyone who could hang with them
they drank a lot
they smoked reefer
they raised hell
they had honor
they had pride
their word or handshake was as bonding
as any written contract
they were the last real americans
they had incredible ideals and
they believed in codes of conduct
that went beyond the normal citizen's
they loved this country
even as they were being taken
to jail for minor infractions

they still believed in the system
they worked under it
it never really worked in their favor
sociologists call the biker life a counter-culture
we called it a band of brothers
a society of warriors existing and thriving
beside the dominant straight culture

i remember taking my motor apart
and hauling it into the kitchen
i put the engine on the table
disassembled it
and did a valve job
i took the heads off
threw them into the oven
heated them up
pounded the bastards out
put the new guides in
put the springs back on and
re-assembled the whole thing in about four hours
i took a head to a machine shop
to have an engineer mic it up
he laughed
he said the clearances were perfect
and the porting and polishing
was on the mark
what machine shop did this? he asked
i smiled
i did it i said
he shook his head in disbelief
come on where'd you get it done?
i swear man i did it on the kitchen table
he laughed and said, well keep up the good work

keeping the bike up and ready
took little time if you did it right the first time
you only needed
basic maintenance to keep it running
running like a stolen horse
most often points would need to be reset
and anyone who had a matchbook could do it
the perfect gap was the thickness of the matchbook cover
go figure

i loved the bikes
i loved the feeling at 5 a.m. when prospects
pulled up out front of my place
they all wanted to ride with me
i have no idea why
we would stop at a gas station
before we got on the freeway
i had filled my tank up the night before
i remember what being a prospect was all about
depending on gas tank size
we could be rolling without stop
for at least a couple of hours or
longer if the machines were running well

sometimes we could ride for hours
stopping only for a piss stop
i remember being in the saddle for 450
miles before we stopped except for refueling
450 miles and then maybe we would pull over
smoke a joint or drink some brandy
and just bullshit

when 80 bikes pulled up outside
a restaurant many heads looked
but when we left several hundred dollars in tips
many more heads looked
and we were always
welcome to come back

the feeling of riding in a pack
was incredible
it reverted to the basic herd instinct
the pack
was an entity of its own
you gave up your individuality
to the pack
it must be a long forgotten
memory of our mounted
hunter past
when the road slipped
underneath you at 70mph
and the air temperature
changed as you rode
you melted into one with the bike and the pack
you felt safe
you felt invulnerable
you felt the pack's strength
you felt the earth
you were one with it all
when you finally stopped
your body tingled
with the vibration of the engine
your ears still roared with the sound
of the wind rushing by
and the noise of the engines
the sound of straight pipes
like thunder reverberating
off the road
off each other
off the walls
off the bodies of cars
you passed

passengers in the car would look
all except for the kids
they would smile and
wave and look all big-eyed
as we passed them
they knew the score
they knew
who and what we were
we were what they wanted to be
in their heart of hearts
we were free and they knew it

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