Monday, June 18, 2012

The Ride To Nowhere... Something Just For Her

It was one of those rare occasions when I was absolutely minding my own business. At the mid-point of 57-years-old, the sole advantage to minding one’s own business is that others mistake your caution for innate wisdom; when in truth it is simple emotional skepticism acting like a seat belt. The woman had pulled up a bar stool directly in front of mine; bracketed my knees with her own; and kissed me squarely on the mouth. She was in her late forties, nicely built and carefully maintained, with dark hair framing a face  that held an incredible smile.

“You probably weren’t expecting that,” she said right into my lips.

I felt the tips of my fingers trace their way to her waist, and I pulled her towards me, turning the kiss which had begun as an opening sentence into a paragraph. Touching my lips with her fingers, she said, “The way you look at me makes me feel like I am the only woman in the world.” I smiled that little boyish half-grin which women find endearing, but which actually says, “You’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

Then she lifted up her shirt, put my hands on her breasts, and said, “How long have you been thinking about these?”

My first response was to say, “Since I was 5-years-old,” but the absolute truth never gets anyone anywhere. The boyish half-grin simply switched from one side to the other, acquiring something of a roguish quality in transit. I never took my eyes off hers, but whispered, “How long have you been thinking about my hands on them?”

It had been a while since I had gotten lost in woman’s face. While I had seen this face hundreds of times, seeing it through a 90-second kiss brought the depth of her eyes, the perfection of her skin, and the fullness of her mouth into a different perspective. I had seen this mouth express  guileless smiles and launch lighter-than-air laughter at dozens of parties... And now it was open, pressing against mine, as her tongue ran along the inside of my lips.

Her nipples had gone from zero to rock hard in sixty seconds, and still I couldn’t take my eyes from her face.

“I want you...” she said.

The kiss continued.

“To do something...”

Her lips moved over to my neck

“For me.”

I cradled her face in my hand, then moved her hair behind her ear. A single diamond caught the low light in the room.

“I want you to write something for me... Something that is like nothing else you’ve ever written for a woman before.”

There is nothing like touching a woman with a sensitive part of you that isn’t normally used for touching, like the back of your fingers. I traced the curve of her face to that smile, which then kissed my hand.  And I knew that part of me was etching every second of this moment onto the surface of my mind; so I’d get it right when I wrote about it later; so I’d remember it perfectly, when I was old and nothing this good was likely to occur to me ever again. 

Nothing like this had happened to me for a while.

The tide was going out on a relationship that I thought would last forever, leaving me on the beach with my pants around my ankles, again. A woman, who I swore would be the last I’d ever hold in my arms, whose kisses would be the last I’d ever savor, whose eyes would be the last heaven to overwhelm me, was now certain that her feelings for me were in tatters, and that there was nothing I could do to restore the magnificent paper dragon that I’d once made come alive in her heart. This was the nicest way anyone ever told me that they had heard all of my stories, all of my jokes, all of my plans, all of my fears, all of my beliefs, and all of my opinions — and now preferred to think of me in the past tense.

Just as this wave of abysmal reality was about to sweep over me, here was another woman, with a personality like the mad careening bubbles in champagne, jumping me out of the clear blue. The electric contact of her lips reading mine at point blank range left me as speechless as it did breathless — despite an accompanying sense that I was planting my feet in the soft hope of romantic quicksand. Nothing satisfies the aching hunger in a man’s soul like the taste of a woman’s lips. I had quite forgotten how long it had been since I had fed, and now someone was feeding on me. The desire for a woman in my life is one of the most compelling drives to surface in the stories I write, the sunsets I describe, the thunderstorms that color my adventures, and the tides that carry my plots out to sea. Yet as strong as this drive is, it is nothing compared to the soul-elevating sensation I derive from having a woman desire me. Out of two marriages and a dozen affairs, it has happened exactly once, that a woman ran me down like a cheetah, and left me with no alternative but a gasping surrender.

And now, just when I was at my lowest point, it appeared to be happening again.

We agreed to meet at a hotel across a nearby state line, far from the chance glance of unwanted eyes, for a couple of hours of mad passion and the kind of laughter that never escapes the pillows. And so it was that I found myself on a red BMW K75, headed for an assignation, the anticipation of which had my hands sweating through my light summer gloves and my breath heating up the inside of my Nolan helmet. There was never a question in my mind that this was trouble... Just as there was never a question in my mind that I needed this like I needed oxygen... Or that a red K75 was one of the original food groups.

It was almost 95 miles to the hotel, a nondescript business property alongside the New Jersey Turnpike. I vowed to think this through — on the ride there — holding my speed to a rational 65 miles-per-hour, as I tried to get my hands around every implication.

“Nothing will ever be the same with this woman again,” I thought. “We’ll never be able to stand in the same room without this very tangible, though invisible connection, between us.” The thought of a connection with her at all set my pulse racing, and I swerved around the car ahead of me, zigging first right than zagging left, as I shot into the middle lane, then returned to my position with the concrete divider about a foot from my left knee. I wondered if that connection would become a gentle smile traded as an invitation to repeat what was about to happen that afternoon, whenever we met by chance or design, or if it would simply be a footnote to the regret of lost hours. And then I looked down to see the speedo needle heading east of the century mark, and realized I couldn’t get to that hotel fast enough.

The whine of the K75 rose and fell as I passed through the toll booths of two states, causing me to wonder what the toll would be for this day’s madness. But the tab was already mounting as there are no free open-mouthed kisses between friends. I arrived at the hotel, claimed my reservation, and sat by the window in the room. The red motorcycle stood like a beacon in the parking lot, a beacon marked by a license plate that bore my last name. This building was getting a facelift, and its facade was covered by scaffolding. How many times do men and women cover their lives with facades of kisses that so poorly hide the imperfections underneath? The room was made of concrete walls, from which pictures of Paris had been hung. I have been to Paris many times. Nowhere in that city is a concrete hotel with pictures of the New Jersey Turnpike on the wall. It was the standard box of a room, in the average box of a chain hotel, devoid of any romance other than that carried in by the guests.

I could hardly wait for her to arrive.

I watched as her car circled the lot, and took a spot next to the bike. My cell phone rang, and I gave her the room number, watching her glance up at the windows on the third floor as she stepped out of the car. I’d filled a couple of glasses with ice and topped them off with vodka and cranberry juice, the original lubricant of passion. There was the usual entertainment center options, and I switched on the stereo, choosing “classic rock” as the background music  to drown out the hammering on the scaffold.

She was beautiful in the soft light of a fading afternoon. We had a couple of drinks before we found each others willingness, concealed in a fleeting tinge of guilt. But the passion was unmistakable, and she was as gentle and considerate as she was creative. All I could think of were the “Meatloaf” lyrics that said, “I used her body like a bandage... She used my body like a wound.” Three hours evaporated in each others arms. Our final kisses were exchanged in the muted atmosphere of the music of “Donavon,” in the 1966 rock classic, “Season of The Witch.” And the room had become eerily quiet.

Something had changed.

That something was the utter abandonment of the hammering that had poured in from the scaffold outside. That’s because the ten guys who were out there had given up for the day, preferring to watch the show in our room through the open curtains.

They clapped as she got into her car and as I mounted the motorcycle.

And the story ends there. There was no tangible, though invisible, connection between us. There was no exchange of smiles. And when I asked her about it, puzzled, confused, and a bit hurt, her response was as if I had mentioned a rumor that was distasteful to her.

There are times when I think I must have imagined half of my life. But I promised I’d write her something that I have never written for any other woman. This blog is it.

My late friend Cretin had a great philosophical outlook when it came to these things. He once said, "Somewhere, that woman has stepped into a bar, a restaurant, an airport, or an office, and a bunch of guys are wondering what she looks like naked. You know. Isn't that cool."

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012
All rights reserved...


Cy said...

I am in awe of how you can irrevocably mix the distinctive whine of a K-bike on the prowl with the sultry sensuality of an afternoon tryst.

I had almost the same thing happen to me while I was tending bar in a Cleveland gin joint many years ago. A beautiful, busty brunette in a clingy black cocktail dress came up to me at the end of the bar. She placed her hand on top of mine and started to trace tiny circles across my fingertips. She asked me how I was doing that evening while running her other hand thru my hair. I was all aglow, highly aroused and anticipating some action that evening when she started popping her fingers into my mouth, slowly letting me suck on her exquisite digits as if time had stood still. She then leaned in real close to my face and whispered into my ear words that I'll never forget to this day.

"you're out of toilet paper in the ladies room"

Steve Williams said...

I didn't realize you took requests. Now I'm wondering if you're writing sudden fiction or recalling a distant heaven. Either way it was hard not to read.

I hope your subject offers her own comments here.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Shango Rider said...

HOT Damn!
I normally wake up after the fifth paragraph.
Rarely do I make it all the way the 15th.
I've never been able to stay asleep all the way to the end...


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Cy:

I met a guy last week who told me how he used to wear a dress when hitting bars in Cleveland, to get the most out of a toilet paper trick he pulled on bartenders.

There is less awe than fact in my life, I am afraid. I am a slow-moving target for circumstances. Fortunately for me, the women re all pretty, even if I seldom get to keep them.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Williams:

I take all kinds of requests... Generally from the softest voices in skirts. This is a matter of preference (primarily mine). I regret that this episode actually happened, and I came away singed. But what the hell? There is a lot of truth in Cretin's assessment.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Shango:

You vicious prick! "Fess up. I had you good with this one.

I am firing on three cylinders at the moment. Will call you tomorrow. How's your back?

Fondest regards,

Conchscooter said...

When this happens to me as eventually it must, I shall grab with both hands for as long as it lasts. Then I will blame you for all the consequences from the moment of madness. I hope you feel a twinge of remorse.

redlegsrides said...

Beautifully written fiction, I say this because there wasn't mention of pain-filled knees and hips while riding your trusty steed. Or are you stating what pre-ride rituals are required to enable said riding?

Just kidding Jack, if it was anyone else I'd call BS but you Sir probably could and did have it happen to you.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conscooter:

When this happens to you, invest in pork belly futures as wild pigs will fly out of your ass. But if you want to blame me for the outcome, be my guest.

My problem isn't masking an impression, but making it stick. One does what one can. The truth is that I am finished with romance. I have gotten more than my fair share of it, but I am done now. Which is good, because I think it is done with me.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chrlie6 (Dom):

It is always a pleasure to hear from you. You were incredibly astute in your assessment that I didn't bitch once about my knees in that story. But then again, it wasn't that far and my report didn't mention that I did stop to get off the bike at leas once en route.

I wanted to convey the mad passion that I felt that day, and to show the process by which I make classic mistakes. However, I regard the motorcycle as the most hedonistic vehicle that ever existed... Because it overwhelms a person with the sensation that they are free-falling through life.

I can assure you that every part of that story is true, and actually a bit of understatement. Somewhere in the world, a very pretty middle-aged woman may read this blog episode, and she is going to laugh, knowing the extent of the truth. I hope she remembers me fondly. I suspect she never thinks of me, but that's okay too.

Fondest regards,

Dan Mckenzie said...

I consider this one of the best examples of your poetry. Nicely done. Jersey Shakespeare.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack,
I am speechless! It is very difficult to follow a post like that one with some kind of comment...but I gotta say something. That one really hit home. The description of this woman is very close to someone very special to me.

And the line, "Nothing satisfies the aching hunger in a man’s soul like the taste of a woman’s lips." accurately describes the way I feel with her.

I think I have a better chance of something lasting and special with my angel, though.

Jersey Shakespeare indeed!

Amazingly well done!


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dan:

What a nice thing to say. This blog episode was a bit of an experiment and it borrows its style from my new book. The book will be out next month... And if you liked the Cigar Book, the bike book will thrill you. One chapter leads into the next and it is a detail by detail story of how I have been seduced — by motorcycles. It is my prose at its best.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Smiley:

As a writer, I am committed to telling the kind of stories that a reader can relate to... The kind of material that draws a reader in... The sort of details that a reader has experienced at some point in their own life. I'm delighted the guys who have responded so far feel the same way.

Every guy can relate to the woman in this story at least once. I have had three lovers in my life who branded my soul with their touch. In each case, our separation was as smooth as getting thrown from a high speed train.

And yet, someone has to survive these things intact. I'm glad it is likely to be you. Of course, it could be me too... I'm still young and have the survival instincts of a roach. And some hot babe recently claimed my silver hair was attractive.

Fondest regards,

mtlcowgirl said...

Wait! Don't tell me. Don't tell me. Then you woke up. Am I right?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear MTL Cowgirl:

When I write a story that says I rode 500 miles, got off the bike, and danced for an hour with a woman in a saloon... Then you know I'm lying.

When I write a story that takes place in a motel, chances are pretty good I'm leaving stuff out.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack
It's me, and that was a beautiful story of our special time together. I'll never forget it. You were wonderful and so understanding of my needs. Everything was perfect, right up to and beyond the point where you discovered my erection. What can I say? I like to dress up once in a while and I like for my lover to have a certain amount of juck in tbe trunk!

Just kidding, I didn't realize your gift of being romantic writer as well as funny guy. Keep up the great stories,
BTW, to your other gentle readers: if you like Jack's moto-journalism, you'd better get in line for his next book. I was one of the lucky ones to get a copy of his Cigar book and I can't wait for his next one to be available.
Curt (Positive Thinker)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Curt:

I got a real laugh out of this comment... And thanks for you kind, and encouraging, review of my cigar book. The motorcycle book is likely to be my signature work. It represents two major turning points in my life, but is filled with a lot of colorful memories — that I wish I could relive tomorrow.

If you scan past episodes of this blog, you will find a story in which a close friend of mine (Cretin) had a liaison with a woman, who was, in fact, a guy. I regret he is no longer around to read my analysis of that night.

The Moto book is going to be offered by subscription first... In less than a month. Pleasewatch for the announcement.

Anonymous said...

You Fucking Prick,

The word on the street was that you are a vindictive prick who always finds a way to shove a stick in someone's eye through a book or a story on this fucking blog.

Well we know that's true. My husband printed out a copy of this story, handed it to me at breakfast, and asked, "Do you think this is true? Who could he be talking about?"

The only thing I could think to say was, "Who'd seduce a loser like him?" At least you had the sense not to mention names, tattoos, or hair color. You are such a fucking asshole. I hope they scrape your fat, fucking, loser ass off the highway sometime soon.

Why can't you ever just leave well enough alone? Most guys go through life getting laid. You just get fucked. Do you think there's a reason for that?

Fuck You

Anonymous said...

So, what do I need to do to Subscribe? Perhaps I'm missing something, as I only read the Droid version of your blog. In any case, please put me on the list for the new one. Also, are your "Twisted Road" T-shirt still available?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Curt:

When you get a chance, send me your name, address and telephone number to my email jack.riepe™, with the note: "Advance Moto Book" in the subject line. The first 1,000 books will be offered this way, with a commemorative inscription on the flyleaf. They will be hand-numbered and worth a buck when I die, which could be soon, according to my fan mail.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous:

It is always a pleasure to hear from an accomplished trombone player. I'm crushed to learn that there will be no more solo performances. Things could have been worse though... They could have been painting the inside of that room, and just thrown a tarp over us.

Fondest regards,

PS: I guess you decided not to shave my initials into your pubic hair. If you did, however, could you send me a photo?

Ken said...

Dear Mr. Jersey Shakespeare,
I kind of, almost, sorta had the same thing happen to me (sans kiss) many years ago.
As she ran her pointer fingernail up the inside of my thigh she whispered in my ear, "Lap dance $25.00"
I could barely breath, let alone speak, but since I only had $17.00 I just shook my head (insert snicker here...) 'no'.

WooleyBugger said...

I remember that day, damn near fell off the scaffold. The two of you were done before I finished my cigarette though. Heh.

Don't know why I don't get over here more often for the reads.

Anonymous said...

Great always. Congtrats!It is rare in this life to meet the person that makes you smile...while you are together and then long afterward. Looks like you found one of those. I am another one of the few that met their soulmate and life partner. Although we aren't together now, we talk frequently and wish we were.

Airhead (BMW, of course)

Radar said...

Remind me never to have a tantalizing affair with kiss and tell! Excellent story, though I wonder if your seat caused you to have a woody the entire trip?

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ken:

When confronted with a red hot lap dancer, who is insisting on $25 when only $17 is available, you hsve two choices.

1) Give her the $17 and your watch.
2) Go out to the bike, pull off the GPS and sell it at the bar. Then ride the pony until that money is gone, reserving the original $17 for gas.

Glad to be of help on this one.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Wooley Bugger:

I have n idea why you don't drop by more often either. Then again, I have to apologize to you. I just started reading your #1 blog with gusto, and liked it so much I added it to my "Destinations" list. I hope you don't mind. You're in there with some pretty desperate company.

By the way, your remark was the second funniest thing I read this week.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous BMW AirHead:

I am delighted to read that you and a "soulmate" are again in communication. There is nothing like hearing a female voice that restores your soul from time to time. I have "soul-mated" four times in my life. In each case, I thought it was forever. It is the last one that will set me wandering across the rest of my life laced with regret forever, as far as I ever regret anything.

But, I have had a thing for a woman I met in high school over 40 years ago. She and I chat from time to time. Do you know what she really likes about me? That I am 400 miles away and not likely to knock on her door anytime soon. If I lived across the street, she'd enter the witness protection program.

Actually, I met my last lover in the Witness Protection Program... She was testifying against me in a case exposing an editorial quality control scam.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Radar:

If you read all of the comments here, you will note I claimed that "somewhere a woman is reading this and laughing over it."

The only time I related an event in a story, romantic or otherwise, is when I think there is some sort of lesson for the reading. In many cases, men are reading my stuff and saying, "There for the grace of God go I." And for my women readers, many are saying, "That son of a bitch got exactly what he deserved."

I got fried by a woman so thoroughly in the early '90's that I thought I was going to lose my mind. (I did for a while.) I had no way to express the maddening frustration that crushed my brain like a sledgehammer. And then I thought of two separate incidents that had occurred during that two-year affair. The circumstances were absolutely ludicrous... But true. And so two chapters appeared in the cigar book: "The Smoking Dog of Schiller's Corners" and when "Smoke Gets In Your Lies."

The details are accurate... But obscured to the point that unless you were a witness to the event, you'd never be able to figure it out. I always wondered if that woman ever got a copy of the book and read it. My former secretary did, and remarked, "You got her ass good... And she deserved it."

However, a former lover I respect and admire once said to me, "Do you know how a woman gives herself absolution? By brushing her teeth."

Guys don't stand a chance. Ever.

Good luck with your former soulmate. There is no expiration date on romance.

Thanks for reading Twisted Roads.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...

I remember this day perfectly. Bravo, my dear.

And thanks for the story.



Jack Riepe said...

Dear Her:

I said, "Somewhere in the world, if a certain woman is readng this story, then she is laughing." If this is you, then I am really surprised that you are reading my stuff. But I am not surprised that you're laughing. I called that shot right. I would have been inclined to dismiss this as a prank by one of my readers, except you signed it "Her."

That has a startling ring of creative finesse... The kind of finesse that will keep me sniffing the wind forever, looking for a lost scent that I am half convinced I must have inagined in the first place.

Now, as you are aware, I never call any woman I have written to, or for, by her name. If this is you, what was the Latin word the two said to each other when they needed to convey an emotion, without being understood by those around them?

Only one person in the world would understand that. And if you know that word, then you know the hidden riddle of this story, and a critical aspect of how I write. And you should know that making an exceptionally pretty woman smile is always my primary objectve, whenever I sit at a keyboard.

With some surprise tonight...
Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Mr. Riepe,

I'm glad to see you're still in fine form even though I haven't been able to keep tabs on you during my latest busy session. I was busy where the hills are alive with the sound of music and there was once smoke on the water and fire in the sky. Hope life hasn't shit on you in the mean time.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Thou:

It really is you... I knew it the second I saw the comment signed "Her."

It really is you... I cannot believe you're reading my nonsense, willingly (apparently). The best is yet to come, however. I seem to have a new command of the material, and a greater awareness of the purpose of the language.

The reluctant acceptance of this story by the readers who commented is very gratifying. None can willingly believe the details. And none has determined the methodology used to write the piece, other than implied abject falsehood.

Yet, any man who has ever written to a women, and gotten a response, will acknowledge that your comment is genuine, both in its implications and that it came from a woman. Therefore, the essence of the story is true... Which we both know it is.

Who would believe that a four letter word, allegedly expressed in Latin, could evoke such powerful memories (at least for me)? And I tricked you into saying it. And in my mind, I saw your lips form the word. And it was worth it. (I would tell you that that was the whole point of this exercise, but you would know better.)

Well, the leper cannot change his spots... But we know that.

(The expression is "The leopard cannot change his spots." But the above statement was uttered by a dear relative of mine from Jersey City, since deceased. I love her version best.)

If you liked the manner and style in which I handled this piece, the motorcycle book is going to make you proud. It is like nothing I have ever written before, with one chapter leading into the next. It is the corruption and purification of a rider/writer, who always nails himself to his own crosses... But written for the smile, as so many have have come to expect from me.

"Thou, Mariko-san."


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Brady:

It is always a pleasure to find a note from you in my "in" box. I find myself agreeing with Thomas Payne in that "These are the times that try mens souls..." I never anticipated I'd be sick for nearly three months, and virtually unable to sit up and write.

Still, I found myself reading stupid platitudes on FaceBook, and saying, "Fuck this... I will beat this with sheer willpower." While my frequency on this blog faltered, I am trying to make up for lost time.

I look forward reading about your rides, and your triumphs over adversity in the garage or kitchen... Wherever you pull a bike apart.

You'll be riding long before me.

Fondest regards,