Sunday, March 16, 2008


A couple of times a year The Husband comes home from work with a nice diary or bottles of wine, usually around Christmas time and The New Year. Getting a baseball cap can make him smile for up to one week and once I had to help him unhook the corners of his lips from his ears when he was given two free black Google T-Shirts .

So maybe now you can picture what he looked like when my dad gave him this.

It had been garaged and sitting unused for 9 years in my parents house and so The Husband had to leave it with a mechanic for a month. He cleaned the fuel lines, carburetter and oil filter. He gave it new jets, new battery, new tyres and checked the engine for seals. And noooooo, they didn't find any swimming around in there.

So now it's here. A Harley Davidson Motorbike. Outside this house. MAKING A VERY LOUD NOISE. And there's a strange glazed look on The Husbands face that I've never ever seen before.

Did you know that the first time I ever spoke to The Husband he was on a motorbike?


It was 1982 and there I was, 16 years of age, standing on the side of the street after school with my books in my hands. I was talking with this boy who I didn't know very well but a friend had said he wanted to go out with me. We were chatting away when all of a sudden this guy pulls up beside us on a black Honda Four Four motorbike. I thought he was going to ask for directions but he flicked up his visor with a gloved hand, looked me straight in the eye, and said "Want to go for a spin?" That's what he said, all cool, like he was James Dean or someone.

"Want to go for a spin?"

I looked at the little bit of his face that I could see. Then I recognised him and my heart skipped a beat. It was that guy who used to work weekends in the Petrol Station pumping gas on my road. The guy I used to look at out of the corner of my eye and see him looking at me out of the corner of his. I never knew he had a motorbike. I liked bikes. My Dad used to race bikes, I loved the smell of them, the petrol, the oil, the noise, the pits, AND DON'T FORGET ALL THAT LEATHER.

I glanced at the boy beside me and back to the guy on the bike, and before I knew what had happened I'd done the very thing that my Mother had brought me up not to do; I went off with a stranger. Yep. Why? Because everyone knows only dead salmon swim with the stream. Right? Who taught me that I wonder?

So I handed my books to the boy, hopped on the back of the motorbike and off I went on the ride of my life.

Little did I know that that small teeny tiny decision to jump onto the back of his bike would uncurl itself out and reveal so many things to me, you know, things like I'd be pregnant for forty months in total, we'd have 5 house moves in 3 countries , one holiday home and other interesting things like the fact that I considered buying him a kite as I hear they're good for excessive wind.

So we shot off down the road and I wrapped my arms around his leather jacket and hung on for dear life. 10 minutes later he deposited me back to where the boy was still standing holding my school books. I got off the bike and my knees were wobbling and I was breathless, so breathless I couldn't even say goodbye. I just watched him as he rode off into the sunset. I took my school books from the boy, said goodbye and walked home, smiling all the way.

It was a couple of days later that I met him again. He was on his bike and this time I knew exactly who he was.

But that's another story for another time on another day


sonrie said...

terrific story. have you been reading 'confession of a pioneer woman?' she has been telling the story of how she met her husband. i can't tell my story yet; it's still in progress.

jothemama said...

GREAT STORY Ellen! I'm breathless for the rest!

You bad little school girl :) What are your teenage daughters going to do to you with this!

Shellie said...

What a great story! It would be a great addition to Soap Opera Sunday. see to link it in.
I imagine he is so loving that bike!

Kateastrophe said...

I love it! And, I can't wait to hear all your other soap operas!!

Gretchen said...

That was a fricking amazing start to a story. Looking forward to reading the rest!