Out for a spin.
The freedom door is tantalisingly near as she lurches out of the shadows, placing herself directly between me and sweet escape.
“Where are you going?”
‘Well, I’m wearing a hollowed-out cow and Hermann Goring’s boots for Christ-sake… where do think I’m going?’
“Out for a spin” I state with a little too much self-belief, noticing her eyebrow shoot skyward.
“Out, for a spin?” I rephrase, composing the answer as if it were a polite request.
“Oh!” she throws me a 3D look, the disapproval, disdain and dismay combo.
It’s the single syllable standoff; first to talk loses.
She folds her arms and synchronicity twists her lips accordingly.
I squirm, watching the distance between me and the door increase.
From behind those flashing eyes she projects visions directly into my brain. ‘The undecorated bedroom, the uncut lawn, the un-laid patio…’
‘Witch, witch, witch…’ I begin to pray, desperate to break her fetid spell… I only know one prayer. ‘Thank you God for my good food… now please may I get down?’ Not the greatest, but apparently it’s a favourite of the Archbishop of Canterbury,
The plea remains unanswered and the images keep coming; ‘the shed roof repair, the dodgy flush in the bathroom…’ God has forsaken me; overpowered, I crumble; I can vaguely sense my mouth speaking, waffling in backpedal’ease.
“Well, it’s a great day… err, I just thought..?” “Um…I’ve not been out on her for weeks..?” “Err…the engine needs a run or it’ll seize up..?” “Um…Is there anything you need while I’m… err…”
“How long?” She puts me out of my misery.
“Not too long, a couple of times round the block… that’s all” ‘Ho ho, couple of times round the eastern block of Europe, baby!
“How long?” she demands again, curtly and with 3D intensification.
“An hour, or two… that’s all” ‘after all, how will I know? I was expecting this and purposely took a hammer to my timepiece this morning.
She glances down at her watch; luckily, it didn’t break the face. ‘…An official time check! She’s put the bloody timer on me, every second counts from here on in’.
“Is Dad going out on his bike… again?” ‘Oh no, reinforcements… enter the little witch, and how did she know to chip with in the again word?’
Big witch looks supportively at little witch, giving her a slow nod of approval. ‘All part of the female apprenticeship. I feel weak’.
“Yeah, just for a little while, darling” I grin, forcibly at the youngster. Little witch folds her arms and narrows her eyes just like big witch. ‘Look at the floor…’ I remind myself ‘don’t make eye contact.’
“You said that you’d take us swimming” ‘Did I?' I don’t recall, but there’s no way that I can question it, she’s likely to have the conversation on tape.
“I will take you to the Pool sweetheart!” ‘…and hold your little head under’.
“When?” Big witch jumps in, the question as effective as a chop to the neck.
“Today?” Demands little witch, earning another encouraging nod from her mentor.
“Tomorrow!” I reply ‘never comes… he he!’
I’m edging towards the door, the soft leather boots doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk with me inside.
“You’re at work tomorrow, I’m at school!” ‘If I could just separate the witches, offer the little one some money…’
“Next weekend then; I promise”
The phone rings and dispels the hex. It’s God, he’s finally answering the prayer. Big witch hurries off just in case it’s a call from coven HQ. ‘Please be your sister… please be your sister – I’m desperately willing a full three hour marathon telelogue upon her.
I’m out of the door and walking (in so far as the leather jeans will allow) towards the garage; it’s up and over with the door, and there she is…. my faithful, my beloved.
“An hour then?” The voice behind me, ‘Oh God, she’s back, she’s followed me outside’. Luckily she spoke before I kissed the bike.
“Who was that on the phone darling?” ‘Damn, a two second phone call, probably another poor telemarketer that she killed dead with one word.’
“So you’ll be back at three?” There’s no sidestepping the question.
“Yup!” ‘Well, three or four, maybe five…when I get hungry’
Producing earplugs from my pocket, I roll the yellow foam between thumb and forefinger, compressing it into narrow cylinders.
‘Did you ever wonder why motorcyclists wear earplugs?’
I pop one in each ear canal and as the plugs expand, the noise leaving her mouth decreases in direct proportion to the decompression of the foam.
I smile and nod reverently as I watch her mouth move but don’t even attempt to decipher the “mumpity mump” noises that I hear. ‘Now If I can just slip the helmet on and drop the darkened visor, I’ll be immune from mind control as well.’
I busy myself with the padlock and my heart soars unfettered as the heavy chain falls away. I want to sing! ‘keep calm, remain impassive’ I can feel my wife’s eyes burning into my back, so much for the spine protector built in to the heavy jacket.
Resisting the urge to skip, I mournfully wheel the motorcycle from the garage to the drive like it’s a chore. The bike is resplendent in the sunshine and I catch sight of my wife trying to scratch its paintwork with her vicious eyes. I’m sure that I’d find her more congenial towards me smuggling a mistress out of the bedroom wardrobe.
I rest the bike on its stand while I put my gloves and helmet on. As I swing my leg over the seat, I notice my young son toddle up to join my wife and daughter. He beams proudly at me, and then bike. I can see the fantastic machine reflected in his shiny eyes.
I pull away smoothly, taking a quick glance over my shoulder. The girls, little and large are looking vindictively at the bike; to them it represents a vile money pit, squandering the funds that should rightfully be invested into hairdos and sun-bed holidays. The boy is awestruck, the pulsating machine fills him with joy and he squeezes his mum’s hand tightly. I rev the engine loudly and excitement overwhelms him; he performs a little jig. ‘I know the dance… oh, how I know that dance!’
Encased within the helmet is a solitary universe, my world; everything outside is alien. Even the bike beneath me has disappeared, fused into my own being. I weave my way to the main road using a tiny proportion of the caged power that is willing me to release it. I pull onto the big tarmac and submit to the yearning. The rev counter needle snaps around and numbers fly off the dial, a small wrist action rolls back the throttle enough to strip twenty years away, a few gears and another twist later, the mortgage, the electricity bill and overdraft are quickly jettisoned. Okay, like my wife they are all still back there, waiting impatiently for me to return; but until that time I gorge upon each delicious moment.
Published on writebuzz®:
> A day in my life