Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance…

When I was fifteen I met my first love. We were together for almost seven years and basically grew up together. It felt that way to me. We talked in the “we” and never doubted we would be married and grow old together rocking on a front porch somewhere with little blonde baby boys running around us until then. We spent all of our time together, summers at the shore, traveled the country many times over together, danced side by side in many states, attended college, saw the world, worked together and were like two halves of one person for the duration. Somewhere in a park in Honolulu there stands a tree with our initials carved in the trunk that I have visited a couple times. Well… life throws you curve balls and we were very young…  too young to understand HOW young and how meaningless some things are in the grande scheme. Regardless there are things that I learned from him that I still carry with me and always will. He set the bar for me… a bar that has remained untouched to this day some thirty years later….

One of the things that he turned me on to was motorcycles. Being very small all my life (I stand an enrapturing 4’11”) I was a pretty fearful kid in some ways. I climbed trees and got lost in the woods alone for hours on my own, but I was never a daredevil by any stretch. However I trusted him more than anyone… more than my own family members… and so when he pulled up with a motorcycle one day I never thought twice about hopping on the back and wrapping my arms around him. He taught me to lean with the bike, balance my weight on the back and to lose my fear. It was easy and safe because I was with him, and he made me fall in love with bikes. And then he gave me the book Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance and it all made sense.

And so now, whenever I get on the back of a motorcycle like I did today, I think of him and what he was to me then and now, and the lessons I learned from and with him. And today as i was speeding down the beautiful bright green technicolor roads of South Florida with my hands spread wide in a mini Titanic moment, face turned upward to the sun and wind completely enjoying the moment… I opened my eyes and glanced over and there staring at me speeding along with tongue lapping behind his head was a dog hanging out the window of the car next to me. And something that never connected until today connected for me at that moment. I got it. Another peel of the onion. I know exactly how Cody and all the dogs of the world feel with the wind on their faces hanging out the car windows of the world. Nothing at all to do but enjoy in the safety of their loved ones cars paying attention to nothing other than the sun, the wind, the smell of freshly cut grass, the blue sky, the flowers…. the wind.

I think it was Jerry Garcia who said that taking LSD was like a dog hanging it’s head out the car window at 50mph. That sounds about right. It is awesome and enlightening and trippy.

I am craving a dog in my life right now. Some days it gets really unbearable for me. I have no kids, no husband, no family of my own… and the void Cody left is incredibly huge right now. Maybe it is the birthday coming up next weekend… geezus 44 already? Where has my life gone….? Maybe it is just that i miss my dog and mourn the emptiness of my life. I need something to come home to… something that is always happy to see me… something that wants me to be the center of it’s universe….

I am getting close. I am not looking for a replacement. There could never be such a thing. I am looking for rescue. To rescue and to be rescued.  I see a very large pawed chocolate labrador in my future…

Cody would like that. Cody loved everything…


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on September 3, 2012.

2 Responses to “Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance…”

  1. I love ya Michelle! Happy birthday and hope that large pawed chocolate lab finds his/her way into your life soon.

    Y’all would be good for each other!


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