She has a retro glamour. Your What do you think of her?
is deaf to my response, and Shall we go and have a look?
rhetorical, so I know that I have competition on my hands.
To be fair, you say that you won’t purchase unless I ride pillion,
as a teenager I was warned against rough biker boys who were
as dangerous as their machines, so have never even sat on a bike.
So, you construct a mock-up with stool, chair, sofa arm; instruct me in
the protocol of mounting. I sit astride. Would you feel comfortable on that?
I nod, forgetting that this cycle simulator is not moving at 80 mph.
You joke about joining gentlemen of a certain age, previously
tutted at for trying to recapture their youth on thoroughbred bikes
they don’t know how to handle. Now, you buy T shirts with slogans
complicit in the lark of old bikers returning to the saddle.
And just as I followed you onto planes to daredevil destinations
friends pursed their lips at, you get me, at 60, on the back of this bike,
and from the off, what was meant to be your affair becomes a ménage,
as I watch the weekly weather report for the next fine days,
and our holidays hijacked, we hop on the bike and race out of lock down.