In the shadow of the factory on the hill above town Jamie Fahrney sat in saddle of a rumbling Harley looking down on the city lights and their glow on the scattered low clouds. Sometimes he loved the place with its noise and excitements; other times, like tonight, he couldn’t understand why humans wanted to get up against each other. Jamie fired a Camel, a straight - the basic ‘screw you’ to the health conscious – and contemplated … poker. He worked a construction job, for appearances sake, but his real vocation was poker in any of its variants and particularly Texas Hold ’em. Social gambling was not what Jamie played nor how he played, the stakes high and friendships rare. There are places these games are sanctioned by those in authority; here the play was strictly … unauthorized – and frequently dangerous. People are known to get excited over amounts of money sufficient for a good dinner out, these stakes involved amounts that would purchase very nice cars or even houses. Temper and cheating were continual risks. Some things are just fun because they are what they are – because looking over the edge of the earth is exhilarating.
Bikes are personal, incredibly personal. There are those who choose sophistication and subtlety in a motorcycle and that would not be what a Harley is. This is a motorcycle that is about brute power that sounds and feels like just what it is. A Harley shakes; you could call it vibration if it pleases you but the low frequency of the V-twin really is a shake. The white grey cigarette smoke swirled in the air around the loping scooter, Jamie was wasting gas for no more reason than the pleasure of the sound, the whomp whoomp whoompa whoomp signature of a Harley Davidson. Riding a cruiser bike without a windscreen or helmet conditions the rider to keep his mouth shut while aboard so Jamie’s smile was quite subtle. If poker was his vocation, riding was his life. If he was in love, if he was winning at poker, if he was fighting for his life, riding made it better or for that while, fixed it. This bike was a thing of beauty; Harley had sculpted an idealization of a motorcycle and if it was dirty it was being ridden, otherwise it gleamed. This wasn’t a vanity thing, a see what I’ve got statement; it was such an extension of him that it was no different than taking showers to be clean. Some people are validated by possessions, for some their possession is as much an expression of them as the art of poetry is of its author.
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