When we think of a solo performance, we picture a singer or a musician, standing alone in the center of the stage. It is a triumphant moment. Loss has taught me a lesson about being alone. Solo has a different meaning now for me.
I long for the days of my partnership with my husband as Harley motorcycle riders. Like dance partners, we moved side by side in the wind. Swinging in a graceful arc to rest front tire by front tire, we parked at gas pumps and, at the end of a day of riding, in front of our motel rooms at night. Loss of my riding mate to pancreatic cancer made me a solo rider.
On sunny Sundays like today, I think about how much I miss being a woman motorcycle rider. Dwayne called days like this “T-shirt riding weather”. I would leave my leather jacket and chaps in the saddlebags and ride head-first into the wind, with the smell of the leafy trees and earthy crops in the fields flying by me. For just a minute, I imagine buying another Harley and setting off on a road adventure. I think of the motorcycle stories I could tell like the one Nikki Misurelli shares about her solo world tour on a motorcycle:
The dream usually ends when I remember the time I tried to get back on a Harley by going to a dealer and taking a test ride. The way the motorcycle felt so familiar beneath me. The easy way I moved through the mechanics of shifting and balancing. But then I remember how it felt to be racing down a highway on my own, solo, and then realizing there was no echo from a motor on my right. Dwayne no longer soars by my side. I’m truly on my own in the center of the stage. A solo performer.