Three days before the solstice, I chase my father down a nameless pissant north Florida road, on my mother’s black 883. He’s riding the red FXR that started all this, the bike I learned on, always wanting to run out from under me. It is the red chariot of Helios and back then I was Phaeton clutching the reins.

It is not warm but cool out, there are the unnatural pines, un-harvested rows of them, lining the fast periphery. There is the bend in the road, over the slow creek, where the air is still and unsafe, the guard rail scarred and black from years of impact, conflict, there at the point of apex where shit breaks loose.

I joked once that the reason this works is that there’s no way for us to talk. On the four-lane back home I get up to his four o’clock and listen to the pipes, let them obliterate all sound. They become a song at that point. It sounds like a chorus.

Ten miles out I can smell the ocean, and wish I had taken the windshield off so that cold air could hit me, full on the chest, and that I could let go and embrace it.