The Gray Pilgrim

Operating on instinct rather than intellect, I pull up to the gas pump
  in need of coffee as much as my car needs fuel.
A casualty of a late night and an early morning, I linger in the misty
  twilight of dreams and reality, as I saunter toward the entrance of
    the twenty-four hour convenience store.
Parked on the side, I notice an old biker readying his motorcycle for
  the day’s travel.

I recognize him immediately.

A hometown boy, born and bred on Long Island, matured in
  Brooklyn and now he sleeps in New Jersey.
He is a sojourner who has crisscrossed the country countless times
  chronicling and cataloging the people, places and things he’s
    encountered from:
      New York to San Francisco, Daytona to Sturgis,
        Chicago to New Orleans, Boston to Los Angeles,
            the big cities, the small towns and all the villages, hamlets and
              whistle-stops found in-between.
To some he is an eccentric renegade filled with purposeless
  wanderlust.
As for myself and others he is a maverick, a rebel, a hero who
  celebrates his freedom.

He is all American and he is ageless.

Spry for his years, rough hewn with a lean wiry frame, his face taut
  like rough weathered leather beneath a long gray beard, creased
    with the lines of many miles and many years.
He’s dressed in a tan deerskin duster with fringes and faded blue
  jeans.
On his head he wears a stars and stripes bandanna to keep his
  bushy, silver white hair in place.

His bike is an expression of himself.

Dusty but not dirty from the road, the engine, a big V-Twin, sits
  mounted on a mono-shock soft tail frame with a fat bob gas tank
    and teardrop fenders, painted electric blue and highlighted with red
      and white pin stripes.
A cool rigid look, fine tuned by a low slung saddle seat with a
  passenger pad and an old worn rucksack tied to the small sissy bar.
The pull back handle bars and a wide glide front end that rolls on
  chromed spoke wheels gives the impression of constant motion.
It has retro-classic style for a long easy ride, standing still;
   it beckons for the open road.

It is a machine to epitomize the power and prestige of the American Dream.

He mounts the bike, starts it up and roars toward the open road.
A resounding thunder shatters the silence of the new morning.
The fringes of his jacket give the appearance of wings,
  an eagle gliding on the wind.

Walt Whitman rides a Harley Davidson.

Submited by

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 17:53

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