We sat in the garden after he showed me the motorcycle he recently bought. He told me that he rode his motorcycle during the summer months but now it was autumn. He said the word “autumn” like it was a problem or a reason to stop doing things. I guess the rain makes it more difficult to ride but then I wondered if he was just more of a seasonal rider. Maybe it was like how I stopped drawing after I graduated from art school but every other weekend or so I take out my supplies and try to make something that looks really good. The people at school had a word for that: “Sunday-painters”. It meant that you treated art like a hobby rather than a way of life.
I wish art felt the same way as it did when I was a little kid. When I would try to draw perfect green trees with my stubby, dirty, little crayons and the leaves ended up with streaks of orangey-red and brown in it. I used to try and scratch out the wrong colors with my fingernails. The picture would be smudged and ruined as far as I was concerned. My mom would see my drawings and say, “Oh, look its fall-time!” as if all my mistakes made everything so much better.
His leather jacket squeaks when he moves, even just to brush some hair out of his eyes. I wonder how he gets around the city if he’s not riding his motorcycle anymore.
“Do you wear your motorcycle jacket on the bus?” I ask, because I wonder if that deteriorates your street-cred. He doesn’t answer me so I ask him if he’s a “Sunday-rider”. He looks irritated as he finally reveals: “When I get enough money together for some winter tires, I’ll keep on riding”.
We sit quietly for a moment. Everything in the garden looks soggy and rotten; it reminds me that I should clean out the vegetable crisper in my fridge. I know that deep down there are a lot of squash and root vegetables growing healthily beneath the ground, but you wouldn’t know it by just looking at it. Then I notice that he has begun talking again. He is telling me a story from the I-need-to-find-myself trip to Europe he took several years ago. He begins the story with a shrug but I can’t help but remember that was the first time we broke up.