Teven. Tuesday, 12.10pm.
The motorbike purrs and drops into a corner. It loves it. So do I. I’m riding to Ballina.
To see a psychologist. (Don’t ask.)
Sure, I could have chosen a psychologist somewhere closer to my shack under the cliffs. There’s plenty in Lismore, or I could have simply talked to anyone on the street in Nimbin, but for some reason I picked a Ballina psychologist. (She is insightful, though. On my first visit she deduced I have a Big Prawn Obsession.)
It’s a good ride on the little Honda. So far, I have avoided all the potholes. Duck and dodge, weave and wish. It’s like a video game except you don’t get three lives.
Dipping through the heavenly hills of Teven, a tune hums in my head:
It’s just a perfect day. Drink sangria in the park.
Of course, I wouldn’t drink – I’m riding – and certainly wouldn’t admit to it, but I aspire to a perfect day: wind in my face and worries left shrinking in the rearview. The bike and me.
And then later, when it gets dark, we go home.
It’s good to have aspirations. You may aspire to be a poet or parent, artist or activist.
You may aspire to write a perfect song (like Lou Reed), build the most graceful chook shed, or help those that suffer the ravages of modern warfare.
These aspirations are good for the community, the country, and the planet. Aspiration is the uniquely human quality that has created art, technology, democracy, science, motorbikes and social justice.
Aspiration, usually, is noble.
I aspire to leaving my grandchildren a world that is habitable, with pretty valleys around every corner.
Diving into a left-hander, my left knee automatically moves outwards – a muscle memory of youthful days when I would get my knee down into a corner. (These days I can’t get my knee down – even without the motorbike.) In a dance with gravity, the little Honda pulls through the corner and lifts itself up. I hang on.
Oh, such a perfect day. You just keep me hanging on. You just keep me hanging on.
But aspiration is not always for the greater good. Sometimes an aspiration is simply
the product of a sick system expressed through an infantile mind. Such an aspiration, born in the belly of the beast, doesn’t progress humanity, but, rather, perverts evolution and embraces decline.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne aspires to Australia’s becoming a major arms dealer. Jesus. What do we tell the kids? Where is the humanity?
Just a perfect day. Feed animals in the zoo.
These beasts of bucks, radicalised by a extremist capitalist system, are devoting billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to such immoralities (sudsidising climate change, marketing human slaughter) while the First People languish in prison, the Reef gasps its last breath, the farmlands blow away, and the youth cannot afford a home (unless Daddy is in government).
A wash of gravel across the road makes the Honda’s tail slide just a bit – enough to make my tail tighten just a bit – until the bike regains its composure. We nudge into fourth, and noodle up a hill.
The sad thing is that I expect no less from an Australian government. It, with its partner in the two-party waltz, is a warmongering government. Despite the wishes of the people, it embraces war. It has no respect for human life. So, why not sell arms and make a buck out of misery? Oi, oi, oi.
The Honda and I pop over the hill. The ocean sparkles below us. The little bike has delivered me to the sea. (And the Prawn.)
Oh, it’s such a perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you.