On The Edge

Misery And The Compant It Travels With

Article By: Jimmy Frizzell

Originally Published In The March 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

In the bliss of inevitable downtime, I finally find myself pushing out overdue commissions amongst the solitude of a bitter chill that for only a brief period has halted any sizable blue-collar escapades. The stack of random parts to be painted and helmets to be buttoned up is dwindling, and perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My own projects have finally reached a point where I may be able to put shit together as soon as the paint is hard. But alas I’m a thousand miles from home sitting in an airport admitting defeat in my attempts to reach the Webster swap meet down in Florida. I spent a few years held captive in the walls of a clone home gated community collecting community standard violations with my 73 Ironhead trying to hold on to any scrap of sanity I had left and failing miserably. My only sanity was that damn patch of earth littered with chopper offerings and rusted gold. I couldn’t have been further from where I was supposed to be, but I had Webster, and that was enough. I left Tampa barely holding on to my dignity without a pot to piss in doing the marital walk of shame, my entire life in the back of a useless twowheel drive pickup.

With an eight-hour layover back in Tampa, I thought this may be a chance to duck in and out and possibly pick up a few more carry-ons for the flight home. But the sub-zero temperatures back north had airline scheduling completely f#@ked, and my ride up to Webster is all but lost. So here I sit, waiting…. watching. Airports are a sterile environment of misery. A glistening example of architectural grandstanding housing overpriced fast food and a false sense of security. It’s the exception to the moral rule, being a respectable establishment to acquire a stiff drink at eight o’clock on any given weekday morning, just be quiet about it like everyone else. It’s a collection of a thousand people ignoring each other while getting yelled at by the minimum wage safety police. Loudspeakers exploding in gleeful tones before prerecorded police state protocol messages banter in static undertones set the mood as fistfuls of Dramamine and Xanax are consumed like Tic Tacs. It’s where the entire human race finally admits that they are sheep being ushered thru gates and fences without question or expression, it’s the definition of concentrated humanity.

There was a time when modern travel was respected. Suits were pressed and worn with a sharp charm shoes clicked on asbestos tile as beams of light illuminated a steady haze of tobacco smoke. It was dirty yet dignified. Now, the tones of mumbling idiots echo off the shimmer of polyurethane walls and urine proof carpeting. Where sensible seating once stood piles of cheap luggage section of family camping plots protected by devil women in knock off Victoria’s Secret pajamas painted in the dollar store makeup, they harbor in their Coach handbags. It all almost resembles the charm of a science fiction slave trade village without the fashion sense or forethought. As I’m writing this, a small child is licking the floor in front of me; its mother takes a selfie documenting some poor life decision she doesn’t want to forget in her impressive timeline of life. I don’t know if I’m more concerned about what the kid is ingesting or what DNA the little f#@ker is leaving behind. Either way, I’m going to walk around the pestilent puddle he’s left to mark his territory as I get myself a Latte.

I can only assume this is the social equivalent for a desert watering hole, gaggles and herds of knuckle-dragging aristocrats consorting in droves just stopping long enough to look utterly confused like prairie dogs on a three-day LSD bender, their little heads ratcheting left and right looking for answers amongst the other wasteland occupants all living in fear of just about everything. Truth is, everyone knows it, and everyone expects it, something could go wrong at any moment, for no reason at all. Shit, if I gave the cashier a ten for a stick of gum and only get back a buck I’m gonna just accept my f#@king and walk on, I don’t want to argue and end up on some no-fly list or some shit. It’s like prison, but scarier, because you believe you matter. I’ll hate myself in the morning for being the submissive f#@k I am right now. I thoroughly enjoy the ability to people watch, but the fear of actually making eye connect with someone looking for a travel buddy sends fear into the bowels of my soul. I didn’t think it was possible to hate the human race anymore, but here I am. Some would say it’s healthy to test one’s limits, but this may be more than I can take. All I wanted to do was grab some fresh air and maybe a spool hub for the long bike and make some use of my downtime, but I’m here…in hell.