Friday, November 28, 2008

Going to Sleep with a Smile on my Face ... and I hadn't Even Had Sex

The last few nights I went to bed with a huge smile on my face. It was because of thinking about my little Honda SL70 I had when I was a kid. Even had a really good dream about it just before waking up the other morning. Today I was out messing with my Harley trying to mount the fatbob on to get more range - and the look I'm after - only to find the petcock is on the left side and won't clear the top of the engine. I wondered about going ahead with it but running the fuel line between the cylinders just seemed like something not to do. Besides, the fuel in the line routed that way would probably atomize before getting to the carburetor causing vapor lock.
Even though this three gallon tank won't work, having to put the original back on was fun. Just the whole thing about working on it was fun. Even though the whole plan for the moment was foiled I had fun.
As I was sitting in the garage taking the petcock off the bobs and putting it back on the stock tank, it hit me. Doing this sort of thing is what I have missed doing for a very long time. Day dreaming back to my younger days working on this motorcycle or that brought me many hours of enjoyment. It's probably what I should have continued doing for all these years because it makes me happy. Why do I have to explain why something makes me happy to justify it to someone else? Why do we, as people these days, feel like we have to not do something we enjoy because others don't approve of it? As long as it's not illegal by law or in your own gut then do it for gods sake. Time is to short to worry if others don't approve of what makes you happy, right? Working on different motorcycles in years past gave me the butterfly tinkles during the whole thing. Tear down, repaint, top end rebuilds, fork rebuilding, bearing replacement, carburetor rebuilding etc. Having friends or brothers helping out were some of the best times I can actually remember. Though building my 600+ hp big block Camaro and 390 Ford in my twenties was a gas it wasn't as enjoyable as working on my motorcycles.
There are very few things and memories that I can recall that can bring back a hearty smile to my mug than remembering the nights - winter or summer - spent in my folks basement, a friends carport, my brothers and my first apartment working on motorcycles. There's nothing as good as eating Ramon noodles for a week because you needed the grocery money for that part. The smell of gasoline on your hands, WD40 or fresh paint drying on a frame. Feeling the components of mixed textures of rough and smooth in your hands as you work on the machine. Grease under your fingernails from packing bearings or fresh oil on your hands as you slide new pistons and rings into a freshly honed cylinder is exciting. Then there is the huge sense of pride and accomplishment of knowing you took that dead machine and brought it back to life. The smells wafting through the air of an engines virgin and old parts working in unison and emitting an aromatic perfume no one can ever put in a bottle. Having that machine live again by ones own hands is an orgasmic eruption of the senses nobody else can touch.
I've re found my passion for older Iron because a new machine I can't massage life into is boring unless I take something off and fix it. So it's messing with motorcycles that gives me the most joy and has me smiling when I go to bed. Is that sick or what?