Invisible Spectacle

Invisible Spectacle
-Laurie Benson 2019©

He calls.  Sober now.
"Mom, this is last minute, but
can you go on a little hike,
right now?" The text sent
the invite and we were off.
Thrilled at a chance to
be together again.  

I remembered six years ago
when we snapped a selfie at
the top of Timpanogos Mountain,
an eleven-hour-hike. This today-hike
was quick, a half hour at best,
but a well worth it waterfall,
at the end.

Remember when we used to?
So many conversations inside
my mind, and out loud with my
words, start this way.

Used to be able to do a
headstand, backbend, the splits,
on a Stand Up Paddle Board on
the water.

Used to be able to work an
eight hour day, and go out at
night, laughing with friends, doing
it all again,
the next day.

The high heeled shoes I used to
wear, my favorite red ones, are long
gone, but my bent toes remember
them well.

Oh and what about eating? As much
of, and as often as.
Without counting sodium, carbs and
protein, or the time of day.

I used to own a motorcycle, a Honda Shadow.
Big, Retro-style. Noticeable.
And I would ride up American Fork Canyon
every Wednesday morning
of the summer.

Once, stopping at McDonalds, where a
young daddy asked if his daughter could
perhaps sit on my bike,
she had never seen a,

"You're creating a monster!" I laughed,
but her eyes twinkled as she
pretended to ride.
Her dad by her side.

I know that twinkle. Riding anywhere,
alone, unknown.
Invisible in a way, but also a
spectacle. The perfect balance-
a freedom.
A code.

Once I rode with a violin strapped
to the back, up Logan Canyon, special
delivery for my daughter,
who was playing in a concert.

That ride brought lots of
smiles from the faces in the
cars, looking out for

And once, after gearing up and
sitting down on the hot seat,
waiting to begin,
I saw my son.
He was with a friend. They
didn't know it was me,
because I used to be the mom
that he lived with when he was
using drugs.

Now he was gone, had been gone
for so long, that the new me,
the "cool-motorcycle-girl," was
someone he didn't recognize
as mom.

Riders have a wave, a signal
for a brother, two fingers down.
Two wheels on the ground.

Runaways have signals too,
the "bomb," hands in front, pinky
and index fingers looking like
cat ears.
"Hook 'em horns."
Watch out for life.
It comes at you fast.

They gave me the bomb.
Me, his mom, and I smiled, and then
cried behind the visor. I held up,
"peace," two fingers high, and
they laughed, and then passed
on their skateboards.

Invisible Spectacles.