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Wild Bill

The Resurrection

Brigs and I go back a long ways. We used to get in trouble together back in high school, at least when we went. I had the pleasure of running into him again recently and he told me about the ride he made from York, PA to Daytona, FL. We met in a local watering hole, aptly titled, The Alibi. As I pulled into the parking lot in my station wagon, hoping to avoid being seen; I spotted an 883 Hugger parked near the back door. It looked similar to Brigs' old sportie, but I didn't recall him having the drag bars.

I yanked the back door open to be greeted by the familiar sound of cracking billiard balls and a loud jukebox playing a soothing Allman Brother's tune. I squinted my eyes to adjust them to the dark smoky interior as I made my way towards the bar. There were a few sloppy veteran sponges seated in a row and I then heard the unmistakable voice of Brigs. He was standing against the corner edge, all 250 pounds of him, with both hands resting on the bar, one on each side of his glass. Brigs is still in pretty good shape for being in his forties, even more remarkable when considering his nocturnal lifestyle. His ten year long stint as a SEAL in the Navy may have had something to do with this.

"Listen up, Babycakes, don't be filling up my rum and cokes with so much ice anymore" declared Brigs, while facing the young curvy blonde behind the bar.

"What's wrong, Brigs, you don't like your drinks cold?" she asked, her large brown eyes looking into his.

"Well, I like them cold and all, but the last time I was in here, you put so much damn ice in my drinks that I ended up going home, passing out and pissing all over myself and my ole lady" he revealed.

"Ewwwh" replied the barmaid.

"She was a real trooper though, just laid right there in it with me, gotta give her credit" mused Brigs, before taking a pull from his glass.

"She's a better woman than I. You're sure it was the ice that made you do that?" she asked.

"As sure as being cut off on the freeway by some spineless cager."

"Hey now, Hoss, them's fightin' words to a proud station wagon owner like myself." I interrupted, approaching my old friend from behind.

"T-Bone! How the hell are ya?" he asked, slapping my shoulder with one hand grasping a firm handshake with the other. "How's the family life been, bro?"

"Ah, I've been making it. I think you're onto something about that ice, Brigs. Scientists have known for some time now about the strange affect ice has over neuro-structures affecting bladder control and flow rates." I replied, before looking towards the barmaid. "Can a poor white boy get a beer around here?" I asked. It was nice seeing Brigs again and I knew we had a lot of catching up to do. He looked about the same as he always did. Brigs wasn't the type to let circumstances change him, not even Vietnam was able to do that. Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same. There was a time when I used to make runs with Brigs, but that was way back before I had a career, mortgage payment and a wife. My occupation of writing and my drab life of being a respectable father of three meant that Brigs could do all the talking, he would have a captive audience. He hadn't acquired any such ball and chains, but he still had balls. The barmaid returned with my beer and another rum and coke, minus the ice. "So, besides drinking a gallon of rum and pissing all over yourself, what's new?"

"Ha! Just took a run to Daytona. Had the time of my life, T. Ran down with a group from York. History began in 1903, buddy" Stated Brigs, before taking a healthy pull from his warm rum and coke.

"Lots of people down there this year?"

"Hell, I counted 20,005 scooters before all the titties made me lose count. We made the Run for the Sun from Valdosta, Georgia with about three hundred strong. Most of the bros rode two-up with some fine mamas the whole way. It's a secure feeling riding with a crowd that big. Hey, T, ain't that your Uncle Broomsticks?" I looked across the bar. Sure enough, there was Broomsticks.

"Oh no, he's probably going to hit me up for another loan." I observed.

"Well, T-Bone, just remember; family is family. I didn't realize the importance of that, 'til my old man shit in his pants." stated Brigs. I didn't have a clue as to why he offered this last tidbit of info, but figured I'd let it go. Brigs often had a habit of reasoning things out for himself, so that they made perfect logical sense to him, but remained an unsolved mystery to anybody else.

My uncle knew how to talk fast, drink fast and, quite often, run fast. He never held a job for longer than a few months, but was an overachiever when it came to satisfying his unquenchable thirst. He was one relative that my wife detested, possibly since the time he borrowed her bicycle and left it parked in front of a nearby whorehouse for the entire evening. I liked him, though. He used to always have time and means to take me fishing when I was a kid. Shit like that means a lot to a kid and I never forgot it. Broomsticks made a trip to the john, as Brigs continued sharing about his recent trip to Daytona.

"I spent most my time at The Cabbage Patch. It's a few miles outside Daytona and a fast bike can earn a good rider some dough there. I saw one greenhorn get suckered into a title for title run with some pro rider out of Atlanta. I knew the tenderfoot was in over his head when the Kawasaki racer blipped the carbs. They were big enough to swallow a softball apiece and, even though I was standing a good ten feet away, the suction made my hair point towards the bike. That was some bad iron, real bad. Guess he had a lot of time to reflect and learn from his mistake during his long walk back to wherever he came in from. There must have been a thousand bikers inside and out of that place night and day. Some fine races, too. Hey, is that your uncle screaming from the john?" asked Brigs. I strained my ears to hear above the jukebox.

"Awwwhhhhhhh!" screamed Uncle Broomsticks from behind the door marked, "Men". Fat Pat, the burly owner of the establishment, turned the volume down and walked from behind the bar to investigate.

"Broomsticks, what's the problem in there?" he inquired.

"Awwwhhhh!" came another scream from behind the door. Pat looked around at the clientele, while shrugging his shoulders.

"It's this toilet," came Broomstick's shaky voice, "Every time I try to flush the handle, something comes up and squeezes my balls!" Fat Pat pushed the door open, more curious than concerned, and poked his head inside.

"You dumbass!," boomed Pat, "You shit in the mopbucket!" Brigs and I began to laugh. Pat walked back behind the bar shaking his head and turning the music back up. Broomsticks wasn't exactly his favorite patron, but Pat grew used to tolerating him over the years.

"Looks like you've been customizing a little, I almost didn't recognize her."

"Yeah, I put those drag bars on awhile back. Put drag pipes on, too. Damn cop gave me a ticket down in Daytona for my trouble. I'd taken the baffles out and he poked a broom handle up inside, just before writing me up a little souvenir. I probably shouldn't have blipped the throttle so hard coming down Main Street. Damn thing sounded like a jet engine coming out of the hangar. Oh well, screw 'em if they can't take Rolling Thunder. I rebored the cylinders and changed the pistons too. Hey speaking of Broom handles" stated Brigs, before giving my uncle a flawless and snappy military salute. "How goes it, Broomsticks?"

"Ah, I'm making it. Don't tell me it's the reunion of Butch and Sundance. You two together again could mean bad news." Said Broomsticks.

"Easy now, Broomsticks, uncles who live in glass bottles shouldn't throw rocks." I cautioned.

"Yeah, and if Brigs asks you to buy him one drink, go the extra mile and buy unto him two" added Brigs.

"Speaking of buying drinks, T-Bone, I'm supposed to be getting my disability check…"

"Here Broomsticks." I interrupted, while handing him a fiver.

"Thanks, T, I'm going to square up with you next week when my ship comes in." promised Broomsticks, while pocketing the bill.

"Don't sweat it, Broomsticks, besides, I think your ship was the Titanic and it'll be out to sea a good while." I replied, before watching Broomsticks walk to the far end of the bar, apparently in search of greener pastures. "So you run into many different clubs down there, Brigs?"

"Shit yeah. All kinds of them. They ran the gamut from Jesus freaks to genuine outlaws. The funniest was a bunch who called themselves the Wolf Pack. There were about a dozen of them all together, with names like "Beast", "Lugnut" and "Grimy Pete". The funny part was that this "club" only had one working bike between all of them. They had to take turns each day on a shitty riceburner. They wanted me to join them, but I told them I didn't think I had the "right stuff". Grimy Pete told me they came in from Phoenix, but I still don't know how they all got there. Pete lived up to his name, too. The dude smelled like my high school gym locker, possibly even worse. I pretty much hung out with the middle of the road clubs. They had the finer looking ladies. I enjoy being surrounded by quality woofie when I'm riding or drinking, which is about all the time. I ended up sleeping on the beach with a fine little floater one night. Just when we got down to where the only thing we were wearing was our tattoos, my damn ride toppled over in the sand. It's hard to remember things like putting a crushed beer can under your kick when you're anxious to poke a big tittied low mileage pit woofer who placed first in the wet T-shirt contest at The Rat's Hole earlier in the night. Nice place, that Rat's Hole; It's run by Big Daddy Rat and he ran around in a rat costume the whole damn week."

"You stayed the whole week, huh?" I asked.

"Yeah, even for the Sunday race. You should come along next year. On a Fat Boy; leave that damn stationwagon behind for the lil' missus." Suggested Brigs.

"I think I will, this stagnant routine lifestyle is killing me. In fact, I'll give you my word on it." I resolved. Brigs looked at me with a meaningful smile. He knows I'm good for my word, especially when it involves a long stretch of I-79 and a Harley. I envisioned the freedom of the open road; the wind and the roar. I was beginning to feel reborn.

Copyright © 1998, Thomas (T-Bone) Maul.
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