#73 In Roads-Play time


A big man in business clothes is sitting across from me for the evening commute on light rail. He appears uncomfortable in his seat and looks anxious. We chat a bit about the last couple of days worth of soggy weather before I realize his anxiousness is about his golf plans for tomorrow. John has been in Portland for four days on business but the next three days are all about fun with friends. It’s obvious he’s looking forward to the time to play.

“All I have to do is show up. I don’t even care if I shoot bad, it’s all about the time off with friends,” he admits. He’s from Georgia, where he says the humidity is comparable but it’s much cooler here than back at home where his wife of 24-years and three daughters look forward to his return. His eldest is attending Georgia Tech on a volleyball scholarship. He also has a 15-year old and an 8-year old. The 50-year old admits it’s hard keeping three girls busy but they have found sports, particularly volleyball, helpful. He admits that they are “just in the thick of it” in regards to teenage girl angst, however.

He asks about my travels and as I mention motorcycles, he sits up and looks off into the horizon. John gets that wistful look I’ve seen many times in the face of men wearing business clothes.

“I thought about getting a bike. Really wanted one. Thought I’d have one, actually, but you know how it goes,” he shrugs. “Responsibilities and all that. Wife and kids. You can’t really do that with children, can you? Particularly daughters, I guess.” I tell him I have children and grandchildren and no car. Or home. He looks panicked at the thought. “Seriously? Wow.” He shakes his head and gets lost in the far away horizon that held all those dreams so long ago.


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