Sudden And Unexpected Stimuli


May cause surprise tears for no good god damn reason.

I wasn’t in a bad place, in fact, I was in a really sweet place—my back patio, sitting in the sun enjoying an after lunch cup of pumpkin spice black tea, a little hold out from the holidays, and I heard it and I felt my heart lurch and the prickles of tears at the corners of my eyes.

And damn it man.

I was all good.

I was.

Until I heard the loud, low rumble, of a Harley Davidson motorcycle go booming past.

My ex rides a Harley.

I don’t think it was him.

Although I did at first.

I expected the sound of the muffler to suddenly quell and to hear the engine cut out and get a text chirp that he was here.

That’s how it used to work.


I apparently have an emotional connection to motorcycle muffler sounds.


There is more than one Harley in the neighborhood, my housemate reminded me, and his is not the only Harley in the hood–he does live in the hood however, four and a half blocks away, so there is the possibility it was him.

Whether or not it was is not the issue though.

Just the sound of it.

It was not something I had any awareness was going to trigger such a response.

Not that I thought, oh, it’s been a weekend, I’m done with the process, I have done enough feeling, let me go back to normal.


In a way, I had done just exactly that.

I got up, had breakfast, did my genuflection upon my knees, I jest I don’t really genuflect, but the posture of humility by going down on my knees to help me get right with God is one that I find really helpful.

God, please show me what you would have me to do.


That’s where I go.

I write.

I wrote four pages long hand after breakfast and into my second cup of coffee.

I wrote about my feelings, I wrote about having the day off and having no idea what I should do, but that I would be taking it easy, that I did not, in fact, have to go out clothes shopping, I did not have to deal with my scooter (nothing’s really wrong with it, but the friend who adjusted the idle did so a little higher than I need and it made the ride home yesterday a little untenable), I could, perhaps, just stay put.


I had to get out there a little bit; I had to get groceries, I mean really.

When this lady has no apples in the house, it’s time to go get my shop on.

I did my writing and then snuck in a ten-minute meditation.

That too, the meditating really helps.

I decided I would stay close, just get my groceries, cook some food up for the week (red beans and brown rice, chicken and tomatoes with Italian herbs and black olives, garlic, onions and broccoli).

I would then do something for myself that looked like fun and easy self-care.

I would sit in the sun and read.

I got back from my grocery outing, may I just repeat, for the zillionth time how lovely it is that my commute to the grocery store is along the Great Highway next to the Pacific Ocean, the beauty of it gob smacks me every time, prepped my food and then made up a plate to have outside on the back patio.

Lunch was raw veggies and homemade humus and a hard-boiled egg, a banana for dessert and a chaser of pumpkin spice tea.

Totally simple and easy, which is usually what I want when I am making food I don’t plan on eating right away—I jarred up my stew and rice and froze some of it too—I plan on taking it into work.

I picked up the Stephen King novel I’m totally into and let the sun shine down on my face.

More than once, I slipped the bookmarker in between the pages, shut the book, and closed my eyes, drowning in delicious white, warm, golden, sunshine.

I am a whore for the sunlight.

I need it, I need to capture as much as I can, soak it all up and store it in my body at the cellular level—ward of depression—and well, it just feels so good to sit in the sun and be smothered in it.

I was thus reposed when I heard the rumble of the motorcycle pipes.

I couldn’t ignore them.

And I was surprised by how deeply it touched a part of me.

The sadness, it’s still there, muted a touch from going about my daily routine, but still there, still needing to be felt.

Not my plan, man.

Can’t I go back to enjoying my book?

I could not.

I packed it in, made a fresh cup of tea and went up to my housemate’s pad, where she was prepping popcorn for an afternoon movie.

We had tea, caught up, and I told her about the break up.

It was nice to get a little more out there and also get to hear a little bit about how she is and what’s been going on in her life.

The helpfulness of listening to someone else rather than focusing on my little trials and tribulations is beyond measure.

Then I got to do it again, twice more.

I met with a couple of ladies in the late afternoon and did some work with them and shared my experience around what had happened and then let it go some more and showed them that I didn’t have to do anything stupid about it.

That yes, I could indeed have the feelings, and then let them go.

Oh, I’m sure they will come up again.

They did along with a hyper awareness of my space when just a little while later I was sitting where I usually sit on a Monday night and I heard the sound of a motorcycle.

He’s not going to come here.

I told myself that.

And I knew that to be true.

But the feelings, they were there.

Sadness, and also a dark expectation of anticipatory dread, will I see him, what will I say? How will I handle this?

He won’t come here.

I heard it repeated in my head and knew that to be true and the only thing to do was focus on the next action in front of me, then the next, and then the next action after that.

And one day, soon, I suspect.

I will hear a motorcycle and it will just be a motorcycle.

Until then.

When I do.

Which I will.

I live in the Outer Sunset, it seems every other person is riding one; I will take my focus and put it to helping someone else out.

However that looks.

In whatever way I can.

This is not about me.

It’s just a feeling.

And this too.

Shall pass.



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