The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my former Scout Master, Dave Seace. This is a scene from his memory of a cross-country motorcycle trip with his buddies when he was in his 20s. He has told me about the feeling of riding that night many times throughout the nearly eight years Ive known him. A recovering drug addict, he always tells me that it was “better than any crank he ever did.” It’s his fondest memory because he found that same feeling completely sober.<br />
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“I’m sorry, sir. You and your party took too long to arrive, we had to give your room to someone else.” The receptionist told Dave as his friends Ray, Danny, and John muttered swears of frustration behind him. After an entire day of riding their Harleys across the vast, boring, flat plains of Kansas and even sitting on the side of the road for a bit after running out of gas, they finally arrived at the hotel only to be turned away. The receptionist had just made a bad day even worse.

“There’s got to be something you can do, we’d sleep on the floor at this point, for Christ’s sake!” Dave was exhausted, but too stubborn to be let down that easily. Although he and his friends looked like the scary, rough, classic biker crew with their bandanas and scruffy faces, they were really just a group of best friends taking a road trip on their motorcycles for fun. After a few minutes of pleading and frustration, the receptionist agreed to call the next closest motel and book them a room for the night. Moments later, they were on the road again.

It was pitch black that summer night. No moon in the sky, they were well away from any major city or other source of light pollution, nothing but the stars and the lights of their bikes on the road. As they rode towards the motel, the only sound was the loud rattle of their four Harleys. The air was warm and dense, perfect conditions for a night ride. The way the wind blew his long hair back behind him like a flag, the feeling of the open air in his lungs and on his face, the sense of unity with his friends and his bike as they rode straight on past the motel like the legendary Four Horsemen of the apocalypse. Eighty or ninety miles an hour, side by side, full of adrenaline. It was unlike anything he had ever felt before. He knew all too well what it was like to be high, but this was far better. He wasn’t sure if his eyes were watering because of the wind or because of the incredible emotion this experience brought up in him. They slept under the stars that night, considering they blew past the motel without a care in the world. Even so, it was the most spiritual thing he and his friends would ever do together.

Night Riders

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1980
Kansas

I interviewed my former Scout Master, Dave Seace. This is a scene from his memory of a cross-country motorcycle trip with his buddies when he was in his 20s. He has told me about the feeling of riding that night many times throughout the nearly eight years Ive known him. A recovering drug addict, he always tells me that it was “better than any crank he ever did.” It’s his fondest memory because he found that same feeling completely sober.

Decade: 1980s
Rating:
Recorded by Benjamin Mellema on March 13, 2019
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