A few good men.
Early last Saturday I was looking at the weather forecast for Switzerland and saw that the rain was coming, and intensifying as the day progressed.
I was sitting in my house just east of Geneve, packing my motorcycle gear. I had a trip to Schaffhausen in the East planned, hotel booked and all that, and I was considering if I should drive or ride.
“Let’s see:” I thought to myself, “four hours in the rain, 15o C at 120 km/h? Of course it’s a motorcycle.”
Never underestimate the boy in a man.
And I was lucky that afternoon riding east through the Swiss plains, between the Alps and Jura. I was sometimes ahead of the rain and sometimes beside it. I got wet from the drizzle all right, but it was still bearable.
As I arrived in the hotel, holding my bag and helmet in my hands, having a messed up hair that showed to everyone that I’m a rider, the good God said “NOW”, to whomever he says it. And as the lady in long black skirt and white top was checking me in, a heavy rain started flooding the streets without mercy. Looking outside I thought – “I must be living right or something.” Or maybe the good God likes motorcycles too.
Later that night I was lying in my bed barely registering the bell ringing every half an hour from the church in the center of the town.
Which is kind of ironic in a country famous for watches – the church wants to tell you what time it is like they ignore the Hublots and the Panerais that people have on their wrists.
And it was an old hotel, the plaque in the lobby said that Goethe used to hang out here a lot. So him and me on a rainy Saturday night, huh?
Nice to meet you Johann Wolfgang, you were a poet and I’m a writer, maybe we can talk someday.
Back in Nyon, the school year started, and the kids here all change their schedule books titles from horaires to horrors, of course. Don’t ask me how I know.
I happen to live close to a high school, and sometimes when I work from home, I see the boys and girls with their relaxed attitude, the blink in eye and the curiosity about the future. And it gives me a great pleasure, and I hope the life will treat them kind, and they get to do what they’re passionate about. This is really the ultimate goal.
You know, the true definition of hell is when you’re on your dead bed and you get to meet the person you could have been.
Try to avoid it kids.
So now I have something cool to look for. Four of my high school friends are flying down to spend the weekend with me in Suisse at the end of September. And they’re good guys, I know them for more then 30 years.
It makes you feel that you belong. It’s a good feeling.
If this is not nice, I don’t know what is.
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Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler