Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Question

The other day on the phone with the homies I asked a question that had been on my mind for some reason. I don’t know how or why I came up with it, but Hume is skeptical about causes and I don’t see why I should feel any different. It goes like this: Suppose that you got on your bike and headed out for a proper ride. You ride out to the stop sign that marks the beginning of your journey, pop it into neutral, and prepare yourself for the flex. Then a crack in space time opens and out of it rides a cat on a bike that looks just like yours. He is wearing your gear and everything. Yeah. This cat is the future you. He pulls up alongside you, looks down the road on which you are about to travel and says, “you down to ride?” Okay, so the question is, do you ride with this cat? Do you follow yourself into the Sunday ride?

The first man to answer was the CBR. He was like, hell naw. I ain’t going. The future me will be a better rider and I would be motivated to keep up. So I would crash. We were like, you don’t think the future you would wait up for you? And he replied, no, the future me will not be interested in showing the present me any mercy on the road. He’s not gonna wait around for shit, that cat is just gonna ride. Haha.

The next man was the R1 Fiend. He said that ultimately, he would be inclined to not go on that ride. But he knows that he would be plagued by ruminations on what the ride would have been like. So he figured that he would go on the ride, and whatever happened, he could get a sense of how good a motorcyclist he had become.

The Green Ninja reasoned thusly: The return of himself, moto-clad, from the future to the start of a ride could be a sign of only one thing- that the future him was there to teach him something, to show him something important. He said that if such an event were to really happen, he would gaze into the visor of the future him and say “I thought you’d never get here.” The future him wouldn’t even have to ask for the ride. The Green Ninjas would ride out on an implicit understanding about the significance of the ride ahead.

To this trio of compelling answers I finally added my own. I would go on this ride. But ultimately, it would be no different from any ride that I ever go on. Because out on the streets, it is always me vs. me. I am the rider that I am trying to best. Mine are the skills that must be honed. This is the bike that leans but should never fall. The only difference on this day is that the ghost of my best ride would be visible as opposed to in my head.

And so the conversation ended and the homies returned to their styles.

I think that maybe this question reveals something about how we feel about ourselves. Perhaps one day I will be able to interpret my answer.

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