Dark Horse


Shiny, but not for long.

For several years now TDM has been quietly saving for a new mtn bike… a feisty hardtale to allow a more restful winter for the real star of the stable….the white pony.  The pony’s resilience has been notable in recent years, but  the burden of maintaining  such a prima donna in the mud-slicks of the PNW winter have resulted in a drastic reduction in TDM’s enthusiasm for winter riding…and thus the want for a body-double arose.  After the research cloud had settled (and Pinky had nodded an enthusiastic go-ahead, most likely as a way of getting her somewhat antsy partner to chill the fuck out during darker months) a local shop made TDM an offer he could not refuse, and suddenly Mr Magnet found himself sitting on a new rig in his freezing garage, making moto sounds and dreaming of gravel roads, sketchy maps, and wet roots.  Seldom has a person of TDM’s wholly compulsive nature been so content to sit on his ass and do nothing but be there…content.

Despite what the (non-existent) reader might think from his previous rants, there was precedent in TDM’s life for this rare pause amidst the sea of activity…a moment of hope for the future while being present in the now.  The best of these occurred when he was about seven years old and his father had driven a sweet puke-green 1976 Plymouth van onto the cul-de-sac with a spanking-new camo driftboat in tow.  The miniature TDM stared in awe as the dry-docked craft came to rest in the driveway. ”is it..ours?’ he asked.  “Yes” replied the elder DirtMagnet…”all ours.” After tracing its gunnels on a 360 degree tour of lines, we both climbed in and simply sat there in the bow side by side, grinning stupidly for much of the remainder of the afternoon. 

And as it turns out, those grins were not as stupid as they might have first seemed.  In fact, prophetic is a better descriptor.  This boat formed a bond within the family that remains to this day.  It was the father’s dream to explore rivers and fish; it became TheDirtMagnate’s  as well , and things just sort of went on from there, never to be the same again, and in such a good way.

It is the opinion of many that life is something a bit short of  a living highlight reel, and why individuals persist through the clutter of being each day is a query several leagues profounder  than TDM is philosophically (or emotionally) equipped to handle.  Each seem to have our own reasons for being here, and  emotions such as spite, hope, love and denial allow us to hang on long enough to occasionally claim not only the cake, but the icing on top as well.  In this pursuit TDM can no doubt assert that bikes, boats and boards can help reach these higher moments, and there is little mystery that many of us are drawn to tools such as these, which excuse us from the truths of our more common existence, and place us somewhere a bit more extraordinary.  Whether we use these carpets as portals to freedom, or perhaps more eerily, as tools of emotional avoidance, it seems that up to a point one can, in fact, buy happiness in the form of a toy.

But the fact is that sometimes it is more than just purchasing a new bit of shine…sometimes these inanimate objects open up rooms and horizons in our lives that allow us the creative, the instinctual, the self we didn’t know was there.  In this case TDM will not be so vulgar as to claim that this silly bike will change his life…that already happened the second his parents let go of the back of his purple sears stingray, and the moment the driftboat arrived in his lap…but the Dark Horse (as blurry Frank has already deemed the new bike) has sparked an imagination in TDM, and the (nonexistent) reader should picture TDM sitting in that garage, with that little thought bubble located over his head filled with dreams of horizons and unknown roads which he also knows are soon to be found.


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