Pulling to a stop, on the service station car park, he dismounts his (trusty) steed, opens the top box, and takes out a small toolkit
On the short ride to the Hog and Hedge, from where he’d been working on his bike (a Yamaha FJ 1200), he’d noticed the left turn indicator had stopped working. He also though he could see a small amount of oil on the right fork leg.
Fifty-four (as he now called himself) had spent two days dismantling and fixing several issues with his bike. Well, that had been his intention, now though, it would seem he’d been wasting his time. The fork seal hadn’t sealed, the brakes still juddered, and to top it all, the electrics had started playing up. Nightmare.
After attempting to get the indicator working – fiddling for a short while (with sore fingers) behind the fairing – he’d given up, and was now sitting at a table outside the service station cafe, sipping coffee (an Americano with hot milk). His back was hurting. He was feeling a little jaded, wondering why, after all this time he was still pissing about with a poxy-antique-bus, of a motorcycle.
To an extent, was he not kidding himself this was something he enjoyed?
Had he ever actually enjoyed fixing old cars and bikes, or was he still unconsciously seeking to get the approval from a neglectful father, who, as far as he was consciously concerned, had died years ago. In fact, since the death of his mother, and as a result of being pestered by an insistent sibling, he’d recently called his gaga father to say hello, only to be told: “You’ve got the wrong number mate.” He’d understood this to be code for “Fuck off,” yet he also knew, it was probably the only truly accurate thing the old bastard had ever said to him. “You’ve got the wrong number mate.” Yep.
The thing is, fifty-four knows, the correct number
“Oi mate is that an FJ 1100?” asked the man sitting on an adjacent table. He was with a female companion who looked a little older. Their glasses were empty; cans of fizzy orange discarded beside them.
“1200 actually, having a few teething problems, I’ve just put it back together,” replied fifty-four.
“Oh right, you’ve a workshop then?”
Nosy bastard, thought fifty-four.
The fact was, he didn’t have a workshop, and so always found himself scrabbling around outside the storage area where he kept his car, caravan and tools. He always needed there to be a gap in the weather, and always ended up with a bad back; he didn’t have a proper ramp that would elevate the bike to a suitable working height. Man he needed a workshop. Either that, or it was time to acknowledge his age, move on, and concentrate on an interest that didn’t swallow quite so much of his time and money. Boys and their fucking toys.
He watched his inquisitor and companion climb into their car and drive away, as they did, he thought to himself what a random and slightly left field question, that had been. Would you not just assume someone who’d been working on a motorcycle had a garage or workshop? Why ask such a random and prying question?
Uh-oh, it was happening again he thought, that strange, random, communication of the universe. The universe wanting his attention. Time to get real fifty-four.