Monday, February 15, 2016

The End, I Supposed

Part VIII of Fuck Me Twice

(scroll down blog to read parts 1-7)

It was an interesting call to the Philadelphia Police.

"My motorcycle has been stolen."

"Give me the VIN# please.", asked a pleasant sounding woman on the other end.

"86754 XXX"

"That's already been reported honey.  But, good news, it's been recovered.  You can go pick it up at....".

"53rd and Pentridge, right?  I already did that.  It's been stolen again."

"Oh honey, you don't have any luck, do you?"

The insurance company was a little more skeptical, demanding I pay for yet another police report.  Weeks turned into months and finally two years passed.  There were other motorcycles, some better, some worse.  A 1979 CX500 (utter pile of shit), a 1980 Yamaha 650 Special with custom paint (great bike when the charging system worked) and a 1979 CB750F Supersport (again, a great bike when the charging system worked or the ignitor boxes weren't failing), but the little triple was not forgotten.

A friend decided he just had to have a motorcycle, which is how we found ourselves at one of the less reputable hole in the wall cycle shops in Philadelphia.  Their wares were overpriced and had mostly been flogged to within an inch of death, I would not have felt comfortable riding one of those rigs around the block, let alone across the country, as we planned.  The tattooed rockabilly mechanic/salesmen wouldn't let it go, he was determined to show us everything and prove his superior two-wheel acumen.  He had already made technically inaccurate statements regarding motorcycles, but I didn't have the heart to try and educate him.  This reject from a Social Distortion road crew led us to a dimly lit back room to show us the "project bikes".  Again, mostly worn out machines being hacked into Frankensteinian abortions.  He was most proud of his new "chopper project".

"I bet you can't tell me what it is," he said, pointing to his "project", a frame with a motor and exhaust sitting on the floor tilted at a haphazard angle.

"It's what's left of a 1976 Suzuki GT380, and I actually own it.  It's stolen."

 My eyes were drawn to the exhaust pipes, the left one unmistakably ground down from being dragged.  I looked for the oddball kickstart lever, check, my wiring repairs, check.  I knelt down and read the VIN#, having committed The Skunk's to heart by repeated readings to the police and State Farm.  There was no doubt, this had been my motorcycle, and it looked worse than the last time I saw it two years ago.

The look of shock on Rockabilly Rob's face was worth the price of admission.  He stuttered and stammered and abruptly left the room, returning with the shop's owner, a goliath of a man.

The proprietor stood six foot six and close to 300 pounds, covered in jailhouse tattoos.  If the rumors were to be believed he was hooked up with motorcycle gangs and drug sales, he certainly looked the part.  The only other time I had been to his shop, I watched him get pissed at a motorcycle that was leaking gas, which he promptly picked up and tossed into the street.  He towered over me with his arms crossed.

"That bike ain't stolen, understand?  It's time for you and your friend to leave.  There is nothing here you need to be worried about except yourself, got it?"

What could I say?  I suppose I could have gotten the title and returned with the police, but what in the hell was I going to do with a frame and motor in my apartment?  If I caused trouble for this scumbag, I might end up with more than my share as well.  There was no way out here, except empty handed.  No justice would be meted out on this day.  Like so many other cruelly disappointing situations in life that seem to demand action, the only real choice was to walk away.

And remember.  

What remained of The Skunk in that South Philadelphia shop was less than this.

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