Lunch with Orin
I had lunch with Orin on Wednesday. As you may already know, Orin is a fellow blogger, authoring Scootin' Old Skool. Orin is living in Portland these days, having transplanted from Seattle. If you've followed his blog you know Orin's endured a string of events lately that haven't exactly gone in his favor.
Orin recently underwent surgery to amputate part of his right foot. This, too, he wrote about on his blog and you can read about it there. Orin hasn't been able to ride the scooter, mostly because he says he can't successfully put the bike on the centerstand. It's tricky using the ball of your foot when you no longer have one. Give him time; Orin will figure it all out. In the meantime, that's where I came into the picture.
The two of us had never actually met in person. I figured this was a good excuse. Bear with me a minute while I take a very short detour.
Sharon over at Sojourner's Moto Tales just did a post wherein she expressed her frustration with people who tell you that things could be worse. Like that's supposed to make you feel a whole lot better about the bad crap happening to you. I share her sentiments for the most part, but in some instances I think it might actually help. Thus I found myself walking up the sidewalk to knock on the door of Orin's house.
After becoming unwillingly unemployed and homeless, having to relocate to a different city, and having your foot operated on to make it look like a chimichanga ( Orin's words ) things have to be looking just a bit depressing. These are just the highlights. Not to mention the not being able to ride part.
So I figured, what the heck? Having to endure lunch with me would surely make the other things look a little less bad in comparison for Orin. I mean,it's worth a shot, right?
Seriously, though, I enjoyed Orin's company. Don't tell Orin this, but I actually came away with a few new things to think about. More accurately, I was reminded of something really important. Something I've tried to get across in this blog. I know, I know, when will I get to the point?
Orin is a very intelligent man. He and I conversed on a wide range of subjects. Some had to do with motorcycles, of course. We talked about other things like articulated buses, life in a condo, how the health care system in the U.S. compares to that of other countries, the gentrification of older sections of cities, and so on. We also discussed how society wants to put themselves and others into convenient "slots", complete with labels. In particular, in the motorcycling world. You just knew we'd get back to that subject, didn't you?
The point is, a lot of folks use motorcycle brands to build their identity upon. I'm not really going to comment on that here. What I'm taking away with me is the renewed appreciation of just how multi-dimensional those of us in this blogger neighborhood are. Sure, motorcycles are a large part of our lives. We mostly write about riding on our blogs. Except for Conchscooter, who writes about whatever he bloody well feels like. Which I appreciate, by the way. Even at that, a motorcycle is the vehicle from which he observes all these things he writes about.
Focus on the words "a part of our lives". That's in contrast to being the sum total of our lives. Orin and I talked about how we don't live and die by the brand of bike we ride. If we find ourselves without a bike for whatever reason, so be it. That doesn't lessen at all who we are. A bike serves us, not the other way around.
That's the point of my blog. A motorcycle is everyday transportation. I can leave my house and pick any of several means of conveyance. Car, truck, or bike. Of course, the bike's obviously the most fun and fulfilling, but any one of them will serve the purpose. My motorcycle is woven into the fabric of my life just like a car is for most people. I don't put on the bike and gear as a costume to make me fit into some "lifestyle". Riding is a way of life. There's a distinct difference. My hope is that as many people as possible are able to experience the same thing.
Today Orin is going in to get the stitches removed from his foot. Hopefully everything will go fine and the other nagging issues will heal as well. We'll look forward to reading about the journey back to riding on his blog.
Thanks for the chance to meet you, Orin. I enjoyed it immensely!
Miles and smiles,