The Fiction of Philip Kaveny
Robert took some time to think about things Like John Milton’s Satan at the edge of the abyss, and then he said. Usually Fenwick was careful considered, and his motivations were opaque even to himself, yet it amused him in some harmless way the way they all despised him
Okay we will meet you two over there; I will give Laura a ride over on my Hog.
Laura Gave Robert a shocked Look, then she said,
“In your dreams fat boy,”
For the first time that anyone could remember Fenwick McLeod laughed with a warmth and honesty which to was far away his self-centered condescending arrogance.
As he said,
“My Hog is my Harley Davidson Motorcycle, look up Harley Hog in the Dictionary of Regional op American English Slang.”
Fenwick called his cycle Maggie it was a vintage Harley 74. It would have been worth big bucks if Robert had the scratch to restore it, but now, as it was it, was a rolling total, not even worth stealing for parts because all her parts were nearly shot
Maggie was parked in the lot next to the Eau Claire River and she had three parking tickets on her which Robert Ripped up and ground into the gravel with the metal cleated heel of his black leather engineer boots. It was late April but because of the switch Daylight Saving time they could still see the last rays of sun bounce silver sliver like across the still frozen Chippewa River, hear the thundering sound of the ice cracking, sort of like giants knocking down the clouds which became mountains, with imaginary boulders which became bowling balls, even though it was well past 8:30 P.M
It was above freezing by a few degrees, but Laura was only wearing a North Face Cortex Spring Jacket, a light sweater, gloves, and an old pair jeans. You can’t afford much of a wardrobe on an associate English Professor salary, when you spent twelve year in college, getting your PhD, Seven years of grunt work getting tenure, you owed 60K in student loans, and your mother had only half of your father’s social security to live on. Worse than that if you could not keep up the six hundred dollar a month supplement for mothers’ assisted living center, she was going to have to come and share your two bedroom studio apartment. These were the thoughts that were running through Laura mind as Fenwick Said.
“Take my helmet and my leather jacket. Zip it up and pull the belt tight”
Laura protested to no avail,
“But Fenwick you’ll freeze in that T shirt,”
“Don’t worry its only two miles to Laugins and the windshield will block most of the cold, besides I will turn on the heater”
Fenwick had to turn his back on Laura to hide his laughter, because she fell for it, she actually believed cycles had heaters. When he turned around she was wearing his grimy black leather jacket which came down to her knee’s, and Robert who stood nearly a head taller helped her to tuck her long Auburn Hair into her jacket so that the wind would not whip in all directions.
Robert said as he finished tucking her in.
“Can’t have you end up like Isadora Duncan”
Laura was stunned she could not believe that someone Fenwick, of all people had compared her to the most beautiful, graceful and powerful dancer that ever lived.
Laura had never in her life thought of herself in the same breath as that great dancer who died on the Riviera 1920’s as she sat in the passenger seat next to Grand Prix Champion Emilio Bugatti when her red silk two meter long silk scarf trailing behind them like a solar flare got tangled in the spokes of Maserati, and killed her instantly as the careened along the coast at 200 KPH. Laura gracefully hopped right up onto the back of the Maggie just like she had been doing for years even though in fact it was first time, she had ever been on a motor cycle in her life.
Maggie kicked started the first time which was a good sign, with other women she was not so agreeable, but she even before Robert sensed Laura was somebody important, Maggie knew not a rival, but maybe, somebody else who cared about Robert.
Laura had never rode with a Harley Hog Between her thighs before; she had never felt the power of Maggie’s vibrating seventy four cubic centimeter engine with its deep throaty growl, as Robert effortlessly disregarded the speed limit.
Fenwick said matter of factly,
“Hold on to me tight, I don’t want to have to explain to your mother how you fell off my cycle”
Laura could not resist correcting Fenwick grammar.
“Hold on tightly you mean”
“Always an English teacher.”
Laura held on tightly and at first giggled because big tough Robert had love handles, but then her hands moved up to his chest and shoulders, and it was like he was a different man, even though he was only wearing jeans a T shirt and his boots he felt like he was on fire, and his shoulders were think and strong and his pectoral muscles were solid and defined, as they rippled as he banked Maggie into a soft turn. Just for an instant she buried her chin in his back and slipped her cold hands into the sides of his belt.
Laura though who is this man I am ridding with, where is the Jerk that kept coming to our writers group, what is he trying to hide? But nothing last forever as Maggie rumbled against the inside of Laura’s thighs, Maggie loved Fenwick enough to lose him to Laura if it meant keeping from dying in a fiery wreck, that was the first of her was her great secrets, the other was that she was his embodied guardian angel whose spirit existed in a Harley 74
They pulled up in from of Laugins’ rolled to a stop, Laura held onto Fenwick and Maggie ,her legs tight for an instant, and then Robert blew the magic when he said as he stepped off of the cycle and stretched to his full height and said in a very loud voice, that anybody with in a hundred yard, could hear.
“Jesus Christ its cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.”
Laura Larson was just too embarrassed for words and blushed all the way from her eyebrows to the tips of her toes. She scooted towards the door entrance hoping nobody world realize that she was with Fenwick if she just headed into Laugins really fast, wondering why she had got on the cycle with him.
But it did not work because she was still wearing his leather jacket, and carrying his helmet under her arm, and she now smelled like saddle soap and gasoline and leather. There was nothing for her to do but wait for him and hand him back his helmet, but she kept wearing his jacket, as two of her former female Shakespeare students recognized her and said.
“Hello Dr. Larson, did you like your ride, your jacket leather jacket is really bitching.”
Byron Woodcock and Joan Caldwell were sitting at a table in the back room of Laugins’ very much into each other’s, and acting as if they had a future together. Joan knew that Laura had been carrying a torch for Byron since she first met him, Joan wanted Laura to know that at least for tonight Byron Woodcock would be her score.
Maggie looked to the world just like a forty year old rust bucket of metal. But she was really a very unlikely iteration of his guardian angel which though was immortal was rather enjoying being a Harley Davidson model 74, it to die with Robert in a fiery wreck, nor did she wanted to escort Robert to the gates of hell where she would be forced to abandon him to the fate he was earning.
Now Maggie wanted something better than wings. She wanted a new set of rings and if Robert ever pull his head out that dark place, a paint job and an overhaul, not everyone had a Guardian Angel who was a Motorcycle, who was supposed to be working towards her set of wings but really wanted a new set of piston rings.