Every time I have parted with some of Bret’s things, I have felt the prickly reminder that he is no longer alive; that he actually died.
Selling his beloved motorcycle, which I did only a few weeks ago, was a particularly tough reminder.
It was a 2013 Suzuki Hayabusa.
He had always dreamed of having a Hayabusa as they are not known as bikes for amateurs.
They are fast and dangerous.
So was he.
We both worked off and on in the entertainment industry at the time, and I was on a break from doing some work as an extra when I got his text: “I found one who will finance us in North Carolina! We just have to go there and get it.” (And by “finance us” he meant me, as I was the one with the good credit. It always tickled him to refer to it as “my” bike.)
Within 48 hours we were heading to North Carolina.
It was a crazy trip, with no overnight stops. We would nap sporadically at rest stops and then get back to it. We had some trouble with the truck in Atlanta and had to address that.
It was cool to be in Atlanta – I had never been.
In waiting for the truck to get repaired, I found out I had finally been put on IMDB. I was elated! It seemed like both of our dreams were coming true.
Over the years, he did various upgrades and modifications. He wanted us to be able to ride long distances in the future and a sportbike like that isn’t usually the best kind of bike for long-distance trips. He customized the seat to make that an option for us.
We did get to enjoy a few fun little jaunts, and even our daughter, who was very little at the time, loved to ride around the block with him.
(They were only posing for this shot – we always wore head protection when riding!)
When he died, it had less than 1000 miles on it. I believe it had 300 or so when we first got it.
The day I paid it off, some two years after his death, I felt some kind of bittersweet happiness – like I had finally paid for his “baby” in full.
But then, I needed to sell her.
It was doing me no good. I can use the money. A bike like that needs to be enjoyed.
And I want to do some things to my garage.
The day the very kind man came and collected her, I knew it would be tough, but I wasn’t really for how tough it actually was.
He asked me if I wanted to keep the license plate…
I had to excuse myself and go in.
I caught a glimpse of him wheeling her down the hill.
And that was that.
I went inside and cried all day.
He would have wanted me to sell the bike as he was never a fan of holding on to things for sentimental value.
Ironically, that was the same day the home we had together in the last town in which he ever lived, had sold some five years earlier.
I like to recall one of the last short rides we had taken one morning in 2017.
We happened upon another rider at some point who engaged in some playful racing; they gave each other the “nod” and took turns letting one another pass the other.
Eventually, we pulled over to introduce ourselves.
The rider, a young man dressed all in black, introduced himself as Loki.
To this day, I like to believe that it actually was the Norse Chaos Trickster who appeared out of thin air to give Bret a moment of happiness on his Beloved bike, and me a comforting memory to soften the sting of this whole thing when the time came for me to have to let go of it.
“…Visions of you on a motorcycle drive-by
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes
And you don’t mind, you smile
And say the world it doesn’t fit with you
I don’t believe you, you’re so serene
Careening through the universe
Your axis on a tilt, you’re guiltless and free
I hope you take a piece of me with you…”
—Motorcycle Drive By, Third Eye Blind
Photos via Layla Beth Munk & Pinterest