1.11 Suspended Animation

Snow doesn’t really stick much here in Jersey: it turns spattered black within 24 hours, churned up by cars and trucks and plows spraying whatever salt-analogue/deicer they use these days, melting and refreezing to trap debris like grim, urban amber.  A million years from now, “Homo Sapien Park” will depict evolved reptiles trying to recreate us from DNA lifted from cigarette butts found deep in the re-frozen arctic ice…  But, instead of running amok, our naked descendants will scamper off into the shadows and begin breeding our scaly rediscoverers to death

So I hang here, suspended in a layer of ice, diverting myself with cold-weather hobbies.  One of which is, of course, scheming my summertime hobbies.  My budget for these things took a hit when I transitioned out of sales, although prospects for the long-term improved.  So my ongoing Ducati Monster ride-and-build has been scaled back.  My dreams of a seriously upgraded clutch full of lightweight aluminum has been reduced to a simple clutch and plate swap: it’s making a ton of clanking noise because of wear to the tabs, but it’s not actually slipping yet and that money can be better spent on other things.

I did purchase a new tank on eBay that supposedly has been repaired and is “ready for paint”, but it’s sitting at my parents place, waiting for me to come and inspect it.  My current tank is shiny, but has matching dings on both sides.  I’ll be using Ducati’s 1970’s logo, set in either the original red paint or a simulated brushed-aluminum look.  But that will have to wait.  If I can find the money to do the timing belts, fit a new chain, paint the top triple-clamp black, and maybe paint the wheels black this summer, I’ll be ecstatic.

Plans for the Daytona?  Don’t crash it at the track, replace tires and change oil as needed. I bought it with almost all the bits and bobs you might want, excepting carbon, which I don’t really care about for this one.  It’s there to be thrashed on the track and look cool if I’m riding it on the street, and it’s pretty much perfect right now.

The truck needs to get sold asap to fund repairs to my Volvo.

So I’ll sit around, daydreaming about weird, fun cars I could buy and take on ill-advised road trips to places that would most definitely not have spare parts for a 1980 Renault-Alpine A310.

Buried deep into the winter months, I’m asking myself for the 128,432nd time since moving back to the East Coast, what I’m doing here.

Look, I’ll be honest. I know exactly why I moved back here.

I needed a break from LA’s endless desert.  And it is a desert there, really.  People don’t seem to know that: if you turned off the taps, the whole city would dry up and just blow away like a cloud of ash.  And I wanted to reconnect with my family.  It hasn’t even been very cold, past couple of years.  And the change of seasons was refreshing at first.  But now it’s December, and I’m already champing at the bit, growling in the dim mornings, ready for Spring.



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