Things were going better than he thought. The road surface was smooth and he ran slower than usual his brain was happier. There was no nagging worry except riding on a dirt road. Everyone seemed to fear a dirt road because somewhere in their brains they thought a dirt road was paved with grease and BBs. A steady throttle hand and controlled braking kept the bike from getting sloppy. Looking into his mirrors there wasn’t the cloud of dust he had been expecting. In his mind there should be a swirling towering cloud he could not see through. The low fog of dust wasn’t biblical enough. There should be a trail of fine particulate destruction in his wake. Unfortunately the road was well built and packed tight.
He saw no one. He passed no one. There was no one. An odd serenity falls on him. Maybe he is here. Maybe he’s not here. Maybe he fell of the planet and into some kind of Twilight Zone. Displaced from the world he went for miles on the dirt road rolling up onto the asphalt before an intersection, looking both ways and continuing on with a thump as he dropped off and left the asphalt behind. In the rumble and the dust and the vibrations he has stopped looking for a beacon of humanity. He was locked in to the experience of riding on dirt and was soaked it in and rolling around it it. You weren’t supposed to do it. He was doing. He was liking it. It was like getting away with something.
Approaching another intersection he gets ready to roll through and, checking to his left, realizes there’s a large blue water tower in the distance sticking up like some strange, inverted blue onion. A town. There are no silos, which is strange, but water meant people and people meant being somewhere and he was ready to be there. Loneliness wasn’t a thing that stalked him. He wasn’t lonely but missed people. His Pop at the end of his days might have been the same: things that are now, are better than the things that were.