K is for Kinetic



1. of, relating to, or resulting from motion.
~ (of a work of art) depending on movement for its effect

I have frequently switched jobs, livings spaces and partners with seemingly, only a passing whim involved in the decision. When I am bored, I am a temperamental pacing creature, putting everyone around me on edge.

After I went to visit The Boy for the first time, this feeling was overwhelming. I was dissatisfied with everything that my life encapsulated. There weren’t enough years, classes or connections for me to be the kind of people I saw in his life; but surely, I could do better than this!? I needed something that took me physically away from my life and that would be a challenge.

The obvious solution was going to school to build motorcycles, so I did.


In 2003 I ended up at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando Florida, surrounded by about 2 thousand men and around 6 women and a ton of motorcycles. This shift in trajectory may seem bizarre, but let me explain.

  1. It IS bizarre and to this day I can not fully explain the reasoning at the time but will give you what I can
  2. I am terrified, almost phobic, of regular classrooms, testing etc.
  3. I love motorcycles, though I have never ridden (legally) and do not have a motorcycle license
  4. I like physical learning and work, I understand things better when I can see and feel them.
  5. I get along with men and have always had a soft spot for bikers.
  6. I really needed to totally fuck my world up and this seemed as far from my comfort zone as I could come up with. Despite liking physical things, I have never been mechanical by nature.

harley-davidson-water-cooled-headsThat being said, there is a lot of math involved in engines and their workings, and that subject in particular can send me into instant panic attack mode. I found out that I was actually pretty good at engine math and electrical systems. When there was a physical, kinetic component, I got it, for the first time in my life, math made sense. I took apart and put together transmissions and learned how to hot wire a bike. I built an engine from a bucket of parts and it came to life when tested, which is a moment that I still hold dear.

I never had any money while I was at school, all of my small earnings went to rent and car insurance, so food and other niceties were always second tier. For a while I traded living space for maintaining a household of bikers without their women folk around to make sure they didn’t die of filth and lack of sustenance, and then I discovered mud wrestling, which helped considerably.

Anyone that doesn’t think that Florida is part of the South, is sadly mistaken. Some of the guys worked for a bar called :08 (8 seconds), namedMMI bikes in classn for the amount of time needed to stay on the mechanical bull. There was line dancing, monster trucks, rhinestones, cowboy hats and boots and a female mud wrestling competition once a week, and one week I entered. I won, and won and won. During the day I learned about motorcycles, and at night I drag raced, visited bars, went camping and once a week, mud wrestled for my weekly food allowance. Afterwards a gang of bikers and me celebrated at Denny’s..because Florida doesn’t have diners. It is quite amusing to see how many drunk bikers you can fit in a Honda DelSol, you would be surprised by the answer.

I had a grand time, I cursed, and learned incredibly offensive jokes (from my teachers who tried to out offend me and failed), played hard and conquered some fears. I went to school and came to some conclusions. I was pretty good at this, I didn’t want to do it as a profession but felt really good about trying, and I was ready to start over again.

When I went home I had some new friends, a little more self-assurance, a little more distance from my worst version and a champions wrestling belt with a matching thong that had :08 in red across it’s front. Not bad.dennys

2 thoughts on “K is for Kinetic

  1. I love this post. It reminds me of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” I’m a nester and wish I had the courage to make more frequent moves, try new careers, which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the one I’m in. I also like your writing style. via A to Z Challenge.

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