During our motorcycle trip, Tommy and I were trading for shitter lit One Man Caravan, the account written by Robert Edison Fulton, Jr. about his 1932 motorcycle trip around the world. I finally finished it this week and can now vouch for the veracity of its concluding sentiments:
As I lifted my foot over the saddle in the courtyard of an apartment building, I shed a surreptitious tear. The haughty doorman, watching from behind the grilled door, didn’t see that tear. Or perhaps he thought it was rain on my face, if he thought anything other than Mr. And Mrs. Fulton were having a strange visitor.
So from Christmas to New Year’s the motorcycle stood in the courtyard. I looked at it when I came and went, but I did not touch it. And when I glanced down from the lofty windows it appeared forlorn, a small thing in a vast wilderness. It had looked that way when I strode out with the Commandant at dawn to start across the Syrian Desert—so small a thing in such a large place.
The New Year came and went and sometimes I found myself going a whole day without a single thought of the year before. Then one day I started the engine again. The saddle felt strange. I was unaccustomed to it. Together we headed over to the North River, to go out to Riverside Drive into the country. But my trip was all over. All finished. This was just a little jaunt where there would be traffic lights and gasoline fumes and crowds on the highways.
At her dock lay the Queen Mary. Was it my imagination or did the front wheel twist toward the boat? No, the motorcycle was tugging at me. It wanted to ride aboard the Queen Mary, across the Atlantic to London and its home. Suddenly all became clear. The trip ’round the world was not yet finished for the motorcycle … Nor for me. …