We are participating in a workshop together the next morning and it is a ride away. I said that I would meet you and I am there in time. Last night, at drinks I felt myself closing off to you. I experienced an irritable stepping away. You and those girls just a handful of them, but enough for me to think that we could not be friends.
My bike is high and you have to climb it, tugging at my shoulder, but when you are seated there is a pleasant pressure of your thighs around me and you hold me gently. There have been pillions who have hugged so tight that I couldn't breathe or steer or lean into a corner. There have been pillions who are taller and bigger and shift the balance subtly but unpleasantly. You touch me on the waist, but without pressure. Your weight settles the bike more steadily on the road.
I once said that if my bike likes my pillion then I will like them too. Like someone with a beloved dog who helps them make informed decisions about their friends. A good pillion will be a solid friend. But perhaps it has nothing to do with friendship, because you feel good on my bike and last night I felt the pricking of anger and I have decided that after this trip I will not waste my time on someone who is friends with the only three people in the world that I have difficulty liking.
It is your first time on a bike and I feel you tense as we pull away from the curb. The first stretch is always the most difficult. You settle quickly when we have stopped and started at several crossings. When we speed up for the highway I can feel your thighs tightening. I think about how sexual the whole thing is, the reality of sitting behind someone, gripping their arse with your thighs, the trust that is involved in the whole process of riding pillion. I find myself softening to you.
We have barely traveled fifteen minutes before there is a spotting on my helmet. It is going to rain. There is nothing but to sit and let it soak through us. I have not brought wet weather gear. We will be late as it is. There is no turning back.