The reason I love riding so much is the sense of total freedom I get when I'm on the bike. I am the one deciding where to go. I am the one in control of the machine -- my touch changes the speed and direction. The motorcycle is like a living creature that responds to my commands. When I'm out on a lonely back road all by myself with the wind in my face, the sun on my arms, and my legs stretched out, its like I'm the only person on earth. I go where I want, when I want. My mind is free -- I am free.
However these days I'm feeling like I'm on a short leash. My buddy Tyler tkdtiger told me today that I've always been on that leash, but I've just now run into the end of it and I don't like it. He's probably right. I'm feeling rather "un-free" these days. This damned IRS audit is taking its toll. Yet another night of copying, sitting at a 10-key, and justifying things to the penny. The amount of information they are demanding is staggering. I'm feeling like I have to justify my very existence. It's hard to feel good about justifying my income and expenses to the penny, forking over upwards of $50,000 to the IRS because I can't prove things to their satisfaction, when at the same time our Congress decides to bail out banks who made bad loans, and my IRA shrinks by $30,000 in one day when they take over a bank and my stock is worthless -- while the CEO of that bank walks away with a $16 million dollar golden parachute.
My favorite book of all time -- the one that changed my life and justified my personal philosophy is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
It is the story of how the men of honor -- those on whom the world depends to run -- decide to go on strike because of the corrupt society and government that is running the show and the world collapses. As if Atlas who holds the world on his shoulders, decided to shrug it off because he was tired of holding it up.
I'm feeling like shrugging. After days like today when it's rained all day, I can't get out on the bike for the foreseeable future, and my back aches from hunching over a 10 key all day I want to shrug it all off. I want to sell everything I own, take the cash, and just head on down the road, flipping the bird to the world in my rear view mirror, just like John Galt and Daggny Taggart and the rest of them do in Atlas. I've read the book five or six times in my life -- I'd read it again, but I'm afraid it would inspire me to do just that. To shrug.
But instead I think of how I'll feel when I'm out on the road again -- even if it is later rather than sooner. Free. Even if I lose everything, if the IRS takes every penny, I can still be free, and I will be. Someday.