When I daydream, most times I daydream about riding a motorcycle on a curving road surrounded by trees. I do this because before I left for college, when I was 18 years old, my dad and I would go for motorcycle rides together on sunny weekends. I would follow my dad on his red Honda 250, me on my (mom’s) blue Suzuki 200, his taillight always in my sight as we twisted and turned through the lush, green Western Washington countryside.
Sometimes, as we were putting our riding gear on my dad would say, “You wanna lead?”
“Nah. Don’t know where I’m going,” I’d say back.
It wasn’t completely true, I knew some of the roads surrounding Marysville, but my dad knew all of them. He loves looking at maps and I think maybe the inside of his brain has a GPS because he knows all the best roads. He’d start up his motorcycle, I’d start up mine. We’d put our helmet visors down and give each other a little nod and then take off down our street, him in front. This was before we installed radios inside our helmets so I relied on his blinkers and followed him down back roads that had the best views. We would go through roads surrounded by trees that smelled clean like wet earth, up hills to farms where my dad would point at the sheep and goats and cows because he knows how much I love animals.
He would take me on roads that had the least amount of cars because it’s fun to feel alone out there and also because I didn’t have my license yet and we didn’t want to get caught. And for me that was part of the fun, the tiny bit of thrill from the danger of it. And the solitude felt therapeutic, being alone in my helmet but knowing my dad was just up ahead keeping an eye on me in his side mirror.
We would end up somewhere different each time. One time we went to Granite Falls, not the town but the actual falls. We parked our bikes and admired the waterfall. Another time we just went to Starbucks and got coffee. We each have our signature drinks: My dad’s is a mocha, mine’s a chai tea latte. Sugar lovers.
My dad isn’t really a talker, neither am I. But we did talk on those outings. The subjects I don’t even remember. To me, the destination and the conversation did not really matter. It was the action of riding together, sitting together, drinking coffee together, staring at waterfalls together. It’s what I look forward to the most each time I go home from college.
This is why my daydream works.