Divorce has been on my mind of late, but it seems I’m not alone. Frederick and Hamel (1998), for whom the topic seems so all consuming, it has become work as well as past time, cautiously estimate that “almost one in every three Canadian couples (31%) who married in 1991 will eventually split up if the 1991 divorce rates prevail”. Too many numbers and too much logic there for my tastes, so I’ll run with the much cleaner Statistics Canada posting that has the rate is sitting around 16.2%. That strangely brings me to the topic of my Honda VTEC VFR 800 – she and I are on track for to join that 16.2% on that sliding marital course.
Onlooking voyeurs are likely concerned about the lack of passion between the VFR and I, and I’ll admit when we hooked up it was the “rational” thing to do. She was the sensible girl, the one you marry because of good judgment rather than passion. That our friends never showered us with gifts was an obvious indicator that they didn’t expect it to last. They just suggested I change her, a taller windscreen, a throttle rocker, an aftermarket seat, a set of titanium exhaust and carbon fiber trappings. None of it really worked out, you don’t marry someone to change who they are.
She originally came on all comfortable and compliant, but after some 10,000kms last month my wrists are aching and my knees sore. The Freudians amongst you should have a field day with that last sentence. Other than the sore points we hardly talk at all, of late we’ve gone weeks without saying anything of worth. Comfort has transitioned into the sort of awkward tension strangers reserve for elevators, and lovers reserve for beds they don’t want to share.
It’s true, I’ve been seeing other bikes, lots of them in fact, and after such flings on the asphalt coming back to the VFR has always seemed comfortable. The she has never had the whimsical spontaneity of a GSX-R 1000, never traded on her looks like a 916, and never had that raw party down edge of a ZX-10R. Of late I think it’s as fed up with me as I am of her.
We don’t even like the same sort of things any more. Last time we went to a track day together she just pitched a fit. That set me back more cash for a quick trip to the shops for some new plastics.
Did I mention she’s high maintenance? That’s in a passive aggressive sort of way, she always needs something but never says it. Right now she’s sulking in the parking lot demanding a new set of tires and getting ready to empty my wallet on an upcoming VTEC adjustment.
I don’t even feel like an impulsive session of raucous antics through the twisties with her of late. We need to talk about our problems, but all I ever get is an angry VTEC kick-in and then silence as we slide into our same old patterns. I avoid the topic and she pushes onwards saying nothing. Maintaining a loving relationship takes a lot of hard work and I’m not sure I want to make the effort any more… it just seems stale.
I think my extramarital affairs, track experience and age have changed me, while she doesn’t want to adapt.
So here I sit in front of the computer, surfing the newest lot of ’07 bike porn and worse yet even writing some of it. Meanwhile she sits downstairs separated by a gulf of silence neither of us is interested in bridging. Another lonely quiet Friday night…
Tuesday I pick up a loner MultiStrada for the trip to DNW2006… An odd looking bike but I’ve never gone for the conventional lookers. I wonder if the attraction is mutual?
– Neil Johnston