He’s a fickle apparition, a fading shade who occurs only by two wheels. He materializes the moment a steed is rolled from the stable, and evaporates upon its return. Though Surtch Pherther occurs only through his motorcycles, over time there have been precursors, Surtch brother-selves, some now dormant, others still active. Surely there are brother-selves to be…
The first occurred at age four: It was a spring predawn, and he was sitting wrapped in his favorite blanket on his mother’s lap in the passenger seat of his father’s ‘72 Ford Bronco. In the back sat his older brother and their older sister, both also covered–against the chill, against sleepiness, against the wee hours. And as they rode they witnessed dawn over the east peaks while a sort of dawn broke on their young lives–of a future packed with off-road camping adventures.
Another occurred, stubbornly, at about age twelve, when the backpacking he’d tried a few times finally took. Ahead were years of frequent backpacking adventures with his parents and siblings and, eventually, his siblings’ extensions.
And there’s a self whose first occurrence is impossible to peg. As, by nature, the paths of the other selves seldom cross, this self skips impishly upon the paths of all. He is the linking self, the selves’ cement, the unwitting unifier. He is a hiker. This brother-self is the wanderer.
Ry Austin (scribe at twowheelstothere.com):
As a kid, I enjoyed, among other things, Fantasy Art and Surrealism Art; rollerskating, which, unfortunately, was unusual for a boy of my generation in my area; and creating elaborate marble runs with tossed gift wrap tubes, broken kitchen tools, Hot Wheels tracks, and Legos, all pinned to my bedroom walls (Rube Goldberg-like contraptions). I survived a bout of philately in late grade school. And I was always afflicted with lingering shame whenever I failed to “collect the whole set”, from cereal boxes, Happy Meals, you name it. (I rarely succeeded.) Otherwise, I was a fairly normal kid, I think.
I was a pretty good student, and as a youth I became a bit of a bookworm for poetry, nature writing, transcendentalism, existentialism, some realism, romanticism (not to be confused with romance fiction), modernism, beat writing, and post-modernism–bookworming that followed me into adulthood.
With my departure from youth I, of course, abandoned many of my childhood pastimes, and my art interests matured to include works of Expressionism and American Regionalism and American Modernism (from the latter, namely the industrial art of Charles Sheeler), the art of Edward Hopper, early to mid 20th century illustration art and advertising art, and Nouveau design and Deco design. I love music of all genres and the radio shows of the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, and I’ve a reverential fascination for complex mechanical devices and equipment large and small… You know, the stuff obsolesced by advanced electronics and computerization. Regularly I ineffectively (maybe indifferently) try to suppress the urge to explore abandoned mines and derelict warehouses and factories and, well, structures of any sort (yeah, my mother knows all about this).
Forever I’ve been drawn to written language, enchanted by how words can be joined to make magic (astounded that it’s even possible). For nearly as long, I’ve been a dabbler. That isn’t to say, however, that writing and I have an easy relationship (wrote Ry, pretentiously)… It can be an abusive lover–to whom I return because something remains undiscovered, to whom I return because it has told me repeatedly that nothing else will ever love me as much, that nothing else will ever satisfy me so (wrote Ry, melodramatically). I journaled as a kid and penned awful poetry, and when I was a young man I began to write stories short and long, occasionally successfully, often swearing off the shit for good. It’s a swearing off that has yet to take.
Thank you, dear reader, I hope that you enjoy these tales.
Oh, and don’t hesitate to kick down the stand and message me…