If you are my father please stop reading this right now! Seriously, you wont like this at all.
Ok, now that the coast is clear, I can tell you about something I did last week that scared the bejebus out of me yet also made me incredibly thrilled about life. First off, I went to New York City (because I’m an very lucky woman who’s friends with awesome people) and while I was there my friend Andrew, who lives in the Big Apple (well, Astoria), asked me to do something I’ve never done before: ride on the back of his motorcycle.
For years and years I’ve wanted to buy a cute little Vespa, because I’ve watched too many European films, but have always been warned against them by a father who imagines me scrapped up on the side of the highway. Over the years I’ve derived from more people than just my father that motorcycles are death traps. Which is why I’ve only ever been on a scooter twice. One of those times resulted in an accident with a drunk driver; luckily no one was hurt. All this has lead me to believe that I should never get on a two wheeled hearse.
However, as an actor I was trained to always, “Yes, let’s!” Meaning: accept the offer and run with it. So, when Andrew asked if I wanted to go for a ride around Manhattan I had to throw away my fears and jump on this adventure. Because really, how many times am I going to get the chance to do that?
When Andrew rode up I was surprisingly calm. He helped me put on my helmet and told me to lean with him around corners and then we were off. I wrapped my arms around him and my heart began to pound my chest. I intertwined my fingers attempting to create some sort of body lock that would save me from imminent death. I looked down at the pavement whizzing by my Converse clad feet and body covered only in denim. Then I imagined my flesh being torn off my bones. Or a car crashing sideways into us. Or behind us. I pictured my death every which way possible. Then I thanked goodness that I’d purchased travel insurance so that my mangled body could get back home to Canada safely.
After about ten minutes of not dying and successfully leaning into a corner I began to relax. From the Queensboro Bridge I saw the skyline of Manhattan at sunset. In moments like that I try to capture a memory that I will hold on to forever. I silently give thanks for the opportunities my life has given me because it’s a pretty fricken amazeballs thing to have your first motorcycle ride be so picturesque.
We rode down the West side of the city, down Riverside Dr and the fake homes of Liz Lemon, Will and Grace and Joe Fox aka NY152. We rode past Ground Zero which was still empty except for some fences, cranes and cops. We rode up to the corner of Central Park near the 24-hour Apple store then all over the centre of the city and back down to the Lower East Side where we ran out of gas. Yeah, it was a very long ride. Luckily we were close to our destination; Pianos for karaoke and a there was gas station close by for later.
At the end of the night I think I was riding the b*tch seat like a pro. My arms stopped Heilmlich-ing Andrew and my breath stopped being held. With my feet safe on the ground and my skin still on my bones I was thankful to be alive. Will I do it again? It’s a definite maybe, but I’m very glad I did.
Perhaps it’s an animal instinct to want to ride. See HERE for an incredible video demonstrating this.