Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Helping Hands: The Motorcycle

November 19, 2019


Elena Sherwood

A run down motorcycle stood in the middle of the mess, its old frame rusting and its seat unused.

They wore a mask. Underneath it their eyes were fixated on a corner of the dimly lit garage, where a mat lay on the floor covered in a variety of tools. A run down motorcycle stood in the middle of the mess, its old frame rusting and its seat unused. No one had noticed it for years. 

No one noticed them either. They sat in the back of their classes and moved between periods like a ghost. They didn’t talk (“it usually wasn’t necessary,” they said) and made their way through life alone.

That changed when they were with motorcycles. This one had been their obsession for weeks — they rushed into that dimly lit garage after school, pulled the mask over their face and worked to repair it. They already spent hours of their day at South Tech learning their craft as a welder. They perfected their craft in this garage. To them, the motorcycle was beautiful.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

So they repaired the motorcycle. It still looked old, but in the past few weeks it was looking better. When they first got it they took a clamp, plugged it into the outlet on the wall and grinded away the old weld. The sparks from the melting metal faintly illuminated the room. This process left the metal frame painfully exposed with its old protection gone.

Occasionally, their friends would come by. They had friends in school now; they said high school demanded it. Its collaborative projects forced them to interact with their peers and jolted them from their self-protective shell. Over the course of their freshman year, their shell slowly melted away.

After they cleaned the exposed frame, they used a hot rod to force a new bind onto it. The rod pulsed with electricity as it melted new metal plates onto the motorcycle and sent sparks flying through the room. The welds embraced and strengthened the frame, and they slowly added more.

They made one friend freshman year. Then they made another. They made these friends out of necessity, but as those friends embraced them they grew stronger. They took a chance in removing their old facade, but that facade was replaced by stronger forces: forces of friendship, forces of honesty and forces of people.

It took a while, but they finally completed their motorcycle. It stood waiting in that garage, bolstered by the welds and ready to serve its purpose. They opened their garage door and light from outside flooded in, bathing the room and motorcycle in warmth. Then, they set down the mask and rolled the motorcycle outside.



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