For the Ride

I’ve realized lately that I’m in love with Italian scooter culture. In America, if a guy rides a scooter, it’s kind of lame. You wonder, why doesn’t he have a car? Why doesn’t he just get a motorcycle? They’re more manly, right? But here in Italy, they’re my favorite thing besides the food.

There’s just something about riding on a scooter, looking out at the world around me, that just makes me feel…everything. On the back of a scooter, I have no doubt it my mind why Lizzie fell for Paolo almost immediately after that ride through Rome. Riding on the back of a scooter is the definition of an adrenaline rush. These boys don’t try to make you fall in love (or lust or like or whatever it is), but the moment they get you on the back of a scooter, it’s almost impossible to resist the pull. I swear it’s the most magical, heart pumping thing ever.

From the moment he picks you up with an extra helmet, it’s over. For me, my heart starts racing almost immediately. And then you add wind, a sunset, and the feeling of your body pressed intimately against theirs…

That’s one of my favorite parts of the ride, too, being so close to another human. You often don’t realize how little physical contact you have with people until almost every part of your body is fully pressed against another human being…

I’ve recently started seeing someone causally (what a shocker, right?). By recently I mean almost an entire month, and by causally, I mean that, at the moment, I like him and only him. It’s still new, awkward, and a bit uncomfortable, but I’m curious. There’s little that I like more in a new “something” than to desire to know more about who I’m sharing my time with.

We spend a lot of our time around scooters. He’s a mechanic, which is new for me. I’ve never really dated anyone with a hands-on job. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever dated anyone with a job. Problem.

We had a conversation about his hands the other day. I’m always poking fun and saying how dirty they are. It just comes with the occupation. For a while I think he legitimately thought I was disgusted by them.

Honestly, I think that they’re my favorite part about him.

I don’t think I’ve experienced hands so manly. Thinking back to all the hands I’ve held, his are definitely the roughest, but they make me feel safe that way. I finally told him that I liked them because they’re le mani di un uomo–a man’s hands. I wish I could describe the particular look that was on his face, something between happiness and intrigue. Shock, maybe?

Most of the conversation would be lost if I tried to tell it all (because I’m translating and paraphrasing), but he said something like “so many men have women’s hands.”

I dated those men. I’ve dated men that didn’t understand what work was. That were afraid to get deep, to get dirty.

I’m notorious for having an overly loving heart, and with that I’ve learned that hearts made to love break easily. If you’ve ever read any of my posts on this blog, you know almost intimately what I’ve been through in the past year, but you also know that I’ve recently decided that I want to love again.

No, this isn’t the moment where I tell you that I’m in love. That, like I promised myself, will take some time. No more rushing. I will, however, tell you that I’m along for the ride again.

When I’m on his scooter with him, with or without a beautiful view of a sunset or otherwise, there’s one particular moment that I enjoy more than the rest: the moment when he takes a second to hold my hand as he drives. I’m already pressed as close to him as I can be, but there’s something much more intimate about that little extra touch, the feeling of his calluses against my smooth palm.

It’s not just for anyone. It’s for me.

 

And I know that there’s a strong possibility that it’ll all be over soon. It’s more than a possibility. It’s the most likely outcome of the next month that I have here. We don’t talk seriously much, mainly because I find it hard to talk because he makes me so unsure of my words and how I feel. I can never seem to put anything into words. Yet, despite my nerves about communication, I still feel. In the little moments of intimacy, I feel the little spark of something that I haven’t truly let myself feel for over a year.

In a weird way, this completely casual, doomed-to-end-faster-than-it-started fling has helped me realize that I think my heart is actually ready to open up again to true intimacy.

I’m not talking about the puppy love relationship that broke my heart or even my rebound that only sometimes felt like a relationship from long-distances.

I’m talking about an up-close, hearts beating in sync, mature sort of intimacy with a man who not only understands my worth but also the meaning of work and respect.

Because, if I’ve learned anything from him, I think it’s that I’ve dated a lot of boys. And yes, he’s only 26 and still very much a boy at times (which often makes me angry). But, at 22, I’m still learning how to be a woman who loves herself and who understands her place in the world.

But, in any case, this is all helping me fall in love again with myself and my ability to open my heart freely and (almost) without fear.

I’ve been told I hop off and on the scooter really hard, and if that says anything about how I jump into relationships, I don’t know what would!

With Wanderlust,

Mikaila

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One thought on “For the Ride

  1. Mikaila, I am so glad you are enjoying Italy. I lived in Naples for 2 years, and my landlord gave a ride on his scooter about a month before I left from Italy and I realized, too late of course, that I loved riding a scooter. I currently live in Massachusetts and although the streets are perfect for riding scooters, I would not venture out unless I am driving a car. Why? MA drivers are the worst drivers I’ve ever seen in the US. Enjoy yourself:-)

    Like

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