I think it started when I was a little kid - and I mean LITTLE, like preschool; I think I must have been 3 because I'm pretty sure WWII was still on. I was with my mother in a dime store and I was looking at a display of toy soldiers, and she said I could pick one. But I'd already locked onto the one I wanted; it was a dispatch rider - a soldier astride a big motorcycle. It was cast metal (which raises doubt as to my dating, because during the war metal toys weren't all that common) and it was all in one piece; looking back, I realize the modeling was pretty crude. But I didn't care; to me it was wonderful.
And Mama bought it for me, and it became my favorite toy - in fact it's the first toy I remember owning, though undoubtedly I had others before it. I named the rider Motor, and he and I went everywhere together; I carried him in my pocket and slept with him under my pillow. Mama had to order me to keep him out of sight in church and refrain from vrooming him up and down the back of the next pew.
Of course, since I was a little kid and since we moved around a lot as soon as the war ended, I eventually lost him. (Probably stolen by one of those little Okie bastards in one of those trailer camps around Bakersfield.)
But I've had a thing for motorcycles as long as I was old enough to have a thing for anything; and I think I have Motor to thank for that. Which I guess is a demonstration of the principle, "The difference between men and boys is just the price of the toys."
Soy, pero soy tambien el otro, el muerto,
El otro de mi sangre y de mi nombre.
- Jose Luis Borges