If I felt this way toward a girl there would be incrimination; restraining orders would be issued. People would look at me with their best serious faces, speak in their best concerned tones and say: "Chris, you are sick. Very, very sick. You need to get help."
Authority figures and neighbours would stare me down in judgemental disgust. I would find myself uninvited from social gatherings. Acquaintances would slip away, and I would learn who my very truest friends are. They would be the two, maybe three, people who would come and grip my hand and implore me to get over this thing - let this obsession pass.
But what I'm thinking about - what I'm obsessing over, what's filling my thoughts in every single waking moment - are motorcycles.
I want one.
I need one.
Is there a stronger word than "need?" That's what has its claws in me.
Being obsessed with motorcycling is a more socially and legally abiding thing - no one's going to throw me in jail simply for wanting to ride - but my desire is no less crippling. I feel sick with need. Without a motorcycle, as I am now, I feel I am in a rapid state of deterioration.
The illness is physical. I can feel in my arms and chest and shoulders and legs an actual, physical aching for the sense of freedom a motorcycle can provide. But almost certainly most people would say the root of the issue is psychological: I am the victim of some kind of mental disease. And what do we do with mental illness? We treat it with words. We talk it out. We keep a journal.
This, then, is my journal - my motorcycle diary: a tale of the journey from what I am to what I want to be.