Lights on the Water/Impressions in the Sand: A Motorcycling Odyssey

Not the way to start an 18,000-mile, 100-day motorcycle journey; an excerpt.

Lights on the Water Revised Cover 2 Final


I try out my new security lock for the laptop. After reading the directions, I set the combination, twist the cable around the motel room’s resident table, and secure it to the lock slot on the computer. Then I activate the motion alarm. Cool.

Except I can’t unlock it. I try again. The four-digit combination I set doesn’t work. I read the directions once more.

“Shit!” You have to have the proper combination set before locking the device. I didn’t. I thought you only had to dial the correct combination to unlock it.

“Targus service. Can I help you?”

I tell the technician what I did.

“Sir, you’re not going to like this answer. There is no master combination. You have two options. Take it to a locksmith. Or try every combination.”

I decide on the latter approach. Beginning with four zeros, I twirl to 0001, 0002, etc., the alarm clanging all the while. Finally, well into my third hour, and after sequencing up to 4317, the lock pops open. I’m ecstatic, especially since I can silence the high-pitched tortuous sound. My ears ring for hours, but at least I know the damn device is effective.