As long as the bike had training wheels.
And I had the road entirely to myself.
The reality is, if I'm flying down the road on a Harley, the only reason a bug can fly into my mouth is because my mouth is stretched wide open in a terrified scream.
Yeah, some biker babe I am. More like a big biker baby. See, I'm not a biker chick; I'm a biker chicken.
It hasn't always been this way, but see, I don't have a very good track record with motorcycles. The first time I ever got on one was as a teenager, when I wasn't afraid of anything. Of course, my parents had forbidden me to get on a motorcycle, but what can I say? The boy was really cute in a rebel without a cause kinda way, so when he asked if I wanted to hop on and take a spin around the neighborhood... I hopped on.
Until I tried to slide off the bike, that is. See those things in the picture? They're exhaust pipes. In case you don't know it, exhaust pipes get HOT. Very very hot. When I got off, a good-sized patch of skin from the inside of my right leg stayed behind on that pipe. It, um, hurt. Really really hurt. I howled loudly enough to make half the windows in our neighborhood rattle... on the inside. On the outside, I didn't make a peep. Just smiled at the boy and thanked him for the ride. (Do you have any idea how difficult it is to walk away with the proper amount of hip sway when your bloody leg is on fire...?) And for good measure, I had to wear long pants most of the summer to hide the oozing burn from my parents. Oh, no, ma'am, I don't need to wear shorts, Mom. (pant- pant) I'm not too hot at all...
Now then, let me tell you about Smarticus. He rode a bike, and had all of those deliciously attractive bad boy attributes... but to make things even better, he was actually a... good guy. A very good guy. And to top things off, he was smart and funny.
God help me, I didn't stand a chance.
|[credit: Basem Wasef]|
The first time Smarticus took me out on his bike, it ran out of gas.
I kid you not.
Then, it started to rain.
Nope. Still not kidding.
To this day, he doesn't understand how that could have happened, because he said he'd filled the tanks before picking me up.
Still, it honest-to-goodness did happen. And I thought it was funny as hell. (Luckily, it wasn't too far of a trek to a gas station.)
I may not have flown through the air like the dude in the picture, but I DID forget how to stop the darned thing. (Never a good idea.) I plowed through the bushes and came to a halt by running into the side of my
Yeah, well, no offense to the late Mr. Thompson, but I never got to that point. The very last time my tush straddled the back of a Harley was about thirty-five years ago. Let's just say Smarticus embraced the thrill of speed far more than I did, and I decided it wouldn't be a good idea for us both to die on a motorcycle when we still had kids to raise.
A few years after that, I got the phone call no one ever wants to get. One of Smarticus' biker pals called to tell me there had been an accident, and they're loading him in the ambulance now.
No speed involved. A guy driving a truck claimed he didn't see the bike.
At that point, my on-again-off-again love affair with motorcycles was officially over. NO MORE, I said.
It'd be different if it we lived somewhere where there's lots of open road...
THAT would be fun, exhilarating even. THAT would feel like freedom. THAT would be like the way it was when we rode a bike all over Oahu when we met in Hawaii for R&R back in 1970.
But the reality is, we live near Atlanta, traffic capital of the world. (If it isn't, it should be.)
I'm talking wall-to-wall traffic, lots of in-a-hurry truckers, and way too many people who don't see a motorcycle.
Still, all these years, I've been aware of my husband's lustful wandering eye. I've seen how his eyes light up whenever he spots a hot-looking... Harley. (sigh)
Anyhow, here's the question. Given our history, what would YOU have said? What would YOU have done? I mean, if I kept my trap shut about it, Smarticus would never have been the wiser...
Okay, so I'm a sap. I told him about it right away, and I'm telling you, his eyes lit up like a kid's at Christmas. Bottom line? He's not a child, and I'm not his mother, so I decided it wouldn't be fair to keep denying him something I knew he wanted so much. I love him; he loves motorcycles. End of story. So I caved. My brother came to visit us this past week, and he brought the bike with him. And we all (ta- DA!) lived happily ever after.
Especially Smarticus. Think he's happy to have another Harley back in the fold again...?
Um, yeah, I'd call that happy...
Initially, I figured I wasn't gonna be getting on the back of that thing, no way, now how. But I dunno. Maybe it's never too late to become a real biker babe. My decades-old faded black Harley tank top still fits, so who knows...? (And I do look a little better than this gal...)
Maybe it's time to let go of the fear, and embrace the fun, the adventure... and Smarticus. (Believe you me, this big ol' baby would be holding on tightly!) Maybe. Just maybe.
Until next time, take care of yourself. And each other.