Friday, October 15, 2010


I scanned the folding table carefully, looking for a cute souvenir between the rows of brass knuckles, knives, and swastika goodies; clearly this shopping spree was a bust. I hoped to leave the biker party with a cute little skull to hang around a chain, but I’d have to continue my search on Saint Mark’s Place or Bleeker Street, my treasure would not be found among the lovingly displayed anti-Semitic collectibles and illegal weaponry.

It was around one-thirty in the afternoon, the biker I was seeing had asked to meet for coffee around noon to give me the hundred bucks he had borrowed, and to apologize for fucking an old flame he’d invited into town two days before. She’d gotten pissed off and had split a day earlier than planned. He showed up on time which was a rarity, passed me 5 twenties, ordered 2 shots of Jack and a burger and before I knew it I was back on his bike headed to Staten Island to a biker party, location undisclosed - but not before borrowing another 20 for gas.

There were a couple of guys from his club there, one of them a sweetheart who thanked me nicely after I fetched them a couple of Bud’s and dollar shots per my date’s request. I had to stand on the sidelines; I had learned the rules a long time ago. I wasn’t to speak to anyone, particularly men, and especially those from another motorcycle club. There were bikers from one of the hardcore MC’s, they call them “outlaws” or 1 percenters, they stood in a circle, I tried not to be caught looking in their direction, someone might be beaten within an inch or two of their lives – but I didn’t know what else to do. There were some girls there, too – in their own clique, I had seen a couple of them arriving on their Suzuki sport bikes with their longs sleek black hair and 18 inch waists. I wasn’t familiar with the policy on chit chatting with biker chicks, but these didn’t look like the type of girls you call up to go to the museum with on a Sunday, or grab a nice brunch and lattes at a charming cafe – so I decided to err on the safe side and spend this lovely day staring down at my Uggs.

My other choices were perusing the illegal weapons gift table (again), seeing what fare was offered at the buffet table steamer trays, or to seek solace in the last stall in the ladies room where at least I had someone to talk to. My friend Mel was just be waking up in California, and we were conversing in texts. She wanted the update on my biker friend, what had happened with his weekend tryst, how many shots of Jack did it take for me to cave and hop back on the bike; she had been living vicariously through me – the highpoint of her weekend was usually going to Trader Joe’s on the off chance she could get lucky and find their soy product chicken fingers in stock. It wasn’t like she was jealous of me, either - she had tried to coach me out of this affair for weeks, she was the recipient of late night phone calls when he’d blown off our date for the umpteenth time only to show up at 2AM, smelling of Jack, Camels, and God knows what else - maybe cheap strippers I never dared ask. I was staying in it for the sex, the civil breakfasts where we would linger over eggs, sausage, 7-grain toast, and premium grade coffee topped off by more sex. And then there was the bike; I was in love with the bike. The roar of the throttle, the glint of the chrome, he’d start it up and gesture me to take my place behind him, barely fitting my arms around his girth we’d edge towards the sidewalk and clunk, clunk down on the pavement - the day filled with the promise of flight.

Still, it wasn’t long after that biker party that I said my final goodbye. After apologizing for the weekend tryst with an old flame, another ex flew into town after that, then another - a woman I overheard asking him if he would be staying for breakfast while we were on the phone one Saturday morning, he rang my bell that Sunday afternoon - I invited him up and asked him not to come back.

I ended up finding a cute little skull on Ebay finally, which I hung on a chain. My biker had been gone for weeks, we kept in touch on the social networking site, he was in his third relationship since we’d split - it had been a month and a half. I missed the sex, the two-hour breakfast extravaganzas, but mostly I missed the bike. Hell-bent on dating another biker just to get back on a bike, until eureka it hit me, I could actually get a bike of my own.

Yep, I could get a bike, not have to depend on a guy to go flying, maybe have a real chance at love with someone nice who has a bicycle and maybe reads The Times, you never know.

I couldn’t tell you when I fell out of love with the biker. Was it the folding table full of swastika souvenirs? Was it the pile of vaginal freshener suppositories I found by his sink - left behind by yet another ex? Was it the smell of Jack coming off him as we lane split on the Belt Parkway at 2 AM and the threat of imminent death?

The day my bike was delivered, maybe that was it; when I fired her up and clunk-clunked her down into first gear and rode off by myself. My ex-boyfriend biker friend was keeping a watchful eye over me in his side view mirror, he showed up on that first day – sober, precise in his direction, and ultimately supportive as we rode together in formation later that afternoon down Hamilton Avenue. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor, as a boyfriend he pretty much sucked, but as I was feeling stronger, up on my own two wheels, sun shining - it was all water under the bridge.

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