Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I just read an e-mail my friend Margaret sent me last night. She has spent the weekend in California where her husband lives and works. She said they took a ride on his Harley-Davidson, and spent some time in a biker bar.
To think about Margaret, sweet, school-teachin' Margaret, on the back of a Harley is well, hard to imagine. Impossible, actually. Margaret is a pretty woman, but I've known her for over 20 years and the last place I would put her is on the back of a motorcycle. Shows how much I know.
Now a few years ago when I was encountering the woman I nicknamed Biker Chick she was a person I could visualize on the back of a Harley!
Sharron was in her early 30s and had two boys. As I found out, two kids by two different fathers. She wasn't married and never had been. She was living with her mom. She didn't have a job, but sponged off mom and collected some child support money for both her boys.
Sharron approached me. I delivered to a school which has since closed. Sharron was usually in the parking lot, close to where I parked, dropping off her oldest boy, who was in 5th grade at the time. He was also, as I found out, in a behavior discipline unit. One day Sharron just started talking to me. She was standing by her car, some old mid-'80s GM car, one of those that all looked alike. An Oldsmobuick, as I think Chevy Chase called them in Fletch. She asked me some question and engaged me in conversation.
She got my attention fast. Whenever women approach me a couple of different thoughts go through my head: "Does she want to have sex?" and "Does she know I'm married?" Well, there are more thoughts than that going through my mind but let's just say those are the first ones that pop into my head.
(Incidentally, and this is for my wife if she ever reads this: One of the first things I do in the situation I am describing is work you into the conversation. Every woman knows within minutes I'm a married guy. After that, well...it's up to them what they do with that information.)
To make a long story longer, I found Sharron to be fascinating but repelling at the same time. I thought she was cute and sexy, but in a rough sort of way. She wore tight jeans, tight tops, sandals or athletic shoes, and was always in a leather jacket with chains dangling off the pockets. She had long brown hair, which was usually unwashed but not really dirty. She smoked cigarettes so she always had the smell of smoke around her. Her voice was very low and husky, a whisky-and-cigarette voice, I call it. Whenever I talked with her the paranoid/danger alarms went off in my head.
I came home and told my wife, "You should see this biker chick who started a conversation with me today." That became what I called her, Biker Chick. I found out later what her real name was, but Biker Chick was what I called her in my head, just not to her face.
What I found out was if there was another man who arrived at the school before me, a dad, maintenance worker, etc., and if he had a beard, she would talk with him. I had met my first, and to my knowledge, only, beard groupie! The woman just loved guys with beards. I don't have long hair, but sometimes the facial hair came with ponytails, long braids, ratty, oily, greasy, nasty hair. If a guy was a fuzzface, or a hairy-scary, she liked him.
Biker Chick and I kept in touch for several years because I ran into her at schools where she was dropping off her kids. The boy who was a 5th grader when I met her went on to junior high, then high school. He got to a point where he towered over me, a tall, thin, handsome kid with a soft voice and the soul of a murderer (according to the school secretary, told to me in confidence). I expect to see his name in the paper one day in connection with something heinous.
I hadn't seen Biker Chick in several months and at the beginning of one of the past school years I saw her outside a school. There were construction workers doing some work. The foreman had a beard and a long braid down his back to his belt line. That's where I saw her, chatting him up. I also noticed she appeared to be about 8 months pregnant. She saw me, greeted me, and when I asked when she was due she laughed and said, "Any minute!"
The last time I saw Biker Chick was at yet another school, where her second son was a student. She told me, proudly, the father of her third son had married her. She suddenly looked married to me. She looked 20 pounds heavier than I had known her, but she was the same Biker Chick, even down to the leather jacket.
That was about three years ago and I think about Biker Chick now and then.
I remember once she got a job in a discount cigarette store and was fired after a week because over $600 was missing from the till. They blamed her. She told me this with a straight face and I didn't ask, "Did you steal it?" because I knew she had.
When I was still running into Biker Chick I read an article about a syndrome with some women. They like bad boys...they find dangerous guys sexy. Those are the guys who don't stick around, so a woman gets pregnant thinking that'll settle him down, but it doesn't. So she's left with a kid but no ring. Biker Chick had repeated this syndrome a couple of times but the last time she managed to get the guy to stay.
At least I hope he stayed. I still think I'll see Biker Chick somewhere and maybe she'll have yet another kid added to her brood.
When I think of her I think of the lyrics to the Neil Young song: "Somewhere on a desert highway, she rides a Harley-Davidson, her long blonde hair flyin' in the wind..."
(This isn't Biker Chick but is a woman who could raise any biker's oil pressure):
Ciao for now, El Postino