Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mile 720: Middle Story #1

She was a big woman with a pretty, freckled face that was beginning to sunburn. Probably somewhere in her late 20s, with stringy, unnaturally red hair that had obviously recently been Miss Clairoled. I had just rolled up to the back of the left turn line when I saw her. I kicked the bike into neutral, and waited for the light to turn green.

She walked the length of the median, looking directly into each car while holding up her "Anything Helps" sign. Then when it was my turn for the stare-down, she locked eyes with me, arched her back, and rolled on both of her imaginary throttles, hands held high. (Why do non-motorcyclists always have two throttles?)

She then yells at me, "Yew gonna take me for a riiiide on that motorcycle?"

"No." I maintained my typically straight suspicious face.

"I been out here all day," she continued.

"Well you need to be careful out here. This neighborhood's no joke." And it's not. She was on the median at one of the busiest intersections in the country.

As I was finishing my sentence, the light had already turned green, and each car in the line did their turtle-paced start, but it was now time for me to move forward. I already kicked the bike down into first while I gave her that last bit of advice, so I rolled on my single throttle and scooted forward.

But before I made it all the way up the line, the light turned yellow then red while a small car and a ridiculously large Dodge dually pushed through, blocking the oncoming lane's turn to go. That meant I got to be first in line at the red light.

Here she comes.

She perches next to me on the median and starts back up while putting on her sunglasses. "There. Now I'm all pretty. I used to only weigh 160 before I had two kids. But now I weigh 264. Trying to lose weight."

"Well you're at least getting exercise walking up and down this median begging."

She arched her back again, not to twist her imaginary throttles, but to let out a very loud belly-laugh. She took a very deep breath and then yelled, "You a trip, baby!"

"I get that a lot."

She offered a more subdued giggle and smile, and then just stood there for about thirty seconds. I wondered why she didn't start walking back up the line. Maybe she just needed someone to talk to.

"So this bitch was beating me up this morning in front of the library."

"What?" I admit that she caught me off guard with that one.

"Yeah, she started talking all kinds of shit about everything, you know."

"Well, you don't have any bruises or cuts, so hopefully it wasn't too bad." (Me trying to be sympathetic.)

"No, man. It's all good. Beautiful day."

Then the light turned green.

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