SLIPPIN’ INTO DARKNESS
It was one of those sweatpants and tennis shoes afternoons, pink and blue horizon, with a slow breeze where a Dad can finally be alone in the garage, park the ZX in a posedown, and sit and watch the falling leaves dance across the driveway. I didn't feel like suiting up, so I took three separate joyrides around the block, nothing fancy, just easy leans and smooth launches, my shirt popping in the wind like a school flag. When I got back the third time, I patted my pockets only to find that I locked myself out of the house. No worries, my old lady would be home soon, and retiring to the garage and kicking back, is like sitting on the dock of the bay...But I had to pee. And you can't pee outside in the Burbs. So I held it till I started to rock back and forth like a contestant on Fear Factor watching the clock. I decided to hop on Green Destiny and head to the gas station nearby and take care of this tick-tock, tick-tock, rattling kettle pot. It was now dark and I made a nice turn into the gas station.
I never liked the parking lot here; smooth and shiny concrete that looked like a skate rink. Also, the parking spots at the storefront slope way down. But I paid it no mind. I had to pee. I pulled into a spot and circled the bike around backwards to park. I quickly kicked down the kickstand, (or so I thought), turned the handlebars, and my Ninja fainted in my arms. All 600 pounds. Slippin' into darkness. I could just hear the song by WAR. My first day of vacation just turned into the Rocky Horror Picture Show and I stood over my bike like it was a golden retriever hit by a car in the middle of the road. I asked a guy pumping gas, "Sir, can you give me a hand? I dropped my bike." He cleared his throat and looked away, and said, "Wait a second." He was fat and looked like he wasn't sure whether he should help me.
I scanned the parking lot for a man to help me lift this green spaceship, and out of nowhere, a pink-haired 30 year-old lady in heels walks towards me quickly and asks, "Do you need help lifting your bike?" Before I could babble a syllable, she was down at full squat right by the hot muffler can. I warned her that it would be heavy. She said, "I know." We lifted the bike upright, and she gently said, "Now put the kickstand down." My hands were shaking. Fat man jogged up after we had the bike up, pretending to help. I thanked her and she went inside to pay for her gas. She couldn't have been more than a 120 lb woman.
The ZX wouldn't start so I freaked out a little bit and felt that terror you felt as a kid when you broke one of your Dad's collectibles. But I got it to start, and waited for Superwoman to come out. "Do you ride,” I asked her. "I ride bitch," she said. I thanked her again and she hurried off to her car, tossing her pink bangs out of her eyes, heels tapping the concrete, as she calmly said, "Be safe."
True story. 01/09/20