Friday, June 13, 2008
Leader of the Pack
I'm in a gang. My parent's worst fear. They did everything right. Private school. Modest plaid skirts. Ovaltine in the morning. No sleepovers. No boys. No lipstick. No pinching, tickling or horsing around with other girls in study hall...because of course, you know what THAT leads to.
Still...I'm in a gang. Perhaps, I'm rebelling. Finally.
I can count on one hand the times I've called in sick. In fact, when I'm sick, I usually drag my ass to work anyway because I feel responsible, don't want to burden someone else with my in-box. I always make a deadline. I never complain. No excuses. On task. Even the canned goods in my cupboards...the labels all face out. My closet, organized by color and purpose. I know. I know. Freakish.
But. The sun is out. And when you live on Darkor, the watery, gray death star, that's a BIG fucking deal. So when a posse of boys to men pulled up and barked, "Yo, we got an extra scooter. Hop on and LET'S RIDE," I had to pull on my leather jacket and take it to the streets.
Ride. Baby. Ride. Barreling along the coastal road at 25 mph, the wind flapping my cropped jeans, I tasted freedom (and one or two low-flying insects). We scootered down to Nye Beach and beeped at all the cafe society, we scootered along the Waterfront and up the windy Bay Road, all over this laaaannd. To everyone out and about, we beeped our horns. And even the grumpiest faces cracked into grins. Waves. Pumped fists. Thumbs up. Whoo-hoos! Spreading the joy, man, spreading the joy. Everyone loves a scooter.
So I told the boys, "Hey, let's slip down the alley and huff the cheese bread smoke behind the bakery. Let's head to the docks and get some tats of big boobed women or a ship's anchor or a black widow spider clutching a dagger. Better yet, we can heckle the crabbers unloading their tanks, "Dude, you call THAT the 'Deadliest Catch?' Shit man, I've seen bigger crabs on your WIFE."
Ah, you gotta love life on the road. The leather gloves. The jaunty helmet. The cold beer. That's right. We drank AND scootered. So sue me. Powered up on something called Scotch Eggs (not for the ovo squeamish) then pinched the waitress' bottom for good luck because, well, we're in a gang. When we pulled up to a light, a ZZ Top looking fellow nodded over the handlebars of his Harley, "Takes a real women to lead a bunch of men." Uhuh. That's right, Kimosabe.
But when I insisted on one more spin around the lighthouse, the boys demurred. One had to have the house vacuumed before his wife got home from work, another had a conference call scheduled with his estate attorney and yet another had to take his son in for a check-up. You gotta be fucking kidding me! This is NOT how a gang behaves. We throw caution to the wind. We ruin our relationships. We shirk responsibility. We give The Man the finger. WE FIGHT THE POWER.
Then my cell phone rang. It's the boss. "Hey, have you finished that website copy? Deadline is today."
Gotta go. Plus, I forgot my sunscreen.