Tuesday, May 22, 2007

bark at the moon

Many years ago I met a guy at a beer festival. He of the long hair and multiple tattoos, me of the boredom and hunger. We danced wildly hands gripping beers, drinking in the sun. Numbers exchanged at the end of the day, curiouser still. I notice the flame creeping up his leg and I wonder how far it goes.

A few days later he calls, we agree to meet up at a bar. I go there that warm summer night and share a few beers and agree to go for a ride on his motorcycle. He's bad, this man. And I was recently tired of being good.

We climb on his bike, I've had several drinks now and am feeling no pain. He hands me a helmet with check out my tits stenciled on the back and I laugh in the face of it's absurdity. It has nothing to do with me so I slip it on my head and hold on tight.

We hit a few more bars and around 1am he talks about some of the darker sides of biker gangs. It's rather like a bizarre version of the learning channel. I laugh in the face of crime and subjugation and order another beer. I am reckless. I wear the helmet again on the way out.

It happens that his apartment is close to the bar of origin, so he offers to take me there on the way back to my car. It's dangerous and I know it and I say yes anyways. His badness has nothing to do with me, not yet. I am just visiting and beneath the devilry and the sexism he's just a guy on a bike.

We go into his apartment, half the night is gone by now. Candles stuck in skulls, another motorcycle inside. He shows me around, the last stop his room. A room that is almost solely full of bed, leopard skin and all. Something catches my eye and I turn my face upward. A complicated system of pulleys and leather and shackles hang from the ceiling, a whip looped through the cords. For the first time all night I am truly taken aback, this is more than I bargained for and it's more scary than absurd (although absurd it still is). He notices me gazing upward and says, all six feet of him with hair streaming down his back You should know I never have sex on the first date.

Immediately center rights itself again, his words warning me not to get my hopes up when instead I wanted to run for the door. I am thanking the gods and godless my intuition was right, that although he's bad, he's also good. We talk for another hour or so before I go. And when I do he says to give him a call if I am still interested, a chaste kiss on my cheek ends the night.

I never call this man again, this wildly dangerous man with a certain moral fortitude. But I'll always remember that night fondly, the dark and windy ride in and out of the badlands.

44 comments:

Lawyer Mama said...

There you go again. Just when I think you can't surprise me anymore, you do!

It's funny how often we have these preconceptions about people that are proven wrong.

QT said...

Oooh boy - been in your shoes before, sister. Love the tingle up my spine, then later wonder what was I thinking??

Great story!

Mad Hatter said...

You are one lucky woman, Jen. No amount of showing the balance of this particular man's personality is ever going to remove the luck factor from this story.

crazymumma said...

I'm laughing my ass off over here. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall (better yet,the ceiling you were looking up at), just to see the expression on your face.

Frankly he sounds gorgeous and sexy in all the ways I like, yet am repelled by. Wonder how far up his leg the flame did go.....

Funny huh, how people can wear a skin, and have this total surprise underneath....

thailandchani said...

Interesting.. for all the reasons stated. All I remember of bikers is that it was a biker who was most helpful to me when my car died on I-5 btwn SF and Los Angeles. While the other cars whizzed by, he is the one who stopped to help.


Peace,

~Chani

Tabba said...

My three-dog-night-dad....being a Harley man....I always felt bad for long haired guys on bikes who looked questionable, but really were teddy bears.
It was hard for me to understand that there were other ends of the spectrum.

Interesting story. Thank you so much for sharing this glimpse.

liv said...

OMG!! I love this. I like to remember the photo of you and M by the sea and think of that contrasted with you riding on the back of a sketchy man's bike. you rock!

theflyingmum said...

Aaaack. A tightness in my stomach, and a trickle of nervous sweat just reading about this. Girl, do you relize how INSANELY lucky you are? Could have gone in such a disastrously different direction. You must have a guardian angel on your shoulder.

jen said...

Mad, Flying Mum,

(she says as she knocks on wood) if there is anything gained from an entire lifetime spent among folks in tricky situations, it's a finely tuned gut instinct. I just knew he wasn't dangerous (to me, in that moment). While signs pointed otherwise, it's the undercurrent of humanity that I try and trust. (again, as she knocks on wood)

oh what the hell. maybe you guys are right. but it made sense at the time.

Sober Briquette said...

I'm going with the guardian angel theory.

People act differently when they've been drinking, too.

brings me back - a morning-after bike ride down a deserted highway at about 100 mph. That one did call me again, but I wasn't taking a second chance.

Today I took the kids and dog on a short walk on a trail maintained by the town. Although there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, we didn't see anyone on the short loop until the end. A young man. Followed at a discrete distance by a middle aged man. Neither looked like the walk in the woods type, and even though I was close enough to the road to hear the passing cars, I was wary. Always wary, as a woman, as a mother.

Bon said...

i thought that was beautiful...less about the revelation than the revelling in memory. i too have been to that learning channel of late nights and worlds that will never be my day to day life...and some of it, i loved and look back on with the same slight tinge of wistfullness and wariness. sometimes i was lucky, sometimes not so much. always enough to be able to put myself back together again, which is something.

i am glad you were lucky. and i think i understand why you went. i would have, too, then.

kgirl said...

Guardian angel? Really? If he were clean cut and drove a ford would anyone have suggested that you needed one?

You're right - trust your gut, give people a chance, and have fun.

Julie Pippert said...

You are a lucky woman with good instincts.

And I always admire a person who doesn't judge a book by its cover. :)

Oh, The Joys said...

You passed up your opportunity to ride the jolly jumper?

slouching mom said...

dear jen, have you ever lived a *life*. wow.

Lucia said...

You totally had me from the first sentence. I knew it was gonna be a good one. Although, I had a good laugh at "I am reckless. I wear the helmet again..." What a wonderful mix of wanting to be reckless and bad, but not really being reckless is as reckless does.

Have I told you lately that you rock?
You rock!

Christine said...

Wonderful tale. Man I wish I knew how far those flames went. . .

. . .but I'm very glad you didn't get burned.

Binky said...

Ah, what a well told story!

But I don't buy into the whole luck thing others have mentioned--or, at least, I don't think you were any luckier than the rest of us who've gone back to the apartment of a guy we just met and came out unscathed. I imagine a biker is no more likely to be making snuff films in his bedroom than a stockbroker, or a factory foreman, or a frat boy, or a car stereo salesman.

I'm with you and Kgirl all the way on this one.

Aliki2006 said...

Riveting story--and I agree about that luck factor. I often think back to my own "lukcy episodes" and then get chills thinking about people who have not been so lucky. I wonder, was my instinct better, or is it really a matter of pure 100% luck?

Deezee said...

"He of the long hair and multiple tattoos, me of the boredom and hunger.

such excellent and tight description! Girl, you got stories! ;)

hel said...

I love coming to your site. I never know which Jen to expect.

This is dark, adventerous and romantic all at once. I once had a dream about a biker where a sense of danger and romance intermingled. This mail reminds me of my dream but it is the real thing. Like you.

But oi the pulleys and leather and shackles

PunditMom said...

I'm with Lawyer Mama! It's amazing to hear people's "younger days" stories, and then think of my own brushes with danger.

meno said...

I went on my own motorcycle ride with a bad man once. I was very young and the motorcycle man was nice enough to know it.

But the harness and the pulleys? Yikes.

metro mama said...

LMAO.

Good and bad aren't so clearcut, are they!

Another great story.

Kyla said...

I agree with Julie....you are lucky, lucky, lucky...but I don't doubt your instincts either.

You almost made my heart stop there for a moment, though!

flutter said...

Dude.

Denguy said...

Okay, I seriously don't get it--why do women always like the "bad" guys? Honestly.

jen said...

Den,
I liked him for half a night. I procreated with much, much better.

Good even, with a vague under current of historical badness.

So there.

But it's a whole other post in itself, isn't it.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

That is a post that shines like wet chrome under a streetlight.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Day-um. That's one freaky deaky man, but with a soft side. Will miracles never cease?

KC said...

I've never been there, the badlands. Military boys and ex-military boys. I'm not sure if I trust my instincts as much as you do. I envy that.

Orangeblossoms said...

I live that way, too. Breathlessly, dangerously alive. Lately, it's more kids and church and stuff.... but still.

Thanks for making me quiver.... just the way I like.

Mad Hatter said...

For the record, I just want to clarify that my response was not to this particular man but to the circumstance you put yourself in. After reading Sin's post last month and having banked a few experiences myself, I can't help but have a knee-jerk reaction to the kind of encounter you described.

theflyingmum said...

Well, maybe it wasn't luck - maybe you are one of those people who can sense if a situation is dangerous. If so, you've got one helluva gut instinct. Trust it.

NotSoSage said...

You know, I don't know much about S&M, but I think that most in that community have a deeper understanding of no means no and limits than a lot of people who think they're vanilla. But still, I'm glad you have good instincts.

eve said...

This story scared me TO DEATH! Glad it ended well!

urban-urchin said...

I totally agree with mad hatter. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief for you! And having just read Sober's comments I am wringing my hands for that boy....

cce said...

I used to LOVE dabbling with the bad boys. The possibility of things ending badly didn't occur to me in my teens and twenties.
Glad for you that he was a surprisingly upstanding guy. Thanks for sharing the journey.

kristen said...

I'm so glad this turned out the way it did sister. Great story - we have much in common.

Michelle said...

Wow, what a great first post to read of a newfound blog!

Oh, The Joys said...

This happened to us in The Mayor's classroom. A new boy came who didn't speak English. He cried and cried and no one wanted to play with him. Awful.

Bob said...

I'm so glad your ride on the wild side had a safe ending - it could have so easily been a tragic one. and now it is a great memory, and a tale for the grandkids one day.

Penny. said...

You know what is funny.. hilarious, actually.. has me laughing in my seat?? He probably thought you didn't call him back because he was too conservative.. not having sex on the first date and all! LOL!!! ROFLMAO!!

Ruth Dynamite said...

You're smart. You left after one date. I opted to infiltrate the mob and run with a few rapscallions just to taste the glory - so tasty and glorious.

But the gut leads us where we need to be in the end, does it not?

No regrets. Aaa-ooooooooo! (I'm howling at the moon.)