I went to Michael’s today. I had to ride my motorcycle, because the Falcon is making a funny sound in the rear end — it did sound kinda like the ocean, but it’s more knocky now, and it sounds a bit like a fast heartbeat at this point. I think the u-joint might be going out, but John says it’s either that or the bearings. It seems to be in the left rear. Anyway, we gotta get in there and look at that, but it has to wait until John’s jaw is healed, because I don’t want him doing mechanic-type work in this state.
So I rode my motorcycle. It was a gorgeous clear November day — the high was supposed to be about 53, but it actually got up to 60. It was nice. There was this one point when I was waiting at a stop light to turn left, and a car pulled up next to me. I was kinda zoning a little bit, enjoying the crisp air and autumn smells and blue sky, when all of a sudden, I hear someone yelling, “Hey, hey!”
So I look over, and there are two strange guys in the car next to me, their window rolled down, smiling at me. The one in the driver’s seat calls over, “Hey, what kind of motorcycle is that?”
I pulled my helmet down a little, flipping up the visor so my voice wouldn’t be too obscured by the helmet, and yelled back, “It’s a Yamaha FZ6.”
They called back, “That’s hot, baby. Keep it up.”
I was kind of taken aback — it seemed like an odd way to phrase a compliment to my motorcycle and advice to keep it shiny side up. Then the light turned, and as I pulled away it occurred to me that they might have actually been referring to the combination of me on my motorcycle.
I don’t know. Maybe they were referring to just my bike — it’s a pretty damn sexy bike if I do say so myself.
But then, I don’t really tend to walk around thinking, “I’m a girl. I’m a girl, la de da. People respond to me in certain ways because I am female and I have boobies. Girl girl girl!” And I especially don’t think of myself as obviously female when I’m on my bike.
When I’m on my bike, I’m just a rider. I wear a full-face helmet and a black leather jacket. I feel anonymous — an androgynous, blank rider, hidden behind helmet and bulky gear. Neither male nor female. So it’s always jarring when someone responds to the fact that I am a female rider, especially when I’m actually on my bike, hidden by my helmet and gear.
Weirdly, being catcalled (if it was a catcall) when I’m on my bike isn’t as nerve-wracking as it is when I’m walking. Maybe it’s because I’m still uncertain as to whether they were commenting on me or my bike, while when I’m out walking there’s no uncertainty. Maybe it’s just because I feel safe on my bike. I know how fast I can go, and how slow the average car is. More than that, I know how quickly I can go from 0 to 60, and that the average car (and driver) cannot match me. So it doesn’t really concern me.
Anyway, so then I went to Michael’s. This is another fun thing about riding — I walk into Michael’s in my motorcycle leather, helmet swinging from my fingers, holding my little manta-ray tank bag under my arm, and I head back to the crochet needles and yarn. I notice, as I stride through the store, that I’m getting some disapproving glances from the matronly looking women milling the aisles. An employee starts shadowing me, not very subtly.
It sometimes bothers me how I can be looked at askance just because I’m wearing motorcycle gear — it mostly bothers me in the stores I’m comfortable/ familiar with. The ones I visit frequently, like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s or Barnes and Noble, and the only time I get attention from customers and staff is when I go in geared up. It doesn’t happen all the time, and I’m not trying to claim it does.
In this case, I didn’t mind. It meant I didn’t have to wander around trying to find an employee to help me out with finding what I need to start crocheting. So I bought some lovely, soft, thick yarn and a set of crochet needles, as well as a small booklet with beginners patterns.
I’ve decided to start crocheting because I have a somewhat twitchy, antsy nature. I fiddle constantly when I sit still, and when I have panic attacks I start pacing and snapping. Smoking is how I’ve dealt with my antsiness and panic attacks, but I don’t want to smoke anymore. I stopped in August, started again in early October, stopped for a week or so in mid-October, started in late October when a bunch of unexpected stress started causing near-constant panic attacks, and right now I’m at this place where I’ll buy a pack because I’m having a panic attack, finish it off, go a few days to a week without buying a pack, and then something else will happen to start another panic attack.
But I don’t want to smoke anymore. I’m tired of the amount of money we — I, now — spend on this habit. I’d rather spend that on gas (prices also rising) for my bike, or on parts to repair the Falcon, or on e-books or a seasonal pass to the zoo or the children’s museum.
So I’ve decided to take up crochet. I’m also going to talk to my doctor about getting some anti-anxiety medication, and hopefully the combination of the two will help me take that last little leap to fully quitting.
Plus, I’ll be able to make little funny hats and sweaters and booties for my animals. They will hate me. This is Dmitri’s future:
|I don’t know who’s cat this is. I found it on google images.