Sunday, March 9, 2008

Little Things She Might Have Liked (pt. 2)

So, today I took a big step in my life that touches on Marcie and my relationship on a number of levels. Marcie was a little paranoid about me. She was protective, true, but paranoid nonetheless.

I did give her a few reasons to be cautious. I was fast to the sword, so to speak, when I felt she was being slighted (or picked up on). I wrote for "underground" newspapers and fanzines, and had a very adventurous social set to run with.

I did not always show the most prudent judgment. I liked to do little feats, walking on my hands or balanced on handrails around City College, where I was the AS Senate President, or standing on tables in the cafeteria to emphasize a point or a joke.

Extra money came from working doors at punk shows and concerts. My whole approach could be called, "risk management be damned." So I understood to a degree.

I remember the day she let me know that I was going overboard. I was carrying a full load of A's at City, plus AS, running a side business, putting in late nights working doors and writing.

She took my hands, and stood very close, wringing them with her own and nodding, "Honey, you have to slow down," she said. "I am worried."

She gave me a tearful list of concerns, admonishing me from hugging her, as she had a lot to say. In the end, I reassured her, mostly by letting her know we would talk about initiatives before I launched them. I stuck to that.

Motorcycles were one of those risks she just set her foot down and refused to budge on for me. I wanted one, she couldn't see it.

"No, I would be worried sick about you all the time," she said. "Frank, just let it go. You bring it up like once a year and it just freaks me out. Just drop it."

And usually with a harrumph and an abrupt exit, she would go somewhere and close the door. She would remain tense and stern until the requisite apologies and placative gestures were proffered, including but not limited to gifts and some concession to her wisdom on the matter.

This ritual continued until 2004 and her cancer ended most of those ritual discussions. But the issue did not go away, though I had forgotten it.

It might be easy to magine my surprise to receive, during one of her trips to San Francisco to see Jane, an email from the aforementioned friend with the following contents:

Motorcycle Mamas

I quizzed Marcie and probed, then told her, "I guess I'll get a motorcycle and take you out into the hills on it from now on, won't I?"

"Sure, honey," she said. "When I am better. I think it would be fun, but I don't think you should go buy a bike, because I don't want to worry when I am sick like this on top of it."

Today, I bought a Harley Davidson Sportster from Buddy Carr, a former professional skater and businessman. His wife Tracy reminisced that he had caught her eye with the bike. Son Tosh came out and joined us when Buddy turned the engine over. Nice folks.

My Uncle Tim and I looked it over. It's Beauty. We both agreed it was 1989 Sportster with a belt drive, cam kit, lots of chrome and plenty of good maintenance. Here's Uncle Tim, with it as we prepare to unload it from his truck .He seemed pretty delighted:

I had worn my leather jacket, gloves and biker boots (all but a helmet) for the pickup, and immediately took the bike for a short spin down the block. Immediately meaning "shortly after I was browbeaten by Uncle Tim and Neighbor Jim."

It was awesome.

My plan is to take my time, get to know the bike, get a learner's permit and the registration changed, working on the bike as I go. When I have my license, I will, for my first freeway trip, take Marcie out to the mountains on it, as we said we'd do.

When I go, I'll find someplace pleasant and gentle, or a place she had loved, and leave a little of her.


Lana Banana said...

congratulations! how exciting!

i remember when my brother bought his '89 softail springer . . . i hope you get as many happy miles out of yours as he has out of his . . .