Nov 27, 2004

Study In Black

Sitting at the traffic circle today, watching up the road to find an opening to fling my elderly truck into, I caught sight of a woman, all in black, riding a black cruiser. Being a hardcore motorcycle guy, and one who appreciates women riders, I watched her pass.

She was a big lady, bigger than me, which is difficult but not impossible. And what there was of her was black. Her thick black braids were floating in the wind behind her, flowing from her helmet like slivers of night. Her skin had the dark sheen of walnut that has been lovingly polished for generations, and she was wrapped in glossy black leather; jacket and gloves with short fringe rippling in the wind, chaps wrapped around her thick thighs, and black calf-high boots without ornamentation. No conchos, no studs, nothing foolish, just the necessities.

Her bike was black and chrome, a big Honda Shadow American Classic, thrumming that dark V-twin grumble through an exhaust pipe big enough to put my fist in. The heavy aluminum rims sparked dim sun dogs, as though they were afraid of being too bright for the black-wrapped lady.

She rode with the effortless skill of the long-time rider, and I found myself grinning to see her as I leaned my elbow in the open window. As I watched her roll past she caught my eye (as an experienced rider will do, to make sure YOU see THEM,) and she easily saw me smiling to myself. She looked dead at me and gave me a return grin, an instant comraderie, her smile appearing like a sudden moon from behind dark clouds. As she swept by effortlessly, I pulled out into the opening in traffic, and grinned in spite of myself to see the teddy bear in biker's leather and black half-helmet, riding comfortably attached to what I dare not call her "sissy bar."

Isn't that better? I love, utterly love to see words used well, and I utterly love to use them well. When words are crafted, they are a reward unto themselves.

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