All that Glitters

You know how it is – you see that glittering object in the distance, filled with promise and hope, and you reach out a hand and take it. If I had known that the outcome would be so perilous, I would never have reached out my hand, let alone allowed the spasmodic clenching of my fist around its’ hidden dangers.

Hindsight is 20/20, I have heard.

It’s like this. On a late spring evening, I sat on my front porch with a beer dripping beside me and a Marlboro steadily burning down to the filter in my left hand. The indoor kitty lay curled up beside the screen door, with just a twitch of his tail every now and then proving he was more than a stuffed animal. A couple of fat and happy bumble bees lit on the roses drinking in the sun, and trying to waddle off into a lazy flight after drinking their fill of nectar. Down the road, I could hear the stuttering of a tired lawn mower and the shrieks of kids playing tag in the street.

I took a drag on my cigarette, chased by a swallow of beer gone lukewarm from sitting too long in the sun. Something felt empty to me, incomplete . . .  I couldn’t figure out what and mentally reviewed my life as it stood, right there in the moment. The house was reasonably cleaned, the bills were paid, and the salad was made for dinner. I had clothes. I had friends. I had pretty much all I wanted and certainly everything I needed. Life was good! What more could I want? Really?

These are the dangerous questions in life. And probably best left unanswered. Sadly, I decided to follow that line of questioning right into a result that most anyone would have seen coming a mile down the road. Except me. Foresight is not my strong suit.

I shifted a little on the porch to allow the sun to hit both my legs, and rolled my left foot in and then out. At thirty, I still had shapely calves and thighs, and I wasn’t afraid to bare them. They were a bit pale from the lack of sun all winter, but they didn’t have flab. My arms were firm, no underarm flab swinging, and my fawn-colored hair trailed over my shoulders holding up the spaghetti straps of my camisole.

I supposed I was missing the excitement factor in my life. Since leaving the big city and coming to this two-horse town, I had been a perfect model of restraint. I never missed a day of work, I kept my house and yard impeccably tidy, and I even visited the town’s library once a week. Given that the only bar was populated by grizzled farmers, there was not much else left to do. At first it was enough, I was so tired from the life I had left behind. But my energy had returned, and I was starting to feel the encroachment of weedy boredom.

A heavy-throated rumbling of a Harley sputtering its way into life echoed down the neighborhood street and I grimaced to myself. The single other person in this town who could offer any excitement, and he was living with his “old lady” as he called her. Although, and I perked up an ear, perhaps not for much longer. The sounds of her angry voice floated on the warm breeze, and ended with a decided thud of a slamming door.

Resolve crystallized, and I slipped on my flip-flops and tossed the cigarette into the empty coffee can I kept as an ashtray. Tossing my hair back, I wandered up the block. Sure enough, the Harley man revved the engine and set off down the block. I raised a hand as he motored past . . . and he stopped. Setting his boot clad feet firmly on the pavement, he sat back and looked me over, a slow smile emerging from under his mustache.  With a slight jerk of his head, he beckoned to the mini-pad of a seat behind him and reaching down pulled out the pegs.

I grinned and slid onto the back of his bike, snugging in against his leather clad back and wrapping my arms around his trim waist. He had thick, glossy black hair streaming down his back that smelled of a curious mixture of Old Spice and motor oil.

Perfect, I thought, hanging on as he took off.

A little excitement – just what I need.

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