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This is an entry in the 2020 Summer Lovin Contest. Votes are appreciated! Thanks!
My mom told me once that my dad always wanted a little girl. When I got here, he treated me like a little boy. I was a skinny tomboy with dirty blonde hair always running after my big brothers, only to return home in muddy dresses and ripped tights much to my mom’s displeasure. I’m the baby girl in a family of rough necks. And I love it.
It’s been a year since I last visited my dad in his modest two bedroom house in a rural agricultural California town. His burly fingers turned on the garage light and we stepped out of the house into his collection of motorcycles cluttering his organized garage. He once rode motorcycles all the time. I rode on the back of his many times and he taught me how to ride one on my own. But now, at his age, if he goes down, he isn’t getting up. I’m glad he recognizes that. Still, he likes fixing and selling them. He bought a leather sewing machine to mend and make seats and other leather accessories in his retirement years.
“Here,” he said, ripping the bike cover off of one.
I smiled. The black motorcycle with chrome pipes was a beauty.
“A 2010 Yamaha V Star 950,” he said. “Smooth, light, easy to handle. I checked her over, put on new brakes for yuh. She’s good to go.”
I ran my hands over the handlebar asking, “How do you know it’s a she?”
“She’s got a fat ass, she’s dependable and I loooove to ride her on a Saturday night.”
I shook my head and chuckled. “Oh, dad.”
My hand trailed down the tank to the leather seat as I circled the bike. I swung my leg over it and gripped the handlebars as I sat on the seat. I easily sat upright which is good for touring.
“Let’s take her out,” he said, hitting the garage door opener. “I wanna see you ride before I let her go.”
He always made me prove my riding abilities. When he took off my bike’s training wheels or the first time I was allowed to ride a dirt bike in the So Cal deserts near the Salton Sea, he made me ride in a straight line in front of him before I was allowed my freedom.
As the door rattled open, I unstraddled the bike and kicked up the kickstand to walk the bike out to the street of this working class neighborhood of bungalows with withered brown lawns. I got on and started it, revving it a few times before riding off. I rode to the end of the street before turning around to cruise by my dad now standing on the sidewalk. A few houses down, I turned around again and as I made another pass, I popped a wheelie with the front tire in the air and rode it for the length of the house.
He shouted, “Hey! No showing off!”
The tire set down with complete control before easing the bike around once more to motor it up the driveway into the garage before turning off the idling engine. My dad sauntered back up the driveway and closed the garage door.
“You’re right, dad. This bike is perfect.”
He smiled. “Come on. Let’s get out of this heat.”
We returned inside and stepped into the kitchen.
“Beer?” he asked, opening the refrigerator door.
“No. Water, please.”
He handed me a bottle of cold water before grabbing a can of beer. Twisting off the cap, I glanced around his cluttered kitchen before guzzling the chilled water. My eyes settled upon my older brothers’ military portraits lined up in a row. My senior portrait sat at the end.
He popped open the can of beer and chugged a bit before asking, “So you’re riding with your aunt Taylor for what now?”
“I’m writing a piece for LIVEwire. They’re a digital magazine. I’ve written two pieces for them already and they like my work. They’re interested in photographs too. They gave me an advance.”
“And they’re interested in Taylor?”
“Yeah, well she’s a successful entrepreneur in the tech world which is a unicorn in itself. I pitched the idea to profile her and mentioned she rides in a women’s motorcycle club based in San Francisco. That’s what got their attention. They’ll probably market it as some lesbian biker gang story, but I want to present it as females banding together just to ride. You know, cool feminists. One of the ladies fought cancer. If things go well, I might be able to turn it into a book.”
Dad sipped from his can before muttering, “She’s going to turn you into a lesbian, you know.”
“You can’t turn someone into lesbian. You either are or you aren’t. Do you think aunt Taylor is gay?”
He shrugged. “I mean I don’t care if she’s a lesbian or you’re a lesbian. I’ll love you either way. You’re my little girl.”
I hugged him. “I love you more than anything, dad.”
He patted my shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get you suited and booted.”
We entered his small guest bedroom he used for storage. He slid open the door and retrieved a worn black leather motocross jacket with white striped green sleeves. pendik escort
“You need some protective leather,” he said, taking it off the hanger to hand to me.
It was hard to imagine my beefy dad fitting into the slim stiff jacket. It fit well but my tits squished together when zipped up. He reached up onto the closet shelf to retrieve two motorcycle helmets.
“These belonged to your brothers. Which one do you want?”
One was a full face. The other was a half matte black cruiser helmet with a visor. I tried on both and chose the half helmet. It wouldn’t provide much protection if I go down but it was just way more comfortable.
He set the other one on the bed before returning to the closet.
“I made this for you.”
He bent down to retrieve black leather saddlebags with silver studs and handed it to me. My initials KM were embossed on a pouch’s corner. I was truly in awe.
“It has locks on it,” he said, pointing the security features. “Took me a couple of weeks to make.”
I accepted it as I would a holy relic and said, “Thank you, daddy. It’s beautiful. Thank you.”
I hugged my dad to breathe in his scent I’ve always found calming and reassuring. We disengaged and I picked up the helmet and the saddlebags. Dad and we left the room. Back in the garage, he secured my saddlebags to the bike. I shoved my purse into one and latched it close before putting on the helmet.
With a low cowboy movie voice he said, “Travel light. Take baby wipes and water. You be careful out there. There’s lots assholes on the road.”
“Technically dad, there’s an asshole in every car.”
“Smart ass kid.”
“Better than being a dumb ass.”
“You be careful out there,” he said, opening his arms to give me one last hug.
“I will. And thanks. I’ll bring her back in one piece.”
I handed him my car key so he could pull my car into the garage for safe keeping. I straddled the bike, kicked up the kickstand, started it up pull out of the driveway and rumbled off down the street. My heart was beating harder than it had in years and I flew onto that freeway and into traffic for the twenty minute drive north.
I returned home to my apartment complex as the sun began to set. I packed some clothes and toiletries, along with baby wipes into a bag. I packed my tech and my camera in another back. I kept on my jeans but changed into a vintage black SANTA CRUZ t-shirt before pulling on a pair of well-worn Doc Martens and shrugged on dad’s jacket. I looked in the mirror. Free of make-up, my light brown hair was parted down the middle and hung past my shoulders. It made me look like a teenager. I looked the same as I did when I graduated from high school with my pale blue eyes, freckles across the bridge of my nose, and pink tinted lip balm on average lips. With my helmet in my hand, I looked like a motocross chick. I shoved my duffel bags and bottled water into my saddle bags which I secured. After strapping on my helmet and slipping on a pair of gloves, I started up the engine. The roar echoed through the car park as I rode off to experience the great summer run.
The traffic was heavy on the I-80; full of people going to the bay area. It was dangerous for a lone biker with all the big rigs, tourists, tailgaters, and meth heads zig-zagging up a packed four lane highway. But I stayed cool and split lanes in stopped traffic. The sun had set but it was still light outside when I pulled in front of aunt Taylor’s San Francisco apartment building. She lived in an area called Laurel Heights. The tidy neighborhood, a rarity in this city, is a few blocks southeast of Golden Gate Park. I’d been to her apartment once before when she gave me tickets to an art exhibit at the de Young museum. It’s a nice two bedroom apartment where two bedroom apartments cost five thousand a month. It was a testament to my aunt’s brilliance.
I never really spent time with Aunt Taylor. I’ve only met her four times in my life but I always admired her. While spending a summer with my grandmother, I would stare at the framed picture of my dad’s brother John and aunt Taylor when they were crowned homecoming king and queen before the high school sweethearts married. She was a sultry woman, tall with bouncy sun streaked dark blonde hair. She possessed pillowy lips that tilted up into a serene smile. She was a graceful ethereal being. I wanted to be her. She’s always been wispy slim with the grace of 1960’s chick hanging out in psychedelic bell bottoms, but she’s got a head for tech. She reminds me of a warrior monk; thoughtful, kind, but will kick ass if needed.
I detached grabbed my bags and brought them upstairs and knocked on the door. She opened it with a big smile and hugged me before we entered her clean apartment of neutral colored furniture dotted with vibrantly painted south American tchotchkes set among her books. She showed me to the guest room maltepe escort where I set down my bags before we returned to the kitchen where she offered me a drink of water. I sat at the kitchen table as she chattered.
“The girls are excited to meet you. They all signed the waivers,” she said, sliding a file folder my way.
I opened it up to see the signed waivers from every motorcycle club member.
Closing the file, I giddily said, “This is so cool. I can’t believe I’m going on a run. I always wanted to go. You guys ever go to Sturgis?” I asked, referring to one of America’s most popular motorcycle rallies.
Taylor rolled her beautiful hazel grey eyes. “It’s not our scene. Too much testosterone and assholery. Let’s go grab dinner then we’ll go to the club house so you can meet the girls. Sound good?”
I nodded. She shrugged on a fitted black leather jacket. It had a patch on the arm of an angry black kitten baring sharp teeth and claws.
“Is that your club’s colors?” I asked, pointing at the motorcycle club’s patch.
She looked at it and smiled. “Yep. Kittens have claws. Come on. Feel like pizza?”
We rode to an Italian restaurant in North Beach. I thought we were going to grab a slice at a cheap pizzeria but we walked into an intimate little restaurant with white linen tablecloths, a Michelin chef and fifty dollar pizzas. I felt underdressed to say the least. We ordered a pizza and two glasses of wine.
“So what are your career plans?”
“I just got that job at UC Davis but journalism is my passion.”
“Well, if you find yourself in need of a career change, come see me. I can have you making three hundred dollars a year headhunting tech talent. With your looks and knowledge of psychology, you can charm a nerd away from Google.”
It was an incredible offer.
“I’ll think about it. Do you mind if I get started on my article?” I asked as I pulled my phone from my jacket pocket
“No, go ahead.”
I hit record and set it between our wine glasses.
“So where did you find these women?” I asked, picking up my wineglass.
“An ad in a women’s motorcycle magazine.”
She pulled her phone from her back pocket, pulled up the saved ad and read it out loud.
“‘San Francisco: Join our Women’s Motor Cycle Enthusiasts Club. We are not your mom’s MCC. We play hard and ride harder. Pro pussy feminists without the bullshit.'”
“And what’s the group’s name?”
“The Tuff Muffs,” she said, pointing to her patch.
“That’s right. Ride hard.”
I had no idea what that meant. She saw the confusion on my face.
“We’re just a bunch of women who like to ride together.”
“And why do you ride?”
She thought about it as her fingers fiddled with her wine glass. “Most people say it’s the freedom or the adrenaline rush. To me, it’s the power between my legs. Legs wide open, my womanly center sitting on top of all that grumbling horsepower. That’s what I like best.”
“Okay. Uh, tell me about the clubhouse.”
“We don’t really have a clubhouse. We meet at this dive bar called The Del Mar. The place is a bar fly’s paradise. Cheap beer on tap, pool tables. The juke box is always playing The Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd or Stevie Rae Vaughn. It’s former cop bar before it was taken over by lesbians forty years ago. It’s a gritty sanctuary in a city of thirty dollar cocktails.”
She told me about the ladies and other bar denizens as we ate our pizza and afterwards, we rode our bikes up Howard Street to the Castro and backed our bikes beside the others. The Del Mar’s original blue neon sign sputtered as we approached. Inside I spotted the owner and bartender Shirley. She was an older Asian woman with a mullet and multiple ear piercings. Her tits sagged beneath the black tank top which showed off two sleeve tattoos of herons on her wiry arms. She looked like she’d spit in your face if you asked her to make a mojito. We ordered a couple of beers on tap.
My aunt said, “Welcome to the home of nasty, misfit women.”
I was a lost toddler in a forest full of wolves. Older women with their predatory smirks. Angry dykes ready to punch out the next person who glances at her pretty femme girlfriend. Woe be to the man who wanders in and starts shit.
Freebird was playing on the Juke box. My aunt waved to a booth full of women. I turned to see Tuff Muffin Motor Cycle Club sitting in a horseshoe shaped booth. From my aunt’s descriptions, I recognized them all.
The club’s leader, Akiko, who everyone calls ‘AJ’, is a former androgynous model. The thirty year old dyke with a boy’s haircut and gold carp sleeve tattoo on one sinewy arm hoisted her beer bottle to her lips while she eyed me with insolent eyes. Then there was Sasha with wavy shoulder length golden hair. kartal escort She’s ex-military with tours of duty in the middle east. She fell from a building wall which shook from a suicide bomber and injured her back and has chronic back pain. She drinks and pops Vicodin to deal with her pain but I could tell my her hunched over shoulders that she’s frustrated and angry at the world. Beside her sat Baby, her hippy girlfriend with a penchant for bringing home stray cats. She was skinny, sported blonde shag cut hair and was precociously pretty. Her lips were pursed over a skinny red straw sticking out of a tall glass of ginger ale. In other words, she was trouble. Montana was a busty brunette with pretty face and a sweet smile. She’d drove up from San Diego in a van in which she sleeps and hauls her bike around. She had a winsome smile. Bonnie was a classic ginger redhead dressed in a grungy flannel shirt. Her reason for joining, “tired of riding on some guy’s bitch seat.” Dina was the oldest, in her early fifties. Her head was covered in a floral silk scarf to hide her bald head ravaged by chemo. A breast cancer survivor who rides a Honda Goldwing trike, my aunt Taylor described her as, ‘grizzled but optimistic.’ She had on rose colored wire framed granny glasses and gave me a wicked red lipstick smile.
We walked over to them. Aunt Taylor threw her arm around me and said, “This is my niece, Kendall. She just graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism with a minor in psychology.”
They smiled with sincerity and gave me a round of applause.
My aunt said, “Kendall, this is Sasha, Baby, Dina, Montana, Bonnie and AJ.”
AJ gave me a sly smirk. “Hello, Dolly.”
I nervously gushed out, “Hey, you guys. It’s good to meet you all. Thanks for letting me ride with you. And thanks for participating in my article. You guys are still cool with that, right?”
“Yeah, sure,” answered A.J. “We talked it over. You can write about us and take pictures.”
They all nodded in agreement. Aunt Taylor and I joined them, sliding over cracked red vinyl as we squeezed into the booth. They told me tales of other runs, legends really, and promised not to brawl.
AJ went to the jukebox. Dina yelled over to her, “Hey, play some Tom Petty!”
She replied, “Okay, boomer!”
Dina scowled and flung a lime wedge across the room at AJ’s head. I took photos of the group before Taylor returned from the bar with tequila shots. Montana proceeded to go down the itinerary.
“So we’re riding to Reno for Hot August Nights.”
I had heard about the gambling town’s famous street car show. It’s not my scene but I’m sure the club will make it fun.
“Then we shag ass to a little place near Mendocino and we spend the night in the redwoods. Then a relaxing cruise down the 101 coast highway back to San Fran.”
Excitement brewed in me. This run will test my metal. Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ came on. It seemed to be the bar’s anthem. We were all American girls raised on promises.
Sasha leaned in to leer at me and asked, “So you’re straight?”
I looked around and replied, “Yeah. Why? Does that matter?”
AJ grabbed her beer bottle and replied, “Well to join us, you’re going to have to eat some muff.”
I glanced at each one of them. They all nodded. A nervous giggle escaped as my eyes shifted around the room. My thighs rubbed together in a nervous excitement.
“We all did it,” said Montana.
Baby chimed in, “I did it and I didn’t even have to.”
Sasha threw her arm around her girl to draw her near.
“Damn right, Baby,” she said. “You don’t do nothing you don’t want to do.”
Sasha kissed Baby with a deep open mouth before ripping away her lips to swig off her beer bottle. Sasha eyed me again.
I chilled and replied, “I thought you guys were going to say I have to let you all gang bang me with dildos.”
AJ replied, “We can do that if that’s what you want.”
I looked at aunt Taylor.
“I did it,” she said. “The eating out part not the dildo gang bang thing.”
It was hard to contain my surprise. “I always thought you were straight.”
Bonnie interjected, “We don’t discriminate.”
This incestuous tribe of Amazons laughed at their own bawdiness.
Sasha stood up. With her fingerless gloved hands planted on the table, she leaned towards me and said, “To join us, to be our equal, you gotta eat muff. If you choose one of us, cool. If you don’t, we’ll still let you ride with us but you’ve got to ride behind Dina’s trike and that bitch kicks up a lot of dust.”
Dina said, “Hey, respect my machine.”
Sasha bowed in contrition before stepping away to use the bathroom.
I nervously guzzled my beer from a long neck bottle. When Sash finally returned, she asked, “So what’s it going to be, Doll? Who’s the lucky girl?”
The hush at the table frightened me as they awaited an answer.
Dina pretended to clutch her pearls.
I stuttered, “I mean if that’s alright.”
Sasha shrugged. “It’s up to Baby.”
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