Under the helmet
Left hand, two fingers hanging loosely down beside your body in an inverted V – that’s the quick, universal greeting for motorcyclists. Charles and I used to ride and we got a kick out of learning this insider's nod to a passing fellow biker.
Writing this brings up memories almost certainly cooler than we actually were, but no matter. Riding was great fun and a good exercise in looking under the helmets and dispelling certain stereotypes. We met and rode with some terrific folks. We would occasionally ride to church and, speaking of helmets, there is no worse hat hair than helmet hair! But that bonnet could also hide things, so I could twirl my hair across foam rollers, clamp on my helmet, hit the road, and walk into church without a completely flat head!
During the entire time we rode, we only had one accident and it was more of a slow motion slide, laying down the bike and us when we hit loose gravel on a country road. We extricated ourselves and Charles began to upright his beloved bike. The first worried words out of his mouth were, "Is my bike scratched?" Oh, hey, babe, I'm fine but thanks for your concern. Well. You know I guess it's always good to hear where you rank.
That little accident did get us thinking though, and we eventually gave up riding. But it was a blast while it lasted and gained us new perspectives - none more revealing than another take on the whole book/cover thing. We really don't know what's going on under any given helmet. Maybe someone is hurting. Could be a headache. Could be worse. A couple could be celebrating. Maybe it's a Hell's Angel on the way to a Habitat for Humanity site. Could be a kid. Often a boomer. Maybe a do-rag. Maybe foam curlers on their way to church.