I have two of them. One is heavy for colder weather, the other one a bit lighter. The light one is the one I wore Thursday afternoon.
Both motorcycle jackets belonged to my brother. When he passed away in the fall of 1994, I inherited the jackets. That’s a story for another time, or maybe you already know the story.
Anyway, I was going on a little walk wearing my motorcycle jacket. Earlier in the day, I had found my old Zippo lighter—found it in a box I hadn’t yet opened since the move to Covington last July. I love Zippo lighters and during my walk, it was in my jeans pocket along with my cigarettes.
My hair is a little too long these days and during my walk, I kind of felt like an old motorcycle hippie less the motorcycle. I was feeling alright about myself.
Reaching 10th and Madison, I stopped walking for a minute. I reached into my pocket, pulled out a cigarette from my pack and lit it with my Zippo lighter.
A guy on a motorcycle and also wearing a motorcycle jacket turned on 10th Street. His motorcycle looked new and shiny. If a motorcycle looks shiny, then in my mind it must be a good one.
He looked to be an older guy like me and his hair was also long. In my idiot mind, I thought we had something in common.
He pulled his motorcycle up close to me. I smiled at him.
“You got three dollars on ya?” he asked.
I was surprised by his question. “No,” I replied.
“Come on,” he said in a low, loud voice (if that makes any sense), “I need three dollars.”
“I don’t even have 50 cents,” I said.
“Can I have that?”
“I said I don’t even have 50 cents,” I replied.
“Oh,” he said. “I thought you said you had it.”
He sat on his motorcycle staring at me for several seconds. I thought he was going to get off his motorcycle and search my pants. All he would find would be my apartment keys, my cigarettes and Zippo lighter—but he stayed on his motorcycle and after giving me a dirty look, took off.
I continued my walk thinking why would a guy riding around with a nice shiny motorcycle think I would give him three dollars or even 50 cents? It made no sense to me.
I cut my walk short. On my way back home, I decided I needed to make an appointment to get my hair cut. When I got home, I put my motorcycle jacket in the closet.
Sitting at my desk and thinking about the encounter, I concluded I can’t even figure myself out sometimes so why should I waste time trying to understand this guy on the motorcycle?
I don’t think I’ll wear that motorcycle jacket again for a while, but I’ll keep using my Zippo. I’m glad the asshole on the motorcycle didn’t know I had one.
(Image found on Google)