A Trip to a Winery

The Motorcycle Dude

When I signed onto the dating site today, there was a message from “Motorcycle Dude”. After reading my profile and finding that I enjoyed going to wineries, MD asked if I would like to take a motorcycle ride and visit a winery that wasn’t far away. Not being one to say I’ll be ready in twenty minutes, I encouraged a bit more time to get to know each other before deciding whether I was really interested in what could be a ride to my death.

We talked on line for the next two weeks or so. MD’s profile stated he was 6’5” and worked out five days a week. His picture depicted thick dark brown hair and from the circumference of his neck I imaged he had rippling muscles. We both were divorced and had grown children who no longer lived at home. I got to see my children and grandchildren regularly, while he had one son and didn’t see him often and had no grandchildren. Our career paths were similar as we both had worked in the financial industry for close to thirty years. I retired from my company, while he transitioned to another.

It seemed we had a bit in common and he asked me to be his ‘biker babe”. I envisioned myself clothed in a Harley leather jacket and chaps taking the open highway with the sun upon my face and giving that camaraderie wave to passing bikers. I decided to take a chance on the two wheeled trip to the winery.

I heard the motorcycle as it approached and my heart skipped a beat. I was more than a bit nervous. This was my second date since I ended my relationship with POS (piece of shit) nearly eight months prior, a relationship that devoured my self esteem. I was in no hurry for a repeat performance and after MD knocked twice upon my door I opened it.

At first I stared at him what seemed an eternity. Certainly there was some mistake. Perhaps he transposed the numbers of his height. Clearly he was not 6’5”. He was perhaps 5’6” and not much taller than myself. After picking my jaw from the floor, I asked him inside. We went through the initial awkward moments of meeting someone face to face….literally face to face. His torso was quite muscular, but from the hips down it appeared he was trying to keep his girlish figure. I wondered if he ran out of time at the gym to devote to the bottom half of his body. His hair peeked out of his biker's helmet , but it was a bit askew and I was pretty sure he was wearing a toupee. I wanted to run back upstairs to my computer and reread his profile. Was reading his profile like listening? Only reading what I wanted to read? Did I read between the lines? Did I make the whole profile up?

When he spoke, I expected to hear a voice a bit higher pitched than was the case. Thank the Lord for small favors, I thought. We didn’t talk about much, just a brief “how do you do?” small talk. As we conversed I couldn’t help but wonder how he was going to keep his toupee adhered to his scalp when he took off his biker’s helmet.

“Huh? Oh sorry,” I said. “I was just wondering if I left the iron plugged in upstairs. Will you excuse me while I check?” I went upstairs silently cursing myself for allowing my mind to wander. After a brief moment while I checked the imaginary iron, (because who irons anymore, right?) I went back downstairs.

He was standing looking out the door with his helmet on. Rats! I didn’t get to see the performance! He gave me my helmet and I pulled it on. I now know what it must feel like for newborn babies testing their neck muscles. The helmet was very heavy and my neck bobbed back and forth like a bobble head on a car’s dashboard. MD had to strap my helmet under my chin like a mother does a child to ensure their safety.

I took a hard swallow then answered “sure” when he asked if I was ready to go. I straddled the motorcycle and he started the engine. The last time I was on a motorcycle, helmets were not a required safety measure and so my heart began to race and my palms began sweat. I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I thought it a bit too personal to wrap my arms around his waist, but clearly for my safety I had no choice.

MD chose a scenic route out in the country. It was a beautiful day. The sun was bright and warm although it never reached my face, because the helmet was equipped with its own built in tinted windshield. That really didn’t deter me from enjoying the view. The mountains were majestic with thick luscious green foliage and peaks and valleys that met a cloudless skyline. I tried breathing in the fresh open air, but became a bit lightheaded from claustrophobia. MD rounded a bend and the grapevines could be seen for as far as my eyes could reach. Strategically planted, the vines wrapped around a post from the ground and outreached until they met its neighbor. It reminded me a bit of The Rockettes and could just imagine the vines’ imaginary legs kicking in sequence to NewYork, New York. I was brought out of my mind’s entertainment when MD down shifted his motorcycle and turned into the winery’s entrance.

As I climbed off the bike and took off my helmet, I couldn’t wait to see MD do the same, but he disappointed me when he excused himself in search of a restroom. When he came back with helmet in hand I silently cursed him for depriving me of the show I had looked forward to since we left my house.

A wine connoisseur I’m not, but compared to MD I could have written a book on the proper etiquette of wine tasting. For instance, I know it’s a taste of the wine not a glass full and I could feel the blood drain from my face when MD said, “Oh, come on honey don’t be so stingy! Filler’ up!!” and after he took his swallow, he looked at me and winked and said, “This is the way to get your money’s worth.” He then turned to the already flustered young woman in charge of our tasting and said, “Ok honey. We’ll play your game. Hit us again!!” It was a grueling experience. After MD took the spittoon and washed the taste of red wine he was not fond of, he then gargled and spit it back. I had had enough and suggested we sit a while outside and get some fresh air.

The trip outside turned to be an adventure of its own. MD was more than a bit tipsy and I worried how we were going to get home. He slouched in his chair and babbled on, making no sense but to himself. He ordered a bottle of wine and when I politely declined he shrugged his shoulders and turned the bottle up and guzzled it like it was water and he was quenching his thirst. I attempted to talk to him about perhaps he might want to switch to water, but his reply was a series of incoherent words and I worried my lip thinking what was I to do.

I had no idea how to ride a motorcycle and if I did surely I’d lose MD after I engaged the cycle into first gear, wherever that was. I worried my lip a bit more. I could call for a cab, but I have no idea where he lived. I worried my lip still more. I could rummage thru his pockets for his license, but I could imagine him saying something like, “A little to the left honey!” By now my bottom lip was severely deformed and I was comfortable with my decision.

While MD “scused” himself and swayed toward the men’s room I called two cabs. MD came out of the bathroom singing up a storm, ever so incoherently. He stumbled over a protruding root and went face down. I went to help him up, but he said, “I’s alwight huney.” He got up and brushed off his pants. Then shrieked and started stomping the ground. His freight appeared to sober him up and he asked me, “Do you see that? What is that motherfucker anyway!?” I couldn’t hold the laughter in any longer and I said, “Oh that? That is your hair and I think you killed it!”

The cabs pulled up and I thanked MD for a most entertaining afternoon, got into one of them, gave the driver my address and started laughing. The driver asked what was so funny and I said, “Nothing, you had to see it to believe it.”

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