Bent Words

Bent Words

August 10, 2007

It was the same weekend in August of 2001 – Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th – when meteors were slated to hit the night sky, about sixty an hour. Astrologists are purporting the same sort of magical show to occur this weekend. She knows where she will be, six years later, watching the same sky and meeting once again – even if it is only in outer space.

It was the weekend of the first Superbikers2 supermoto race at Road America. They decided to begin celebrating early and ducked out of work well before 4:00PM. With the forks of his Husky compressed in the back of the van, a few overnight things and grins all around, they were officially off. At Discount Liquor, they purchased a case of beer, some water and two big bags of ice. Without warning, she began breaking up the ice by pounding the bags against the concrete of the parking lot while he made ready the cooler. Slightly taken aback, he admired her for her taking charge. Just another little thing to add to the list.

At Walgreens, they acquired a few necessities including a pair of scissors which she intended for him to use. “You’re cutting my hair at some point this weekend,” she boldly stated. He simply shook his head in disbelief. He purchased a small package of Swisher Sweet cigars to which she raised her brow. He merely smiled and said it was part of a surprise. She simply shook her head.

After some time had passed on the road heading north, she abruptly ceased her chatter and inquired if she were talking too much. She always had a tendency of babbling, she said, but he insisted that she continue. He adored the way her eyes sparkled when she was telling one of her stories and she reveled in each ort of information which he shared of himself. The moments seemed to simply sail on by.

In Saukville, they stopped at Corse Café where their 16th Grand Opening was taking place. Under the sun in the parking lot, they watched the customers roll in on new burnt orange Gold Wings, custom painted Ducati Monter’s and RVT1000s. They enjoyed a specialty brew under the warm sun in the beer garden and then they were off again.

She loved that he liked to deviate from their course and soon they found themselves enjoying the windy shores of Lake Michigan. They stood out on a stone pier overlooking the waves and this, she thought, seemed to be as good of a spot as any. With two bottles of water, a cheap pair of scissors and enough laughter to elude even the strongest of winds, he cut her hair. She watched without fear as small locks of her brown hair made their way into the water and relished each touch of his fingers upon the back of her neck. She never knew such simplicity could spawn such intense passion and she only hoped that each passerby was watching them – witnessing firsthand the height of their happiness.

The waiter’s name at Il Ritrovo, an Italian pizzeria, was August. He was tall and thin, good natured and little clumsy on his feet. He placed them outside at a round table which sported a tall umbrella in the middle. They raised the umbrella to be able to see each other better and then dined on the best pizza they had ever experienced. The silver pewter ashtray became too much for her to resist and so, after dinner and a couple of drinks, they paid their bills and quickly made off with the prize in hidden in hand. It was the one time she wished she were carrying a purse.

The room of the hotel she had chosen was wide with tables and chairs and lounges like that of a conference room. The king-sized bed pulled out from the wall and the two large windows, surprise, looked out onto the parking lot. All this seemed a little different to them but what really made the experience magical were the flies. Dozens of them inhabited the room and they immediately began to undertake an arduous plan of execution in order to keep the room to themselves. “Let’s just go,” he said after dark. “I have something to show you, anyway.”

They drove from fly-ridden room in Sheboygan to Elkhart Lake where the races were to take place the next day. He parked the van at Road America’s Gate #3 and hoped the cops wouldn’t tour down this particular road. “What are we doing?” she inquired. He remained silent, unable to keep his grin hidden, and pulled out some sweatshirts, a towel, a few beers and the cigars. “Come on,” he said. “What, are we breaking in?!” she asked giddily.

He laid the towel down on the damp grass, lit her a cigar and opened her a can of beer. They sat and talked for awhile, commenting on the day’s events and laughing about Lake Michigan, August the waiter and the plethora of flies that had invaded their room. He held her hand and searched in the dark for the time reflected upon his watch and then, with a quiet voice and a perfect smile he stated, “It’s about to begin.” He eased her back upon the towel, kissed her and lay down beside her, placing her head within the crook of his arm. “Watch,” he whispered.

And then it began…

First there was only one. She pointed excitedly toward the sky and exclaimed, “Look! Did you see that? Quick! Make a wish!” He laughed from somewhere deep inside his heart and continued to look skyward. Then there was another. And another. And more and more. The stars began to fall like a movie in the sky and right before them, to the side of them and all around them, they could see the spectacular shower which was his surprise. It was the most beautiful evening she had ever experienced – as they held each other close, alone in the expansive darkness, just the two of them where she would wonder just how many of their wishes would come true.

Perhaps some of them did.

Perhaps some of them will.

Either way, she has a few more wishes to make this weekend – some of them new, some of them improved and some of them pure echoes from a not-so-distant past.

Written at 4:00 p.m.