Sunday, August 8, 2010

Date night

Last night Aaron and I went on a date, something we haven’t done in a very long time.

On Thursday my new motorcycle helmet arrived via UPS. The one I had before was a hand-me down for a friend and didn’t fit properly. Every time I wore it I was convinced it would fly off my head smashing the window of the people behind us forcing them to lose control of their car, which would cause the driver to run me over, thus killing everyone in said car while crippling me (I realize how dramatic I am). Thank god we bought a different helmet. The new one smoshes my face a little and makes me look like a pudgy child that has a love of dairy.  Anything is better than intense paranoia. At least I know I will not die.

On our date, we decided to take the motorcycle. Aaron always insists that I wear sensible clothing while on the motorcycle, like boots and ugly jackets that will protect my skin. It’s kind of a nuisance. I just want to wear normal cute stuff like leggings and ballet flats or a nice summer dress. The boots make me feel like I am playing the role of some biker chick that chews tobacco and scratches her crotch in public. But Aaron insists and gets all fatherly about my safety. I am forced to comply.

Coronado is one of my favorite places in the world so that’s where we went. It’s even more amazing from the back of a bike. Going over the Bay Bridge was such a rush. There’s the water and the sailboats, and the view on the city, it’s remarkable. I almost cried. I know that’s a little ridiculous but seriously it’s intensely beautiful. Sometimes I forget just how stunning San Diego is.

When Aaron first bought his bike last summer I was completely against it. My main reasoning was that I didn’t want him to end up as road kill. Also I didn’t want my kids to ever end up riding motorcycles. He persisted and wore me down. In the end I agreed to it.

I’m kind of obsessed with it now. I’m not big into speed. I don’t drive fast, I hate jet skis. Honestly I am kind of a worry wart about such things. That all changed the first time I rode on the back of Aaron’s bike. I love it. It’s therapeutic. It’s a whole new way of exploring our city. I now understand those people who devote their lives to their motorcycle, hanging out at biker bars, the posters, the weird outfits of leather chaps and fringed biker coats, and the vacations geared around their motorcycles. I get it. I don’t think I will take it that far but I am considering taking a motorcycle course so that I can learn how to ride myself.

The Imperial Beach sand castle competition happened this weekend and I remembered just as the Coronado Bridge dumped us onto 4th Street. At a stop light I asked Aaron if he minded driving down the Silver Strand so we could have a look. I have never driven past Fiddler’s Cove so observing South Bay to my left—industrious and trailer- Park lined, and the pacific to my right was quite the experience. It amazes me how different Imperial Beach and Coronado are when they are such close neighbors. It’s almost a culture shock from the upscale sweater around the neck type people of Coronado to the gritty truthfulness of I.B.

The Sand castle celebratory street fair was just wrapping up when we found a parking space. The sun was low in the sky surrounded by clouds, its light peeking out from the bottom in that Jesus way, the kind of look you see in inspirational ads on Sunday school walls.

We walked over to the pier to watch the sunset. The pier was heavy with foot traffic, mostly drunken teens in short shorts and smeared eye make-up. Leaning against the pier’s entrance was a pretty transgendered gal with a Marilyn Monroe piercing, fake eyelashes, and a half-shirt talking up a young baggy-shorted guy. Everywhere were Fishermen with bait guts at their feet. From off the pier I saw three dolphins and two preteens riding waves with the effortlessness of seasoned pros.

In front of us a stocky women in a thong held the hand of her boyfriend. With each shift of her leg you could see an interesting tan line. I couldn’t help staring. With every step she took I saw tan, white, tan, white, like one of those patterned necklaces I used to make at day camp as child.

“This is way better than Coronado.” I told Aaron. “The people watching is incomparable!”

We walked down the beach in hopes of viewing some professional looking Sand castles, only to learn that the sand castle building would be taking place the following day. It was getting dark so we decided to head back for dinner plans in Coronado

Back on the street, we saw tons of cops stomping down the street in a line. “Get on the sidewalk!” one of them growled at me, “The street fair is packing up. We need to clear the area.”

I have never seen that many cops in one place.

On the drive back the sky was bruised purple. Cars whooshed past. The sound of the ocean was therapeutic. I thought for a moment that the lull would put me to sleep and I would let go and fall right off which reminded me of a shirt I had once seen on a biker that read “if you can read this, the Bitch fell off!” I didn’t want to be the Bitch so I gripped around Aaron’s stomach tightly.

Coronado was as to be expected, bustling with tourist with happy expectations for their evening. We peered in store windows and laughed at the zebra print Coronado shirt a chubby southerner in pink sweat pants was wearing. We settled for an upscale Mexican place which served overpriced burritos to the sound of live music. I sort of wished we had stayed in IB but it was too late now. I enjoyed my margarita as we discussed the usual--the kids and work, politics, and family. On the way home while driving over the bridge from the back of Aaron’s motorcycle I gasped, over the San Diego skyline the sky was lit up by fireworks. It was the greatest way to end the evening.

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