Today was one of those pretty days. The kind one thinks of when one envisions an 80° California day.
Today I swam under water, above water, on my back, and I even floated. I did all of that with not much thought.. at the deep end of the pool. What a beautiful accomplishment. Meanwhile all the three year old regulars splashed beside me as their parents looked on. Swim instructors holding on and saying things like “kick, kick, kick! Keep kicking!”
And I thought “I am.”
Christmas break must have started because the pool was full of more short people than the regulars, their tall people tagging along. I couldn’t wear my glasses into the pool so I honestly couldnt make out faces, leaving me to identify people only by height.
Not being able to see in a pool full of toddlers is a great thing, especially if the reason that you’re there is the same as theirs; just learning. I don’t have to worry about others seeing me as I splash about because I can’t see them. Problem solved. Though it did lead to one awkward moment where I sat down by a young father watching his kid. I didn’t know it was a father I had sat by, and I’m sure he didn’t know how to react to my sudden presence by his side as I looked out at the pool, waiting for a clearing of the toddlers so I could jump in. He got up and went somewhere else to watch his kid.
After my swim (MY SWIM, what lyrical words!) I put on my street clothes and glasses, gathered my suit, and newly acquired, space-saver, towel and went to join Little Wing. I made a point to not look at the pool filled witn youngsters, and seats filled with adults, on my way out the door, no need to see them now that I was on my way out.
Well, apparently, my logical solution to not being seen while not seeing at the pool was not entirely effective. As I got to sitting on the bike and setting up my GPS with the new destination — Oceanside Museum of Art — two talls and a small walked out the door. A handsome Asian family started loading their cute kid into the car. I snapped my helmet buckle as the daddy snapped the seat belt. I put on my gloves as the mommy got into the front passenger seat. I reached to close my visor as the daddy turned to me, “I thought you were a student,” he said.
My face turned red as giggle escaped, “nope, not a student.”
“Yeah, I saw you and thought why’s that student riding a motorcycle.”
I felt my face flush even more, but at this point I was uncertain as to whether it was the helmet roasting me or the observations of youth. “No, I’m mot a student. Just a motorcyclist learning to swim.”
“Oh, it wasn’t even that,” he said, “it was just general appearance,” and with that he made a sweeping gesture with both hands. Up and down his body as though giving a Vana White like display of his attire.
Oh man, I laughed at that. He spoke with an Asian accent of some sort or the other, and I wasn’t sure that it was his culture or just his personality that had him thinking that was a thing to say to a young woman. If I were the sensitive type I might have been offended of this assertion that I looked like a student in my swiming attire. However, I was more grateful that he wasn’t referencing my untrained swimming methods.
The small human in the car looked out from his car seat. He pointed at my bike with an air of certainty. A steady chunky finger made an invisible line to Little Wing’s tank, and a steady voice announced, quite assertively, “I like that.”
I laughed louder.
“You like her motorcycle son?”
“Yes,” the small child replied. There was no hesitation in that confident voice.
I asked how old the boy was. His dad told me he was four. “Well spoken young man,” I said.
“He is bilingual” his father told me.
I am not certain where that air of confidence comes from, language or genetics, but both of those guys had it. They spoke the truth without a care as to what the world had to say about it, and they gave me a good laugh. I bid them ado, and I was off to check out some art.
Twenty minutes later Little Wing and I arrived outside of the art museum. As I got to taking off the coat and helmet that I had just put on in the presence of the guys back at the pool, I was approached by two more guys. Two middle aged African American males came towards me from the other side of the street. The were big men, dressed in long shirts, ball caps and sagging pants. I made eye contact, smiled, and continued strapping my coat to Little Wing.
“Was that you I saw doing wheelies out on the freeway?” the older of the two asked as he got nearer.
“Oh, yes, for sure. I love to do wheelies over there.”
“Yeahaha, I thought so,” he said and he and the other guy looked at each other and laughed.
The other guy said “you ride this, huh?”
“Yep, it’s mine.”
He laid his hand on the tent strapped to the back, “you traveling, huh?”
“Where you from?”
“No way!” They had slowly been making their way down the side walk, inching backwards while looking back at Little Wing and I. After I told them where I was from they came back. They took a look at my license place, let out some exclamations, and then each reached their hands out for an enthusiastic high five. These guys were awesome. They were fascinated with the adventure. They were curious about how riding in California was. They asked questions abour my next destinations and the offered advice on things to do in the area. After a fifteen minute discussion the younger of the two made some remark about being hungry and the older of the two agreed. The two of them, brothers as I came to find out, excused themselves, wished me a safe journey, a merry Christmas, and they were off.
I bid them ado and went to check out the art.
Little Wing opens up so many conversations with such interesting people. I love the ride. It is a feeling like no other to be in control riding the bike here and there, but I have come to love the stop, the pause, the break from the ride, just as much. People have so much to offer and when they get the chance to do so it is like a treasure box of rich goodies that they are just handing out. The bike is a great key to that box. I can’t help thinking how that might not be the case if I were driving across country in my truck. I see them when I stop the bike, and they see me. It is nothing at all like a blind park by a shy daddy at a pool. The confident people are inspired to speak up, or the shy people are inspired to be confident, either way, I reap the rewards. It is just as addicting as the ride
Today was pretty. Now it is time to catch some shut eye. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow has to offer.
Much love ♡