15:35 - Thursday, Jun. 16, 2005
last night's mistake
I spent last night's dispatch shift in an odd reverie, drifting between thinking I was in Palestine fighting bands of Arabs (from reading Exodus pretty much nonstop for a week) and being unusually polite and inviting to the callers who wanted their usual unnecessary rides. To the girl who called a half hour before we closed, requesting a ride for about five or six blocks at the specific time of 11:05, right in the middle of a bunch of other people who had called before her, requesting their rides at 11:05, I simply entered it in, thinking, as I did with every caller that night, that the poor girl was tired, the poor girl needed to rest her weary feet, the poor girl was in danger if she walked those five blocks alone. I was almost disgustingly tolerant of the drunk boy who couldn't hear me over the pounding of the party's music but didn't have the wherewithal to simply move outside for a second.
At the end of the night, I wandered outside, mouth flaming from absentminded, unconscious eating of wasabi peas, got my bike, and coasted all the way down Colorado to the house I lived in last summer, the one I shared with one of the nicest strangers ever. The trampoline seemed tilted in the dark canopied backyard, and I thought I was still smelling the bird that Joan Wilder killed, but never ate. I got off my bike and began chaining it to the porch when I suddenly looked up and around and realized I hadn't lived there for a year. I had gone there without thinking, expecting to collapse in the water bed and probably get up and watch Family Guy while fixing myself an omelete before going to music tech class. But I live in the other direction now. I picked up my bike, looking in the window. I couldn't believe I'd done it because now I was going to have to ride 28 blocks home, uphill, at midnight. I wished NightRide was open, but maybe if it was, I was going to pick up the phone in the dispatch office and be rude to myself, thinking all along what a lazy slob I was for having my bike and being unwilling to ride it. It was that kind of night, the kind of night where I wouldn't have been surprised if that had happened. I even called NightRide. I got its closed message and rode home distracted, watching the stars.
00:03 - Sunday, Jun. 12, 2005
world naked bike ride
Today was the World Naked Bike Ride, Boulder chapter. It's technically a protest against oil dependency, but all of that aside, I think it should be allowed to ride around naked with 50 other people if you feel like it (or run, or walk, etc), and that's why I went. I didn't go naked, I went in a bikini, because I'm a chicken. Nick was outraged that he ended up having to be in California for the weekend, because riding around naked in public with a bunch of hippies is pretty much his dream outing. He tried to institute Naked Day in our apartment a month ago. He put a sign on the front door that said "Warning: Naked Day!" and took off all his clothes. All that happened was that Aaron, who had been reading in the living room, went to his room to read instead, and I ended up being a lot hornier than usual while I was frying eggs. By the time Ted came home, Naked Day was over, it being nighttime and 50 degrees, Nick wearing pajamas, and all he saw was the sign on the front door. "What the fuck?" he inquired. "What the fuck is Naked Day?"
Naked Day was never reinstituted because we had a snowstorm the day after, and Nick burned a Bible in the fireplace to keep warm, and ever since then we've had horrible weather which Nick blames himself for. "I shouldn't have burned that Bible!" he admonishes himself in his sleep. And his Bible-burning cost him the real Naked Day as well: the World Naked Bike Ride.
Three blocks into it the cops pulled us over. The first one's siren was screaming, as if he were chasing ten murderers on a busy highway and needed fruit-transporting trucks to get out of his way or something. He cut the guy in front of me off, close, diagonal. You can see their stunt-driver training. As he was running all our IDs through the system, checking for outstanding warrants, two things happened. One, half the group took off the other way. Probably the ones that had outstanding warrants. Two, two more cop cars came screaming up, making three cop cars in all, apprehending a bunch of bicyclers riding around a residential area. I was like The Count from Sesame Street in my head: "One, Two, Three... Three cop cars, cheeldrun!" The 87 year old lady next to me, who was wearing a bra and underwear and a hat with green feathers and painted on her back "PRUNE BUSH", was asking everyone if we could file a class action lawsuit against the police, and whether she was going to go to jail, and wasn't this illegal.... she finally settled on the conclusion that the cops were "scaring us for no good reason". The Colorado Daily really zoomed in on her for interviews. An old lady? Riding with a bunch of young hoodlums? But why?
The cops let us go with a round of "If you would just cover up your genitals, sir, that'd be just great"s, and we went, the men slowly discarding their borrowed towels as we got farther and farther away.
I think the best part was people's faces and reactions - politically and personally. It was an overwhelmingly positive response, which brings up the question of 'indecent exposure', which is a law in practice to avoid offending people with your horrible blindingly ugly and provocative and distracting and dirty naked human body, of course. Nobody seemed particularly offended, though, not even the police officer, who had that annoying fake kind of "I don't want to be here and neither do you, so let's get this over with while I tell you repeatedly what you're doing is ILLEGAL" act going on. Most people were either shocked (the kind of shocked where you hide your face but peek anyway, and then end up laughing), applauding, whistling, honking, thumbs-upping, or wishing they had a camera. The only people who were not any one of these things were a few of those kinds of girls from whom the world disappears while they are on their cell phone. One seriously was waiting at a crosswalk for the light to turn green, as 50 NAKED OR NEAR-NAKED BIKERS BARRELED PAST HER, ringing their bells and chanting and whooping. She heard, and saw, nothing. Wow. The other two people with an odd reaction were an old couple who were slowly getting out of a car with South Dakota plates. We rode past, and the guy next to me wearing a black G-string yelled "Less Gas, More Ass! Less Crude, More Nude! Welcome to Boulder!" at them. They were openmouthed. Beyond response. I love Boulder. Next year I will go naked.
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