Motorcycle Mamas for web DSC_9432
Episode 66. The Gang
The motorcycles worried Bertie's cousin Minnie. Little Mac was adding on a room to the cottage for her and she wanted nothing more than to be a part of their family and a part of their peaceful seaside village. But in her walks around she had discovered outside a garage two motorcycles the size and look of which made her think of motorcycle gangs. And that was the last thing she wanted. To live anywhere where there might be a hidden cancer of drugs and violence.
Across the road an obviously older woman was taking tea on her front porch. "Excuse me," Minnie said, crossing over. "What kind of people ride those motorcycles over there? Do they cause you any trouble?"
"Dear me. Trouble?" said the woman. "You have no idea. Let me tell you ... but come sit down and have a cup of tea with me and let's get introduced."
The porch was raised and had a wooden railing around it. Minnie ascended the steps, opened the wooden gate with the cupid painted on it and sat down at the deck table by the woman. The woman served her in a porcelain cup that was obviously heirloom and they exchanged names and Minnie told her how she came to be in the village and what her hopes were.
"Oh my. Your husband was a movie star," said the woman, whose name was Ophelia. "And died and left you everything. And then your house in California burnt down. What a wild life you've had. Are you sure our quiet little backwater will suit you?"
"Absolutely, Ophelia," said Minnie. "I have had enough excitement for three lifetimes. That's why those motorcycles worry me. What's the story?"
"Well, I'll tell you," said Ophelia, "but first let me call Carol. She'll want to be a part of this."
"Excuse me," said Minnie. "A part of what?"
"Minnie," said Ophelia, "I could tell you stories all day, but the best way to go about this is to have you meet the gang directly and form your own opinion. So it's best if Carol comes along. She doesn't like me being alone around that sort of company."
"That's all right, Ophelia. Really. You don't have to ..."
"Maybe another time, okay? I ..."
And then Carol, a heavier set greyer version of Ophelia, was with them, leaving the screen door swinging behind her on squeaky hinges. "You've really got to fix that door, Ophelia," she said grumpily. "It's driving me crazy."
"I daresay you don't have a long way to go," said Ophelia. "Dear, this is our new neighbour Minnie. I'll tell you more about her later, but for now I want to introduce her to the bikers."
"You do, do you? Well, are we dressed okay for that?"
"Sure we are."
"Aren't slacks very informal?"
"Now don't be silly, Carol, it's bikers we're talking about."
"Well, let's go then. Come on."
"You're not at all afraid?" Minnie asked.
"No. Are you?"
"Yes, I am. And I'm a lot younger than you. I could ..."
"You could what? You could run away faster?"
Minnie set her tea aside and said a little coolly, "I wouldn't do that. I would stay there with you. If there was trouble, I would try to protect you."
"That settles it then," said Carol. She opened the gate. "Let's go."
Taking a deep breath while at the same time feeling a shiver down her spine, Minnie crossed the road with the two women and waited anxiously by the motorcycles as Ophelia gently triple-rapped the garage door and said, in the sweetest little old lady voice imaginable, "Anybody home?"
"I guess not," said Carol, and pushing Ophelia to one side, she wrenched open the door and walked right in. After a minute of banging around, which made Minnie's heart skip a beat, she came out dangling two sets of keys. "Let's take these babies for a ride," she said.
"Wait a minute," said Minnie. "These are ... your motorcycles? But you must be, forgive me for saying, but you must be at least ..."
"I'm 73 and Carol's 74," said Ophelia. "And there's no need to forgive. We're proud of every minute of it. Every minute of our lives, both alone and together. So, what do you say? Are you up for a ride?"
Later when she sat down to dinner with Bertha and Mac and Delilah and Noah, she was so extraordinarily silent and wide-eyed and sunburned and windblown that Bertha finally asked her what was wrong.
"I met the village motorcycle gang," she said. "And it was wonderful."
12 June 2018
Prospect, Nova Scotia
Keywords:evening, gleaming, harley, indian, motorcycles, sundown, sunlight, tandem, two