Sunday, August 27, 2017

Harley my problem

“Popop pauz… poppoppoppop pauz.”
1:30 am. Eyes pop open. ‘Ugh, it’s probably the fan’s noise..”. Kevin punches a button and nods off.
“Poppoppoppop pauz… poppop…”
What time was it? 2:17 am. He mops his sweaty forehead. Ah, turning off the fan was a mistake. ‘Whirrrrr….’ Sleep takes over.
“Poppoppoppoppop pauz… poppoppoppoppoppop pauz.. Poppop..”
‘What in the name of!’ He storms out of bed, livid, glares through the window. ‘There! That bastard! Who rides a fucking Harley at … *looks at his clock* .. 3:30 am in the night! And on a work day!’ He falls back in bed and groans as his upper back hurts. That was tough work, moving all on his own, to this new town and house. He had hoped all that hauling had tired the shit out of him. Guess not.’ He remembers that the landlord told him about how the street around the corner was notoriously known for its bike racing a couple of years ago. Then the police cracked down on it and how their spirit fizzled out. ‘Are they trying to revive the event in the middle of the night? I better finish my lease and move out in that case!’

Two months have passed. Dark circles frame his eyes and veins jutt out of his temple, as if he decided to sport a villainous Comic-Con makeup forever. His mind is constantly buzzing, not akin to bees, but more like an airplane drone. He cannot believe it had to come to this. At first, it was a single night, then two nights in a row. So he got curious and googled it, ‘Harley biking calle cristobal road’. The top few links talked about a young Harley Davidson biker, a freak accident, a ghastly sight of flesh grated on tarmac. ‘Well, good riddance!’, he thought then. After a week passed, he accosted John, the owner of the house.
‘You cheat! You hid these nightly theatrics from me!’.
John was flummoxed. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Those wretched bikers pumping their engine to wake up the whole community!’
‘But.. but, we haven’t heard a thing!’
‘Probably because of all that wine you drown yourself in, moron!’
He broke the lease and moved to a gated community. But it got worse. A bunch of bikers, reverberating sounds, circling this one guy. He could swear he felt palpable anger in those men. His new roommates think he has schizophrenia, suggested he got it checked out. The security guard yelled at him, calling him insane. He doesn’t have any mental history in his family. So that left one plausible explanation. But why, why was he after him?


‘Dats hardly my problem.’ Aymee jumped at the sound of the text, looked at the screen, tears welling up in her eyes. It was 2 am. She must have waited six long hours after she messaged him the news.. ‘I’m pregnant.’ She knew she should have met him before he left, held his hands, eased him into the world she was facing. Now, he was beyond her reach, in a city of his dreams for a lucrative new job. Maybe now he fancied all the loose women there, on whom he could pull all those nightmarish fetishes which she blatantly refused to partake in. She slammed her phone on the wall which printed a beautiful web mosaic on it. “Ding dong.” ‘Great, the pizza boy is here! If only I hadn’t stuffed myself with those cheesy slices, he would have liked me more.’ She opened the door, grabbed the box from the bewildered boy, thrust cash in his hands and slammed on his face.

‘Jeez, what a bitch!’. Sean was working nights to pay for his college, he didn’t deserve this. And he definitely didn’t deserve an absence of tip at this late an hour. He kicked his Scooty in a fit, to ape those actors who make that look so cool in movies. Tiny crunch, mighty pain. His toenail was a color that looks like the one made from a towering street light and the black of the night. He sat on the curb, nursing his injury, cursing his fate. The phone rang. ‘What!!’ ‘Sean, dear, I need to go to hospital, I may have overdosed on the Vicodin.’ ‘Stop the drama Mom, I have grown up watching your incessant calls for attention. No wonder Lisa left us…’ ‘But Sean, I’m seriou…’. Click.

Mary had led a hard life, as hard a white woman of alternate sexuality could lead. She ran away with her childhood sweetheart, when her parents wouldn’t accept their love and settled in a city known for welcoming immigrants of all eccentricities with open arms. Lisa found work in a microbrewery, while she joined an NGO to care for orphans. She fell in love with Sean, the moment she saw those round playful eyes and skin that glistened like her favorite brand of dark chocolate. She brought him home of her own accord and didn’t spot the tinge of dislike in her lover’s eyes. In one of those arguments of passion that followed in the years to come, Lisa spewed her racist venom out that shocked Mary to the core. After all, who could imagine a person of a repressed group fostering repressive thoughts about another? Lisa abandoned them, but Mary painted her as a woman of substance for her little boy. Soon, drugs found her despair, and by the time her son left for college, she was hooked. And this phone call left her shattered.

Barry was whistling, as much of a muffled whistle his helmet would allow. His wife had just delivered twins after some unexpected labor pains and he was on his way to them with the choicest of dad jokes. It was a pity he would have to sell his prized two-wheeler, but hey, life’s like that! ‘One day, you’re wearing your leather jacket and picking up chicks from bars and the next day, you are riding on those leather SUV seats and picking up kids from school!’ It seemed like the universe had conspired to speed him up to see his babies. He probably passed a dozen green traffic lights, and here came another! Followed by a sudden splash of white across. In his last ephemeral moments, he spied a distraught woman at the wheel, foaming around the mouth , making a desperate bid at survival.

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When US beckoned me by Siddharth Wagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.