Discovering a purpose for the next stage of life continues to prove elusive, as does a good night’s sleep. Nothing to report except vertigo, serious fatigue, and widespread pain, all of which, combined, keep me feeling pretty sick.
Instead, I’m sharing a story that still crosses my mind and makes me smile more than 15 years since it happened. My husband and I went to see a blues band we love called, “Too Slim and the Taildraggers” at Annie Fannie’s Bar & Grill. It was a crowded house with no seats available in the stage area. We stood for a while and then took a table in the back by the dartboards and pool tables where there was only one other group of people.
No sooner did we sit and order drinks than this mountain of a man exits the bathroom and joins those folks. He had to be at least 6’5″ and solid as a wall, standing a head taller than anyone else nearby. More intimidating than his physical build was his vest with motorcycle club patches and rockers displaying his full Hells Angels membership.
The local Hells Angels club had been in the headlines in recent years. Their clubhouse had been visited by police frequently and a federal case was prosecuted after a years-long investigation including surveillance of various types. This, however, was the first time I’d seen a real Hells Angels biker in person. Gypsy Jokers were more common in our area, and I even had a really good friend whose uncle by marriage was in that club, though he didn’t attend many family get-togethers. 😉
Here, now, in a small room lit up enough for playing pool and shooting darts, there was a one-percenter less than 20 feet away from me and I could not take my eyes off him. Seriously. I was nervous, yes, but I knew I could only make this situation tense or difficult by continuing to stare. Even so, I couldn’t tear my gaze away for more than an occasional glance at my husband who, under his breath, was exhorting me to stop staring. I’m fairly certain my mouth was not agape but it might as well have been.
As we finished our drinks and considered whether or not to order another, I explained to my husband that we might need to leave. I felt the way I presume volunteers who’ve been hypnotized on stage at the state fair must feel, as though I was not in control. The more I tried not to look, the harder it became to avert my eyes. We agreed that the best way to handle this incidental close proximity to a Hells Angels club member was to call it a night, while the band still played. I can’t be trusted. 😆