02 May

Tire Part 3

So I’m standing there with an uninflated tire and a poem in my hand when this red convertible pulls up to me. Two college girls, both wearing skimpy tank tops, are sitting in the front seats. Both have dark blond hair pulled back in pony tails and they’re both wearing sunglasses. The girl in the passenger seat lowers her sunglasses ands says, “you want a ride?”

“Uh, actually, I just need a pump.”

They look at each other like they’ve got some inside joke going on. “We could give you a pump.”

“Or two,” the driver adds. They giggle.

I begin to get a little self-conscious cuz it seems like they’re laughing at me. “Do you actually have a pump? I mean, I just fixed the tire, but I need some air.”

They look at each other again. The driver says, somewhat flirtatiously, “listen, why don’t you leave the bike and come with us?”

“Whoa!” I reply. “Do you know how much I paid for this bike? I mean, I’m just a teacher.”

“Ooh, you’re a teacher?” shotgun girl says. “Maybe you could give us a lesson.” She winks at me.

“Uh, yeah, I guess. I mean, if you’ve got some air, I could teach you all about postmodernism. I teach this science fiction class and current science fiction – well, science fiction within the past 35 years or so – really perfectly illustrates how our mediated world has so degraded the boundary between reality and fiction that in many ways the fiction is more real.”

“I know what you mean,” the driver says. “I love fantasies.” She moves her tongue slowly across her upper lip.

“Actually, we don’t read much fantasy in the class. We stick with stories that use science rather than magic to explain these unreal worlds and situations.”

“Oh,” Ms. Shotgun pouts, “you don’t like magic?”

Just then a big Budweiser tuck passes slowly and pulls over to the side in front of the convertible. A uniformed driver gets out and says, “Got a delivery here for Jenna and Stacy?”

“That’s us!” the convertible driver says, waving her hand in the air. The delivery guy opens up the back of the truck. Inside, there’s a leggy brunette in a cocktail waitress costume. She walks to the edge of the cargo bed as Rod Stewart’s “If You Think I’m Sexy” starts blasting from two speakers positioned at the rear of the cargo hold. She’s carrying a tray. The truck driver offers her hand, which she holds as she steps down; I can now see that the tray has three cans of Budweiser, sweating condensation.

“What do you say?” the shotgun girl asks. “Wanna dance?”

“Aw, I don’t know,” I say. “I’m not really a dancer, and I actually can’t stand Rod Stewart.”

“No problem,” she replies. The driver girl nods to the uniformed Budweiser guy, who hops up into the truck and fiddles with the stereo. The shotgun girl gets out of the car and struts over towards me as “Let’s Talk About Sex” starts playing from the speakers. She begins a little strut dance as she approaches me. It is kind of embarrassing, so I look down at my bike and squeeze the rear tire again.

At this point, another cyclist pulls up behind the convertible and says, “Whoa! What’ going on here!”

The shotgun girl is still dancing in front of me. The driver girl shouts, “Jenna” and indicates the other biker with a nod in his direction.

Jenna looks at him, shakes her head, and walks back to the car. The Bud guy and his cocktail waitress pack up. The music stops abruptly. They all drive off.

“Hey,” I say to the other cyclist. “You got any air?”

“Yeah,” he says, dumbfounded. “What was all that?”

“I don’t know,” I shrug. “She was pretty hot, though, huh?”

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