Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reasons to Wake

OK, I do know it's not St. Patrick's Day yet, so I'll save my lame St. Paddy's joke for then. This is good, though. Every so often, maybe no more than once or twice in a person's entire life, perfect serendipity occurs, a moment of such flawless absurdity it remains recorded in the memory forever like Youtube. I had such a moment on St. Patrick's Day of 2000.

Once upon a time I belonged to the Piledrivers Union. Local 34, Oakland, Ca. I was a welder. No, not like the girl in Flashdance; she was an actress. It was hard damn work, and to paraphrase Steve Buscemi from "Armageddon," it paid well, the scenery changed and sometimes you got to blow stuff up. And I met some awesome men, as well as one or two of the biggest crapweasels ever to walk on their back legs.

The morning of 3/17/2000 I was working on a building foundation job in San Francisco's Financial District. My little corner of the world was right next to the fence separating the jobsite from Howard Street. So I'm all duded up in my protective gear, looking like the lesbian dream date, welding away. I finish the piece I'm working on, put up my mask, and there is a beautiful young man in a kilt, riding his bicycle up the street towards me. A healthy specimen, he was. We made eye contact and he registered surprise. I'm unmistakably female; I look like R. Crumb drew me. I don't often express these sentiments out loud to strangers, but I was moved to call out. I mean, the guy is riding a bicycle in a kilt. In America. That's one confident dude. And yes, his skirt was blowing up. Without thinking I said the first thing that popped into my head. "Baby." The rest of the sentence, "Let's get married for the weekend," was implied. And then he was gone from my life like the fading light of dusk, like the last sip of wine, like a loosely-held sucker from a baby's hand. Or something.

A male pedestrian gets hey-babied by a female construction worker. Welcome to California. Enjoy your stay in Bizarro World. And if you're that guy, I'm sure you remember me. The offer still stands.