Monday, August 12, 2013

A Bike, a Blue Dress and a White Hat

Ten years ago, two days after my twentieth birthday, I met a blond pony tailed boy.
He was riding his bike.
I was wearing a blue dress and a white hat.
I was on my way to see another man.
This man:


That's right - Dennis Kucinich.

I was on my way to see Dennis Kucinich participate in a forum on the Oklahoma State University campus. He and eight of the other candidate competing for the democratic nomination to be the party's nominee for president (confusing) were to be present.
I was rounding up people to sit in the bleachers and listen - participate in our great electoral system. (Am I writing that with sarcasm?  I don't even know.) My best friend was there..  a few good friends from high school..  and my mom, of course.

We were meeting at a friend's place close to campus and walking to avoid the parking mess.
I had a handful of tickets.
This blond pony tailed boy rode up on a bike.
Doing my civic duty, I invited him to join us.
He rode on to pick up a ticket and we walked behind.
"He is cute," my mom whispered to me on the way.

We sat next to each other.
I'm sure I must have rattled off fun facts about the candidates - or just about Kucinich.
"Did you know he has never eaten at McDonalds?"
I never had the pleasure of voting for Dennis Kucinich.  Living in Oklahoma, he never even was on the ballot in the primaries. But, I changed my registration from Independent to Democrat just for the far fetched chance to maybe, maybe have the opportunity to have my voice heard.
I did have the pleasure of riding back to our meeting place on the handlebar of that blond pony tailed boy's bike - his name was Adam, I learned - clutching my hat with one hand, the handlebar and my dress in the other.  Laughing.

It turned out we were all headed to the same party.
We ran a few errands together.  He sat in the passenger seat of my car.
We went to a cook-out and he made guacamole - from scratch.
In the blur of faces and music and color, he remained crystal clear. We went from one party to the next. He twisted his ankle and I iced it.

At the end of the night I drove everyone home.
I was only twenty after all, and the designated driver.
I watched him walk into his house.
I had no last name, no phone number and no idea that I would ever see him again.
I had no idea I would want to see him again.

This is where his story and my story differ.

He claims I stalked him.

I claim I just enjoyed his company and wanted to hang out - just hang out - really!

Yes, I did drive over to his house and try to invite him to see a quirky cult classic film with me.  He wasn't home, but his friend Chase was, and he came with me instead.
Yes, I drove over to his house again, and left my phone number on his coffee table.
That doesn't constitute stalking - does it?
He called once. I was out of town.  He lost his wallet and my number.

Almost a month later I went to pick up a few of my friends.
My mom was grilling.
It was Labor Day.
I knocked on the door, wearing clay covered pants and a tank top.  I had just started my first ceramics class and had been trying to wrestle the clay into center all  morning with no success.  To my complete dismay and embarrassment Adam opened the door.  I must have blushed and tried to casually check if there was mud in my hair too.. on my face...  oh no.

He invited me back to his place to watch a movie.
I accepted.
I called my mom at two in the morning and asked if it was okay that I stayed the night.
I think her response was: "Heidi, you are twenty."
There was no hanky-panky.
 I wondered if this boy might be different.

I rode on his handle bars through campus.
We walked around town.
He borrowed my car.
We spent late nights studying.
We cooked.
We danced.
We hiked.
We breathed.
We voted in the 2004 election.
I went through the futile motion of voting for a candidate just because he was 'better?' than the other guy, but still was someone in which I did not believe.
We celebrated life - not the election.

The bike frame, sits in our yard, begging to be rebuilt.
The blue dress hangs in my closet.
I have no idea what happened to that hat.

That boy on a bike became my friend and somewhere a long the way the man who is my husband today.

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