The Bradenton Bearded Bike Brigade had just finished their meal at Jose's Real Cuban food, and we were on our way back toward downtown. There was a decision to be made as to which route we wanted to take. Jake, one of the founding members of the BBBB stood at the corner of Cortez Road and Palma Sola Boulevard. He peered in multiple directions. We pulled up beside him, and asked if he was okay going down Palma Sola, because we thought there would be less traffic that way. The only reason why we wouldn't take that route was because there are no street lights or bike lanes. Jake looked down the road, then turned back toward us and said, “I like my roads like I like my women. Dark and ominous.”
We all laughed and peddled our way toward the darkness. The decision seemed like a good one, because we have small headlights on most of our road bikes, so it wasn't going to be completely pitch black. Everything going fine until the nonexistent traffic we were expecting, quickly became existent. There was the septuagenarian woman whose rolling stop nearly became a injuring collision. Luckily for her front left quarter panel and our rib cages, the collision was avoided. We also held up a Ford F350 for at least three quarters of a mile. His wide chunk of rolling steel could not easily move into the other lane to pass us without fear of oncoming traffic, so he idled behind us what seemed like five minutes. After he had made his way by, we didn't encounter any other traffic.
Once the traffic was clear and my mind was calmer, I thought back to what Jake had said before we pointed our faint lights toward the darkness of Palma Sola. “I like my roads like I like my women...” Great adjectives aside, I was not sure I approved of Jake's comment. Only because I know the woman he is currently dating, and she does not fit either category. His girlfriend Erin (the Godmother of the BBBB), has fair skin and stands about 5'3” tall. I think you must be at least 5'8'' tall as a female to even be considered ominous (men need to be 6'2”). So, Jake was obviously just cracking a joke for the sake of levity as we headed toward possible doom and dismemberment.
As we approached our next cross street, I began to think about what a dark and ominous woman would look like. The obvious physical description would literally be a tall, dark and menacing figure (I'll call it Serena Williams-esque). I was thinking more along the feeling you get when you encounter something ominous. Like a dark gray rain cloud hovering over the horizon makes you feel. You see it and you know that it will produce lightning that could electrocute someone, or pour never ending amounts of rain onto the streets until they flooded the surrounding neighborhoods. Serena Williams is scary, but a skin-tight mini-dress pulled over tree trunk thighs and broad shoulders does not create a feeling of impending doom. Only a feeling of immasculinity.
I imagined a woman standing in front of me in bright daylight. Her shadow creating a total eclipse of my father's son. Her voice was deep, but carried a feminine lisp. She did not unleash a boom of volume, she only whispered. Her makeup was caked on, but only because she wanted to add some color to cover up any imperfections on her face. There were traces of defined muscle peeking out from underneath a knee length red skirt and matching red blouse. She would be wearing high heeled shoes, but of a height and width that would still allow quick movement if the need arose. Her hair showed faint roots of a darker color, but the dye kept it blonde like that of an Aryan princess. This was the woman I pictured when I went back to Jake's comment over and over again. It disturbed me to no end. Not because I was afraid of this mythical woman who personified the terms Jake used. No, it was because I felt like I knew who this person was. She was no longer a figment of my imagination. She was becoming more and more real as I described her in my mind. It was all becoming much clearer as every second passed. I was not sure if this is who Jake was thinking about when he concocted his comment, but I was 100% sure I had encountered this person before. Actually, come to think of it, I think I saw her at Drag Queen Bingo one night. I believe her name was Russell.