DUDE. Know what I did on Saturday? I rode on a motorcycle. In Dykes on Bikes, in the Dyke March.
I’ve been trying to hitch a ride for YEARS.
It was seriously one of those dreams come true — the dream that seems silly, and IS silly, but it’s still a dream, and then it happens and it’s BETTER than you thought.
My friend Geena’s girlfriend was at a wedding, so I asked if I could be on the back of her motorcycle. Actually, I don’t even think I asked. Geena just knew that I would desperately want to ride with her, so she told me it was going to happen. I didn’t even trust it would, until that day. It seemed too good to be true.
The best part of Pride, for me, is Pink Saturday. That’s the day that thousands and thousands of women meet in Dolores Park, and listen to bands, and raise money for good things, and then walk through the city streets, smiling, and dancing, or just walking. You get everyone, the girls from out of town, out of state, who have never seen a group of lesbians like this, to the mothers who bring their kids and march with them, to the older women, who might be grandmas but ain’t out of the running, no way.
And that’s a CRAPload of people, all in one place, and it raises Lala’s Group Of People I Don’t Know hackles, so it was big of her to go with me. I treated her nicely and sat her in a cafe in the far corner, so she could sing along to Thriller (and dance, too):
and we got ice cream (Mariko, it’s the salted caramel with chocolate salty Fleur de Sel topping, from BiRite Creamery):
Then we met up with Geena and friends, and I got on the bike, we sat there, the engines roaring, deafeningly loud against the walls and sidewalks, and then we sat some more while hundreds of people lined the route and cheered, and then we were off and sailing through the city streets (okay, it took a while to get any speed while the cops cleared traffic ahead of us, but it FELT like we were going fast sometimes), and I had those incredible moments when you meet someone’s eyes and you have a moment. But I had a lot of them, people standing on the side, smiling right into my eyes as I grinned at them, and it was the best feeling, that.* And then we cruised around the turn at 16th and Mission, and confetti streamed down on us from a high apartment, and my eyes went up into the sky, and I realized that this was one of the best feelings EVER.
Lala and I had walked past the Women’s Building earlier in the day — the murals are incredible, and Lala’s friend Moira is listed as one of the people responsible for its beauty.
We rode past it on the bike, and suddenly I knew where I was, and then we were turning around on Mission and coming back to the truck (every year we set up a dance area, and dance with the crowd as it comes marching by). (This is way more fun and less work than walking all that way. Plus if you throw Hershey kisses, you tend to GET kisses. Not that I’ve done that since I’ve been married, no. Uh-uh.)
Then we had sushi, and then we went home, and it was a completely wonderful Pink Saturday. My favorite ever. Yay.
*The most incredible time I ever had that moment of connection with someone I didn’t know, Lala and I were at a march in the city. The march itself was a very large group of Pro-Life people who had come into the city on buses from all over the state. They were marching in protest against abortion. In answer, thousands of us Pro-Choicers met them, and lined their route in protest. We raised our signs, and they marched past us, with their signs, the always-charming bloody fetus kind of signs, you know the type. Lots of sinners going to hell signs. The anger low in my guts was awful, but we stood there silently, as people passed just inches from us. Then a small old lady with white hair under her baseball cap, who was marching with Them, looked at Lala and me and smiled the sweetest smile and raised her fingers in the vee for peace. Lala and I lifted our hands at the same time, and we gave her the peace sign back, and there was real compassion between the three of us, and it was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever witnessed.
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