Saturday, February 15, 2014


by Dieter

"Meyer Honda, this is Cadence. May I help you?" the voice spoke pleasantly.

"Yes, do you carry Palmer Helmets?" I inquired.

"Yes, we do." she replied amiably.

"And do you carry parts for them?" I continued.

"Some," she countered patiently, "what model is the helmet?"

"Oh, I don’t remember" I responded having left the helmet locked to my motorbike in the parking lot.

"Best to bring it with you. We can order anything that we don’t have in stock" she explained with authority.

"Ok, thanks," I said prior to touching the "End" button on my phone.

Cadence. Wasn’t that an interesting name? Especially for a lady working at a motorcycle dealership. She had such a pleasing voice. It was clear, soothing, knowledgeable, yet in command. My mind imagined a pretty lady at the opposite end of the "phone line".

After work, I fired up my Kawasaki and rode across town to Meyer Honda. I love riding "naked". Naked bikes, like my Z1000. Sport bikes without windshields or fairings that typically have very little bodywork. Many manufacturers have jumped on the band wagon to build them after the success of Ducati’s line of Monsters and Triumph’s Speed Triple. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding a powerful two-wheeled machine built for speed with your body exposed to the wind and elements. It is total freedom. You experience sensations beyond description.

Upon arrival, I parked in the front and gazed at the machines on display outside. But if you linger too long a salesman soon will approach so I headed through the doors. That’s where the really nice bikes were on exhibit. I stopped to scrutinize a black Honda 919. It was a model I had wanted to consider but there were none in stock when I bought mine. Here was a sweet one that was just my color. But, it was used and a year older than my Kwak. So, I moved on.
I followed the aisle between dozens of motorcycles and stepped into the "Parts and Accessories" department. Sitting on a stool at the counter, I waited. The man behind the counter was explaining the options concerning a fuel pump to two fellows who listened with trepidation. I gazed around at the cool stuff sitting on shelves and hanging on the walls. Then a young woman stepped from the doorway to the back room and approached.

"Can I help you?" she asked, still walking towards me.

"I called earlier about parts for a Palmer Helmet" I spoke while glancing at her name tag that showed "Cadence K."

"I remember" she said. Yeah, me too, I thought.

I showed her my helmet describing the piece that was broken. She examined the part while I examined her from point blank range. She wasn’t anything like I pictured. She was better. Cadence was average height with narrow shoulders and hips. She was wearing snugly-fit new jeans, a navy-colored hoodie, and white Keds. Her skin was dark and smooth and her shoulder-length dark brown hair had slight hints of highlights. Resting on her nose above her wide smile was very stylish slightly cat-eye shaped glasses. The radiant plastic frames were thick in a rich, deep purple color which showed off her dark eyes.

Cadence had one of those faces that looked absolutely better wearing glasses. Do you know what I mean? It’s not as if she would have been unattractive without, it’s just that glasses fit her face so perfectly, framing and adding distinction to all of the right spots. Something else that I noticed was that the lenses in her glasses did not magnify or minify her eyes. The lenses had thickness and a considerable sheen to them unlike plano lenses. A motorcycle dealership was obviously an odd setting for someone trying to fake a studious look, anyway. Then I remembered. Her lenses were just like the ones in the glasses of my first wife, Mia.

At age eighteen upon starting business school, Mia had experienced tremendous headaches. It was especially painful for her during the hours she was at school working with computers and books. After several weeks of stressful days, Mia’s mom had suggested that she get her eyes examined. Mia protested that she had 20/15 vision but her mom reminded her of the fact that the family optometrist, at a previous exam, had discovered some astigmatism that he warned might cause Mia trouble in the future. Sure enough, after getting a current exam, Mia returned with glasses that she was supposed to wear for continuous close work. That was my first encounter with astigmatism and it was difficult for a myope like me to understand the nuances of its correction. Mia had to wear glasses for sustained reading, but only to avoid headaches, and had chosen to wear them optionally at times for distance. Yet, she could seemingly see perfectly near and far. And when I looked through her lenses, they appeared to do nothing positively or negatively for my vision. But where Mia’s lenses were rather thin, even in the days prior to high index plastics, Cadence’s lenses seemed somewhat thick and significant. Were they stronger? Did her lenses correct a greater degree of astigmatism? Did they correct on a different axis? Did they just appear thicker because of the smaller frame sizes of modern fashions? Could her lenses have contained prism correction?

"Hmmm" Cadence muttered and left for the back room. Upon returning, she placed a kit in a clear packet with a Palmer logo on the counter.

"That look like what you need?" her wide smile said confidently. I shook my head up and down, slowly.

"That’ll be $8.84, then" she demanded respectfully.

I paid, thanked her, then loitered about the shop a bit looking at all the things that I’ve seen a million times before. Every chance I got I looked back at the counter to get another view of Cadence and her sexy glasses. After she caught me looking a few times, I figured I better go before she realized what I was doing. There’s nothing like a man twenty years older stalking a young woman to give her the creeps. Not to mention the forehead slap my wife would have given me if she had been there. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find reasons to return to the "Parts and Accessories" department at Meyer Honda in the future.

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