Zuzu Is Lusting
John A. Ward

The object of her concupiscence is a motorcycle, a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 to be precise.

"Is the 800 horsepower?"

"Yes." She says this not to embarrass me.

I realize immediately that's more power than any of my cars ever had. It's enough to leave your liver at the light when you hit the accelerator. "Oh no, it must be displacement, 800 milliliters."

"Must be. I would have it now, but it rained on Thursday. I didn't endure trial by traffic cones to wipe out on my shiny new wheels first day out of the chute," an allusion to weaving the practice bike through the obstacle course in her licensing class. "We'll start out slow in the K-Mart parking lot."

"You'll be jumping the Snake River Canyon in two weeks."

"All men think about is speed. Women are different."

"What do women think about?"

"I love the saddle. The way my legs reach to the pedals is just perfect. I work through all the gears so easily. I'm picking it up next week. I'll ride it here on Saturday night."

Deejay plays Bad To The Bone and we dance. Her smile is beatific. I will ask Anne for her camera so I can capture Zuzu astride her steel stallion in the field of wildflowers alongside the Wurzbach Parkway. It is the classic bike meets girl story.

Act two, I get email from Zuzu. She's been to Alamo Cycleplex and can't make the deal. "I am so disappointed. I have no one who will help me. I want it so badly, but there's nothing I can do." A hologram of Zuzu steps from the computer screen, "Obi-wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."

On my way home Friday, I stop at the Texaco even though I don't need gas. I hand over my dollar, "A quick-pick, please."

"Cash or payments?"


It is written in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, "Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go, nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!" It is written on the lottery ticket, "02 07 17 27 30 41."

That night at the club, Zuzu has seen a matchmaker, "Yenta found a guy who has a '98 Harley Shadow for sale that he has added extras to, saddlebags and stuff, but I don't want to pay that much for an old bike."

I hand her the dream ticket, "4 million should get you a good bike."

She folds it and put it in her purse, "That's so sweet."

Tonight is the drawing. If Zuzu wins I'm in big trouble with Anne, to whom I've given a butt-load of lottery tickets that never transubstantiated into a dream home.

First published: February, 2004
comments: knobs@iceflow.com