(I Samuel 16:7b)
I happened to be in the store picking out yarn, agonizing between worsted weight and homespun (pretty pricey), when a thunderous voice interrupted my thoughts. Feeling a little disoriented, I jerked myself from my internal deliberations and looked up to find the source of the rumble.
I looked up…and up…and up. And finally I found a face. Its head was barren of hair, shaved slick to show off a huge cranial tattoo to its full advantage. Or maybe all the hair just migrated south to form the huge handlebar mustache. At any rate, the head was stacked on top of a mountainous body, at least 6’4” and 280 pounds of fierce and ferocious all swathed in black leather accentuated with silver studs and shiny chains. My gaze skipped on down to the meaty hands, the knuckles of which were indelibly accentuated with four letter words best left absent from this blog. To my astonishment, the man was holding a skein of navy blue yarn in his left ham-sized hand and a skein of maroon in his right.
And the thunder was actually the sound of him talking to me. It took a moment, but through the fog of my confusion, I finally deciphered this: “’Scuse me, ma’am. I’m fixin’ to make an afghan for my daughter. Do these colors go together?” (Says he. Not me.)
My first thought was, “This is the weirdest pickup line I’ve ever heard, from the scariest man who’s ever hit on me, in the most ridiculous setting in the sum total of the universe. But for kicks, let’s just roll with it.”
So I asked him to repeat the question, just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. And that’s how a whole twenty-minute conversation started and we became fast, albeit fleeting, friends. It turned out that he wasn’t just a bizarre creeper hitting on me in the yarn aisle. He was actually an advanced crocheter, having taken up the craft at his parole officer’s suggestion.
Anger management, he said. Changed his life, he said.
And now he doesn’t go anywhere without a project. “Some of the guys at the Harley shop make fun of me ‘cuz I crochet while they’re working on my hog,” he admitted, slowly rotating his head so that his neck popped like a dozen tiny gunshots. “But I don’t give a crap. How the heck else am I gonna finish the scarves I’m makin’ for Christmas presents?”
Good question, indeed.
To all the bikers how there carrying yarn in your saddlebags, I’m sorry I underestimated you. The world is a better place because of burly bikers who crochet for anger management…and because of parole officers who have the guts and creativity and, I suspect, sarcasm to suggest such a hilarious thing.
God Almighty, thank You for this beautiful life and the beautiful people who populate it. It takes all kinds, and I’m glad for that.
In case you’re needing closure about his daughter’s afghan, after some collaboration we decided against the navy and maroon (too 1990s, I convinced him) and went instead with teal and blue.