Last year, I rolled in to Seattle with a cowgirl limp. Crossing the Wild West through Big Sky Country and Eastern Washington had proven harder than I imagined. There were some flukes-electrical issue and flat tire. And I was rushing. It’s never palatable to rush these kind of trips. It’s all hazy really. I want to say I didn’t do much on my visit, but then again, I did.
Perhaps this time I just connected with more people. I feel more present and not as exhausted. Seeing familiar faces has given me just the needed boost to push on home the final 3,500 miles.
And maybe the Parade today has something to do with my spirits. I’ve never been to a Pride Parade. Susan, at Scoot Around, told me I could ride in it with the SQREAM scooter club. It’s much better to ride along than watch! Well, maybe. Seattle Pride brings everybody out to the streets-everybody.
At 9am I spot gaggles of googlers staking out their spots. I rush up to the meeting spot, hoping to find a gas station along the way. I don’t and I’m worried that I just might be that one moron who runs out mid parade. Phew. I don’t. It was only a mile stretch after all, but we drove in circles and it took about 80 minutes.
I arrived without any morning percolation and with heavy spirits because Ralph died. I see Tracy, the manager at Buca di Beppa’s. Once again, three times now, she gives me EXACTLY what I need at the moment. Coffee. A Starbucks card. Oh, and bottled water accompanied by trail mix.
While waiting to sign in, a volunteer comes up smiling. I stick out my hand but find myself suddenly captured in a big hug.
“You don’t know how much I needed that.”
The story of Ralph comes pouring out before I can bite my tongue. He starts crying. I feel horrible, yet again. We hug again, me consoling him this time and I go to get my coffee. I make a note to keep my mouth shut about the cat.
Five ladies pull up behind me, on Harleys. The sign in guy asks tenatively “Dykes on Bikes?” Ha.
Soon I am in formation with the SQREAM club. Benjamin is our queen. He bedazzles, leads, and inspires us. We are told to be regal and welcoming; the queenly wave is demonstrated. We practice. The loud thunder of the Dykes on Bikes kicks in.
Apparently, they are the ones who bring out the city residents. And I DO mean the whole city. Not just queer folk. Straight folk, dogs, cats, firemen, kids, grandmothers.
Perhaps the only ones not there were those attending the Mods and Rockers scooter event. Tons of stuff happening in Seattle this weekend.
I however, just didn’t foresee another Parade opportunity in my future; a chance to adorn my scooter with the giant Peace Flag and wave to thousands of people. In fact, as I went about the day later, people approached me saying, “Hey, I saw you earlier at the Parade.” Neat.
After the thunder of Harley’s disappears ahead of us, us scooterists begin our Meep Meeping and ride in circles down the streets; throwing glitter, candy, peace signs and kisses to the SCREAMING crowd. We were second in the Parade; our horns swelling into a motorized mosquito cacophony.
It was quite simply the best gig for a Leo. I was part of a loud, jubilant organism. It just doesn’t happen like this in the Southern Bible Belt, baby. WOW!
If you have found your way to this website because of the many Peace flyers I handed out while parading-thank you. Thanks for making this second visit to the Emerald City sparkle! 😉
You MUST see the many photos. I didn’t take enough. The Parade last 4 hours. I left early to help Chad with the cat.