In the meantime, I prefer bikers to women. Because Wolfi’s scam no longer works.
Jets are freedom. Picture: reuters
Recently, I roared down the highway with Theresa on the Kawasaki 500. I enjoyed jetting on the passenger seat through the winter cold to the bikers’ meeting and not sitting with Wolfgang at the upscale Italian restaurant. Wolfgang is an old acquaintance, filmmaker, self-proclaimed avant-gardist. About my age. Exciting guy. I used to think so. Wolfi told me that evening how, as a man in his late fifties, he surfed the Internet for female acquaintances. "An oversupply," he sighed, "crazy how many women are looking for a man at this age." I said nothing and munched on white bread because the pike perch in lemon butter sauce was waiting.
"Yes, you women have a harder time aging," Wolfi said in his woman-understanding tone, "it’s just not fair." – "What do you mean?", I asked. My aging issues have come into perspective lately, which is a normal occurrence when an increasing number in my circle of acquaintances are confronted with serious diagnoses that have little to do with the depth of wrinkles on their faces. "I mean these norms about: Wrinkles make a woman old, but a man attractive," Wolfi continued, "is nasty, but unfortunately somehow still universal." Ten years ago, Wolfgang would have gotten me with this trick.
At that time, I would have dutifully recited a complaint about: "Yes, it’s a mess that men are still the kings at 50, and we women at that age are wasted in love. At that time I also listened to Chris, who sighed to me over coffee that it is somehow "a very old program in us men that we want young women. Unfortunately." Chris is no longer alive, by the way; see above for the diagnoses. But today is today. That’s why I said to Wolfi at the Italian restaurant, "Nice of you to worry so much. But quite unnecessary, thank you."
Men with thinning white long hair.
The next day I had an appointment with Theresa. She steers the black Kawasaki 500 as we pull up at Spinnerbrucke, the biker hangout at a highway bridge in Grunewald. The motorcycle belongs to her son. Theresa still has a motorcycle license from before. She brakes gently.
The bikers’ meeting place is crazy loud because of the traffic noise, and the bistro serves meatballs, but also salad. Nowhere else can you find so many men my age in one pile, struggling with thinning white long hair that doesn’t get any fuller when you tie it in a ponytail. Not to mention figure issues that are not solved by tight-fitting motorcycle jackets. I feel a strange solidarity.
A biker rides up, fluttering gray hair, wearing one of those half-helmets from the Werner comics that are guaranteed to end any fall in death. His red-painted Harley is a trike, with two wheels in the back like a child’s tricycle. "Kind of exotic here," Theresa says as we sit in front of a cardboard bowl of fries. "Exactly," I say. I’ve been looking at guys who are different than old acquaintances lately. As we get older, we get a little weird. What luck.