I arrived at Ashley’s around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, and Sharpsburg was crawling with them. Parking on both sides of the street was full and the sidewalks were packed with fringe and bandanas and black leather. They and their two-wheeled machines, coated with glossy metallic paint and trimmed in chrome — there’s a word for them, and that word is “plague.”
The other day Ashley and I were talking about the Bible, and how silly it is that some of the more far-gone Christians insist we are living in the End Times. Wouldn’t it be a little less ambiguous? we asked. Where are the seas of blood, the bodies covered in boils, the global wars? Where are the locusts?
Driving through Sharpsburg yesterday, down an entire block lined from one and to the other with motorcycles, I knew the answer to that last one. The locusts were right here. They were on their way to D.C. as a part of the annual Rolling Thunder ride. This is supposedly done to benefit prisoners of war and those declared missing in action. I don’t understand how a bunch of bikers riding their bikes, which they would be doing anyway, is supposed to do jack shit for POW’s. It’d be like me announcing I was going to fight nuclear proliferation by writing a special blog about it once a year. Big whoop. Except to duplicate the effect of the Rolling Thunder ride, I’d have to stand outside your house, or run alongside your car, or up and down your neighborhood, shouting whatever I had written at the top of my lungs, so loud and obnoxious that it would be impossible to get away from.
Yesterday afternoon around 3:30 I walked in and said to Ashley, “Remember what we were talking about the other day? About the End Times, and how we know it can’t be true because there is no plague of locusts? Well come with me.” And we walked outside and down to the corner. And we looked. And they were gone. All of them that had just been there taking up every inch of space along the curb for the entire block — gone. It kind of sucked, because I had envisioned this big dramatic reveal, where I’d show Ashley the motorcycles and say something cool and cinematic like, “They’re here.” I dunno. It sounded cool in my head. And they all ruined it by leaving.
Not that I’m complaining. At least they were gone.