Little Jimmie picked up his patch from the back of the lawn chair he was sitting on. Treating the vest as if it were a religious icon, he showed the fire-breathing wolf on the back to Jake.
“This may look like a rag to the walking dead out there, but to us it’s our flag, the reason we live. It represents our church, our home, and it is the glue that holds us all together. We’re Skuldmen, we’re one percenters, outlaws, and we still don’t give the jerk-offs who don’t pull their own weight the time of day.”
In a rare moment usually reserved only for close associates, Jimmie proceeded to explain to Jake that the Skuldmen patch was originally inspired by Viking mythology, and that the Vikings were the greatest warriors of all time—warriors who took no prisoners.
“The word skuld is a sacred word based in the hidden lore of the holy runes of the Norsemen. The Skuldmen were the spiritual advisors of the Viking kings and noblemen. The center patch is the Fenris, which is the legendary fire-breathing wolf of Norse mythology,” Jimmie explained, as he respectfully hung his patch on the back of the lawn chair.
“Is this all of you? I mean, are there others?”
“How many members we have is really not any of your business,” Jimmie retorted.
Although the question seemed innocent enough, Jake had stepped across the line. You don’t get up close and personal with one percenters unless you’re one yourself.
“Sorry, man. I didn’t mean to prod. The reason I asked, well, this may sound weird, but I think I ran into a couple of your guys yesterday in Virginia.”
“Virginia? You get around, don’t you?” Little Jimmie stared at Jake for a few seconds as if to size him up, then grinned when he noticed Jake didn’t flinch and wasn’t getting defensive.
“That’s very possible. There are Skuldmen chapters all across the country and overseas. But we don’t exactly hand out patches like candy at Halloween like some clubs do. Like the Viking warriors of old, we understand and respect the meaning of brotherhood, and not one Skuldmen has ever turned on one of his brothers.”
Jake nodded to let Jimmie know he understood.
Chapter 17 / Page 154 One Light Coming: A Biker’s Story (Book 3 in a series published by Blockhead City Press released on 1Oct2011. Available through bookstores everywhere, and Amazon.com and B&N.com).
It’s been quite a while since my last posting and there’s been a lot on my mind.
About life, and about this world we call “Lifestyle.”
Part of it comes from the fact that my boy has grown up.
He’s not a toddler anymore; hell, he isn’t even in High School anymore.
And in the time since the beginning until now, something’s happened.
He’s discovered a world that suits him.
He’s always been a voracious reader. And as his tastes have evolved, he’s found a community in the science fiction/fantasy writings of Terry Pratchett, James Patterson and Jim Butcher.
When he got to college, he discovered that there were others like him.
He wasn’t the only one who enjoyed that fiction.
He found a community of people who like to dress up in garb from another era and do battle.
There were Nations, and Quests, and Feasts and Celebrations.
Everyone had a new name; a name that came from the personality of a character they created.
LARPing is what it’s called: Live Action Role Playing.
He spends weekends at campgrounds with scores of others, wearing their costumes, Feasting, Battling with foam covered weapons, referring to each other only by their in-character names.
He was a Newbie for a year before he was completely accepted into his Nation.
I listen to stories about The King of this nation, the Shamen of that nation, the Magi who is his sponsor, of how this other nation wants to take over their Realm and how they need to protect and defend their territory.
There are newsletters and websites devoted to the strategy and communication.
And he goes on about it, I get lost trying to follow the names, the nations, the rules, the battles…
At first, I thought it was all a bit weird.
And then, the other day, I realized, his world is no different from our world.
Think about it.
There are those who live for the HD brand. They talk about it like it was the Holy Grail. They revere the name.
There is the uniform of leather and denim.
There are the patches of clubs.
There’s a process to be accepted.
There are the rules of respect.
There’s a hierarchy; within each group and within the community.
There are road names (sometimes you never really learn the legal name of some of the people you ride with, right?)
We have Rally’s and Church
We all refer to our path as “the lifestyle”.
We take it seriously.
Perhaps too much.
But for a lot of people, they don’t.
The don’t take their bikes out in the rain.
They spend more time polishing than they do riding.
They wear suits during the week.
They ride only on Sundays.
But when they do….they are all decked out….
So I have to ask myself these days:
Isn’t that LARPing?
I’m not into that.
I’d like to think I live the lifestyle.
Love & Respect.