August 6, 2009

Red Ass-Fault

I woke up yesterday with one thought and one thought only... today is a beautiful day to buy a bike. I bought a bike. Although I've owned many a bike, the excitement of bringing a new one home still ranks up there with the early morning memories of Christmas days. When a new bike not only meant Santa listened to your letter, but that he has in turn granted you freedom and the true opportunity to be a kid living to his full potential. Less than two hours after feeling this nostalgic feeling of freedom and youth, I got hit by a car.

Photo by HERE

I thought a maiden voyage of my new ride was in order. One needs to work out the kinks in a new bike. Adjust the seat, the bars, and get a general feel for the relationship you and your new piece of steel are about to form. About twenty minutes into my joyride, I hop up on the curb and get a FLASH, a fleeting thought. A sinister thought not welcome to a bicycle rider on the street. A thought of a car pulling out of an apartment complex driveway. Call it ESP, call it the beginning of a Final Destination movie, I saw it. And by the time I saw it, it was too late. Playing out in slow motion, I turn my head, blink the sweat from my eyes and swerve away from the oncoming Mercedes emblem. There was a brief moment where I thought I had avoided it, where I thought, even smirked at the idea of cheating death, and being able to go home talking about my "close call." Then I felt the bumper make contact and my life flash before my eyes.

Remember in the opening of Saving Private Ryan, when Tom Hanks has a shell land too close to his head and everything goes quiet? Sounds get muffled and vision slows to a few frames a second? It was like that. I hit the ground, rolled, sending my sunglasses flying off my head and came to a stop in an awkward position in the gutter. Yup, the gutter. Now, if I hit someone, especially if it were my fault, before the person even hit the pavement, I would be out of my car, no doubt shaking convulsively, and cradling the victim in my arms, stroking their hair, telling them to "hold on my sweet angel, please don't go toward the light." I sure as shit wouldn't slowly roll my window down, look the guy up and down with a slight hint of disgust and say, "you okay, buddy?' Well, guy in Mercedes isn't me. And it's a good thing, cause he would've freaked me when he was calling me his angel. Regardless, The asshole just sat there. The people walking their dogs across the street ran over. The gardener in the lot next door walked over, but the Guy in the Mercedes? Nope, just sat in his little, safe, air conditioned, leather bubble.

After the sound rushed back to my ears, I did a quick diagnostic check of my vitals, rolled over and sat on the curb, I realized I wasn't dead, and the asshole in the Mercedes, thank God, wasn't Peter welcoming me through the pearly gates. After the thoughts of an unfulfilled life cut dramatically short escaped my consciousness, my focus turned to my bike. It was then I realized the true victim in this hideous ordeal. Its black silhouette laying there motionless on the asphalt was a sight capable of sending even the most manly of men into a downward spiral of tears and regret. I slowly stood, blinked heavily as if to blink away the pain, the hurt... the loss. To no avail. The thought of dropping to my knees, throwing my fists to the sky and asking God the all too familiar question of, 'WHY," crossed my mind, but since I now had a small audience, I decided to play it cool.

At this point, I knew I was okay. I knew I felt a little pain, and saw some blood, but for the most part, the response to the dog walker's question of an ambulance being present was... no. No, at this point, I just wanted it too all be over. I threw my leg over the saddle and gently and carefully settled into it. Like a horse with a broken back, I needed to be easy with the old girl. One more time, and yes, from the driver's seat, the guy asks if I was okay. The shock has since turned to anger and my only response was, "yeah, man. Just watch where you're goin." I was ready to leave it alone, have the whole thing be over and go home licking my wounds. BUT NO. The response from the Mercedes guy? "Yeah, you too"! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? Details of the next two or some odd minutes have since escaped me, but be certain, parents were covering children's ears, housewives were locking doors and swear jars across the county were being filled to the brim. I'm a nice guy, but you hit me with your $120,000 Mercedes while I'm riding my brand new bike, sit in your car the whole time, then tell me to be careful, well, I turn into not a nice guy. I said my piece. Then I went home.

The moral to this a-bit-too-long story? Watch where you're going, cause you never know when Guy in the Mercedes is going to pull out, knock you off your new bike, and blame you for it all. Be safe out there.

Anybody got a bike I can borrow?