I hear some of you don’t have the time to read, click the audio file below, and enjoy as I read to you!
Did I really just get hit by a car?
That’s the first question I asked myself as I tumbled off my vintage bicycle and fell to the pavement. The fall was short, but the moment was impactful enough to send women running to assist me. But before I get to far ahead in this story, I have to tell you another story- how I got the bike!
See, two weeks ago, I was helping my Mom pack up her condo, and she finally gave me this vintage speed bike she had bought a few years back. I had been borrowing the bike pretty regularly for a while, so It was great to finally own it. That following Monday I was biking the 3 mile trip to school, and by the end of the week I had done about 50 miles via bicycle. When I went for a ride, I could see the city better. Things didn’t zoom past the way they did in the car, I could finally see the beauty that was around me. The 1st day I stopped to watch some horses graze, and the next I was able to se the detail in the graffiti murals by my house.I felt the wind brush across my face as I rode and the memories of my childhood washed over me. Streets I had driven along for years suddenly looked new to me, It was as if I was a tourist in my home town, and I was digging it.
My boyfriend watched with a bit of silent discomfort, I could tell he didn’t think it was my best idea. Especially, once he (very casually) started telling me of all his friends who had been hit by cars while riding their bikes.
“ Yea, I think Pat’s been hit quite a few times” he said as we drove past some bikers one evening.
“Is that right.”
“Yea, and then the driver just leaves, its crazy! It happened to David too.”
I heard him, I swear I did, but that is exactly what you expect a boyfriend to say right? Besides I love my bike and I am not stupid enough to get hit by a car.The warnings didn’t stop though, my best friend seemed to think I should get some type of gear to protect myself, if not a helmet at least a better phone case- solid advice now that I think about it. Never the less, I ignored her, too. Although, I did purchase a head lamp for night rides, and a bike lock to protect my prized possession.
Looking back, I seem arrogant, but that is only because (1) I was indeed being rather arrogant , and (2) these people do NOT have bikes, and are supposed to worry.
Well a hard head, makes a soft ass- even at the ripe old age of 26! So, there is the scene: a beautiful Thursday morning, I had finished an intermediate yoga session and was feeling great, I grab my bike and I am headed to complete my lab hours when a fucking SUV rams into my leg!!!
Immediately, a pain shoots up my left leg,everything from my calf to my hip flexor throbs. Two women are flying across the street!
“Don’t Move” Says one woman, who jumped off the city bus. Her blond afro is just so, and she is furious!
“Call the police” A brunette woman screams to the man who hit me,he nervous and in shock finally gets out of his car. He scopes the scene and sees three furious women, one of which he has injured and begins to retreat back to the safety of his vehicle. He stops short and lingers right near the edge, far enough away from his truck to not be accused of fleeing the scene, but close enough to it not to be accused of barreling over me with an SUV(although he did).
“Are you ok?” Im not sure who asked me, but both women look at me with wanting eyes.
My mouth is dry, I am afraid that if I speak,to I will most definitely cry (I had just been hit by a car, its tear worthy), but i am ok, so I nod.
Thats good they agree, but continue to insist that I remain on the ground, they look at the driver and demand that he be still too, they know what my boyfriend had been warning me about for weeks— all too often when a driver hits a cyclist, the driver leaves.For a moment, I worry that this man will follow suit, he looks frazzled and hesitates to come near me, not sure whether to run away or assist me.
I grab my phone, I’m not far from home, but I am very afraid. It’s broken— fuck I had just fixed it last week, and that forty dollar case with my initials monogrammed into the back had flown off during the impact- piece of shit. My leg is throbbing, but I’m still pissed that Porsha was right about my phone case.
On the street like that with my bike beneath a car, and no phone to call anyone, the weight of the moment begins to shake me. I have been hit by a CAR. My heart is racing now and tears begin to press me behind the eyes, the cars slow and stare at me as I sit in the intersection.
The woman with beautiful black hair waving down her back asks if I want to call my mother. Im a 26 year old woman, but I look seventeen— I feel seventeen, and yes, I would very much Like my mother right now. My mom answers on the 1s ring and I tell her what has happened, she doesn’t wait for the whole story but asks me for my location. She is on the way, and I begin to feel better, I am happy to have her.
The cops arrive before my mother does, my boyfriend swings in he sees me on the ground and he is furious.
“What the hell, people have to pay attention to the road!”
He screams at no-one in particular, but the cops back away and so do the EMTS; they see a hulking black man. He kneels down next to me and asks me if I am OK. I am, I ask him to calm down, he looks around, a sea of white faces,in uniforms that have guns in the holsters. He calms himself.
My mother arrives next, so many people, and the adrenaline is wearing away, the pain replaces my nerves and finally the tears begin to flow down my face.
My Mom, thinks I am crying because of vanity, she assures me I’m still very pretty. This makes me laugh. My boyfriend doesn’t know why I am crying, but the tears make him uncomfortable.
“Please stop!” he begs.
The driver is still there, and is equally uncomfortable about my tears, he awkwardly pats my shoulder, and I am moved to laughter from the awkwardness of men in the presence of emotions. Or perhaps I am hysterical and my laugh/cry/laugh is my way of dealing with trauma.