For better or worse, if there’s one thing you can count on me to relate without restraint it’s the absolutely crazy ass things that happen to me, and the one that happened a block from my house about 4:30 p.m. this afternoon will certainly qualify for Top 10 status if notÂ No. 1 pick for my personal Hall of Shame.
I’m still deciding whether I need stitches. About eight of ’em it looks like. Maybe 10. Rhymes with chin. What do you think?
Here’s the now: I’m leaving tonight for a biz trip to Savannah. I finished up and got out of the office a little about 3:30 p.m. so I could get home and pack and give every one of my loved ones a few dozen extra hugs and kisses. That alone is making me rationalize against going to get sewn up. While blogging about it. Ha.
Here’s the then: It was an uneventful ride home across Jefferson to Vermont and up through HiFitown into Silver Lake where I soon find myself at the base of the Occidental hill that I need to climb to get to my block and my house. The same one I’ve done scores of times.
Instead of powering up it as I’m feeling kinda beat, I just start cranking up the incline, applying enough thrust to keep the pedals rotating. In English that means I’m doing 3 mph. 4 Max.
But here’s the thing. As a result of my slow exertions I’m up off the saddle with my upperbody weight fully forward and on my arms and I’ve got my head down because I could’ve sworn the roadway was clear. So all I’m seeing as I’m grinding up is the pavement passing under my front tire. In English: I’m not looking forward and seeing that a motherfucking minivan is double parked about midway up the slope.
Holy shit, where’d that come from!?
In a flash, I do see the minivan, about a millisecond before my front tire hits the rear bumper and the rear wheel comes off the ground as I spill over smacking my chin against the rear window before skidding it across the windshield wiper and then somehow I get my feet out of the pedals and dance a bit to the left and don’t fall over. A minor miracle.
I’m feeling three times as surprised as I am stupid and twice as stupid as I am angry, and right about then is when the motherfucking driver of the motherfucking minivan leans out of her motherfucking window wondering what just motherfucking hit her motherfucking minivan.
She finds me, bleeding down my neck and wondering out loud why the hell she was motherfucking double parked.
“I had my hazards on!” She yells in her defense.
“Is your car disabled?” I yell back walking the bike up along the side of the car where I then notice that the impact with the front wheel against her bumper has crumpled the fork backward enough to make the tire rub against the bottom tube. Great!
“No, she answers.
And it’s right then that I see the curb parking available a few feet further up the street.
“Well if you’re not disabled, why didn’t you park in that space that’s available RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR GODDAM NOSE!”
“But I had my hazards on!”
“We’ve been over that. Do you think having your hazards on makes it magically OK to double park”
“I was just calling someone,” she said, indicating the cell in her hand and then pointing it at the nearest residence. No doubt she’d been honking prior to calling instead of parking her car right and getting her fat ass out and knocking on the damn door.
Again I ask if that somehow makes it OK to doublepark.
“Well you should have been watching where you were going!” she announced triumphantly.
And I said to her: “You’re absolutely right. Had I been watching where I was going I would not have hit you.”
And she smiled as if she’d won something. I felt blood trickle under the collar of my shirt.
“But let me ask you this: If you had not been illegally double parked, would I have hit you?”
“Let me rephrase the question. Had you been parked legally in the space available just a few feet forward. Would I now be bleeding all over myself instead of home up the street packing for a flight I have to catch?”
She paused defeated and then said “No,” very quietly.
“Now my bike’s fucked up, my head’s fucked up. So lesson learned: don’t fucking double park!” And I rocked the bike onto its rear tire to keep the now-stuck front one off the ground and I walked away home. Because far beyond who was at fault or how badly I might have been wounded, was the embarrassing fact that I’d smacked into the backside of a motherfucking stationery minivan at 3 mph in broad daylight — despite her motherfucking hazards being on.
In short I felt like an idiot and I just had to go. Still do. But whether it’s Savannah or the nearest emergency room — or both — remains to be seen.