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Dangerous Compassions

fell off my bike

This morning I fell off my bike.  It just got fixed, this junky bike a neighbor made for me.  We took it to a bike shop to get the brakes fixed and a tune up.  We picked it up yesterday.

me

I was riding down the street and Ming hadn’t left home yet.  He always locks the front door of our house, then messes around on his phone for a minute.  He wants an app to record our ride.

Something was troubling me, and I was not really in my body.  I was thinking way too hard.  It was only my second ride on this bike.  My seat was too low–my knees felt wrong, bending to too acute an angle, when I pedaled.

I needed to stop and got bothered by a small piece of glass in the road.  Then I must have forgotten how bikes are so different from trikes.  Stopping, I don’t have even a second to wait–I need to get a foot on the ground right away.

fell well

Failed to get a foot on the ground right away.  I fell off my bike slowly and landed on the sidewalk.  My right ankle and foot, right knee/foreleg, right elbow/forearm, and then finally my helmet hit the sidewalk.  My helmet hitting the sidewalk was the slightest tap.

Oops.  Yeah, that happened.  I lay there a sec then sat up.

I felt embarrassed and sad.  Everything seemed quiet for a second.  Then life returned to normal.  But I was sitting on the sidewalk, two blocks from home, which was not normal.

I thought I was ok, but when I get hurt, the pain takes a while.  But nothing seemed damaged.  I’d fallen very well.  Sitting on the sidewalk felt ok, but there was glass.  I looked across the street at the apartment complex there.  No one was around.

Ming arrives

Then Ming cycled up.  He looked concerned.  He asked if I was ok.  I said, “Yeah, I fell.”

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Ok,” I said.  “Sad.  I didn’t get hurt, really.”

He offered me a hand to help me up, but I got up the way I prefer.  I got my hands onto the ground and got to my feet, on my hands and feet, then raised up to standing.

Yeah, I could walk, but my right foot and ankle hurt.  I asked Ming to raise my seat an inch or two, and he did.  I got back on my bike, feeling shaky.

We had a short ride, around 20 minutes.  I felt sad, cranky, clumsy, and annoyed with gravity and myself.

At home, I was like–we made it.  I got off my bike ok.  Then Ming took that picture of me.  I’m wearing a pink shirt.

I washed my right arm at the sink, and it bled more.  Ming checked for glass, but no glass was embedded in it.

assessment

Later I asked Ming, “What did you think, when you saw me on the sidewalk?  You knew I fell off my bike?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Were you worried about me?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Did you assess me?” I asked.

“Yeah, I assessed you,” he said.

“How?  Did you ask me who the president is?”  I was giggling.

“That would be a tricky question.”

“Did you ask me what year it was?”

“No,” he said.

“Did you ask me how many fingers you were holding up?” I asked.  Then I held up my hand and wiggled my fingers around.

“I asked you how many finger are on your hand.”

“Is a thumb a finger?” I asked.  “Hmm.  No, really, how did you assess me?”

“Made sure you could talk and no bones were sticking out,” he said.

“Yuck,” I said.  “Did you make sure my pupils were the same size?”

“Yeah,” he said.

“Really?” I asked.  I opened my eyes really wide and looked at him.  “Can you really tell?”

“Yeah!” he said.

after

I felt more and more pain.  I have a pinched nerve, and it gets jarred.  Last time I fell, I slipped on some stairs a few months ago, and that fall jarred my pinched nerve too.  Takes a couple days to recover.

Now I’m going to shower and go to bed.  When I take off my clothes, I’m curious to see what colors my skin is.

This is my favorite song about a bike accident.

“I was an I, and now I am a V.”

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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