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Funny How the Mind Works - Belligeretron

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March 31st, 2008


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02:07 pm - Funny How the Mind Works
The sun was still setting early, when this happened. I'd just finished up the first half of my day at work, and I hopped onto my bike and started my way down Addison. A decent enough descent through Berkeley's alleged Art District, maybe fifteen degrees at its steepest. I was just coasting along, down this little two-way street lined with failing businesses pretending to be culturally relevant. The sun had turned the sky pink and orange, and the clouds seemed to drift toward it, like purple barges. Homeward, westbound sunsets, that's one of the perks to my job.

And all this isn't to say I wasn't paying attention when I struck the little Japanese schoolgirl. I wasn't pedaling, I was fanning the break, keeping a nice straight line between the parked cars to my right and the idiots racing down to the stopsign to my left. There I was, midway past a stationary DHL truck, when she stepped right out in front of me.

She was taking in the sunset, herself. Her hair whipped away from me with the sound of my tires scraping along two feet of asphalt. She crumpled on impact. I know I hit her extra hard; I felt myself going over the bars. I pistoned myself back and leaped from my seat, swinging a leg over the guy-bar, dropping to my feet and catching my bike. I heard her whimpering as I pushed down the kickstand.

I'd heard her kind of whimpering before, working with kids back in Taipei, the kind that serves as a rev-up for a bawling. In fact, I initially thought I'd hit a kid. My joints stiffened, my neck felt brittle, I felt cold all over, anticipating a pair of parents--along with a horde of well-intentioned busybodies--screaming at me to take a look at what I'd done (...what I'd DONE!...) to the precious little tax write-off.

I was asking if she was alright before I even turned to look at her. Making that turn, I saw an empty sidewalk. No vehicles had stopped, either. No one had witnessed my lapse in attention, my crime!

I went back and forth from inquiries regarding her condition, to apologies. The whimpering never crescendoed into the hoarse, sloppy wails I'd been fearing. They'd subsided a bit. She asked for help up, and stood there next to me.

She kept telling me it was all HER fault, apologizing to ME. She kept holding her arm. When I asked about it, she said it felt "Dizzy."

I wrote down my name and number and where I worked and told her she should call me if she's inclined to sue. She looked at the little piece of red and white paper I'd given her and said "Hadda-San," which always sounded kind of sprightly to me, in Japanese airports. There, it sounded grievous and disconsolate.

She looked over to my bike, asking if it was okay. I turned to take a look, as well, and it was pretty far from okay. The handle bars were twisted thirty degrees counterclockwise, from the fork, and the wheel itself had a thigh-sized dent in it. Some of the spokes were twisted.

My bike had clearly lost a fight with a Japanese schoolgirl.

This happened months ago, she never called. Maybe I thought she would, for a day or so. Another day or two after that and I didn't think of her at all.

It occurred to me, a few days ago, that it really was her fault. She wasn't bullshitting me. In Japan, you drive on the left side of the road.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:hal0n
Date:April 1st, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)
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one time i hit the back of a ford ranger with my bike. it wasn't as funny as it sounds.
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From:rjhudson
Date:April 2nd, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
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It doesn't sound funny at all. Seeing guys getting kicked in the penis-balls used to be hilarious. Then, I got kicked in the penis-balls and, suddenly, such sights no longer got me laughing. (That was last Wednesday.)

Bike accidents horrify me, anymore.

Sometimes, when I'm riding around, I'll be surprised somehow. You know, a car starts backing out from behind a bush at the mouth of a driveway and. . . You're surprised to see it. After such surprises, some terrible image flashes in my mind--usually, it's me wearing a diaper, propped up in a wheelchair, dimly aware of the vegetative state I'm in. Then the dog comes up, drops a ball in front of me, and then whines when it rolls under the chair as I remain still.

Dude, the thought of getting hurt on my bike, Jesus. . .
From:hal0n
Date:April 2nd, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
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well, then you shouldn't think this is funny.

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From:rjhudson
Date:April 2nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
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Dude, where did you get that shirt?
From:hal0n
Date:April 3rd, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
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i know
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From:vitalicvision
Date:April 2nd, 2008 08:34 am (UTC)
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i am lovin the pic on this post
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From:rjhudson
Date:April 2nd, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
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That is a posterized C-Ko, from Project A-Ko. . . One of the most balls-out insane movies I've ever seen.

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