Once again I fail to update this thing on any sort of regular basis. Once again I promise I'll try harder...ah well. For now I just need to ramble a little before I go rinse off my wounds.
It's been a long time since I've had such a rough couple of weeks. I think I've remained in pretty good spirits throughout, but I'm simply mystified by the amount of weird/bad shit that has been occurring in such a short time span. The last two weeks have seen: first one dog, then both dogs, get out of the yard and run away (on more than once occasion); me get the flu; a crew of men digging an enormous tunnel under our house at 8 in the morning multiple days; me lose my voice for some unknown reason; and finally - I got hit by a car yesterday.
I've never been hit by a car before, but most of the cyclists I know have some pretty scary stories. as far as accidents go, it was one of the best I could have imagined. The man who hit me stopped for me, as did two other people who helped clear traffic, get me out of the road, and called the police and paramedics for me. My bike was unharmed, I did not break any bones or hit my head (definitely will be wearing a helmet from now on though). The EMT who looked me over was a sweetheart. Everyone was so nice and I really am not injured at all save for some road rash on my left side (which is admittedly, obnoxiously painful). The man who hit me was a pastor... I could tell he sincerely did not mean to hit me and he felt really terrible about it, but I was so completely terrified over what had just happened and what COULD have happened had things gone much worse than they did...I have no interest in pressing charges or getting any money out of him, but I did give him fair warning in my hoarse, raspy, cracking voice to just please, please be careful, to slow down and pay attention to the road at all times. It is so scary being hit by a car, even though I escaped unharmed, I never EVER want to experience that again, nor do I want anyone else to. I can hardly even explain the sensation. I was just riding along in the right hand lane, with my lights on, moving slower than usual due to the heavy load of groceries on my back. The next thing I knew, I felt a huge rush of wind, and in the split second that it took for the accident to occur, I remember thinking that something was wrong, but I didn't quite know what. Before I had time to understand what was about to happen, an incredibly fast-moving car was making contact with my leg and my handlebars. The handlebars swung to the side, my wheel spun out from under me, and I went down hard on my left side. I had COMPLETELY lost my voice and could not even speak to the cashier at the grocery store, yet when I found myself on the ground, stuck under my bike, and heard horns blaring behind me, I fuckin screamed. It didn't take long for my instinct to kick in and tell me to get the fuck out of the road, so I slowly pushed myself up on my free arm, untangled myself from the bike, and started dragging myself toward the curb. a man who had stopped behind me in a minivan put on his flashers, got out of the car and started asking me if I was okay. I told him hoarsely, "I think so," and he kept telling me "don't move, don't move."
By the time the paramedics arrived I was standing up. I didn't hit my head or my face or break, strain, or fracture anything. I landed on my side and my outstretched hand. My knuckles are bloody, my pant leg was torn and my knee and elbow scraped open, and my wrist is a little stiff, but other than that I am unscathed. after about a half hour dealing with police and medics, I was unable to get in touch with anyone who had a car, so I picked up my bike and my groceries and began the walk home. I had kept it together pretty well up until this point, but as I walked/limped home by myself in the dark, bloody and shaken and with a big heavy bag on my back, I lost it. I cried halfway to my house and cried again when my roommate gave me a big hug after I told him what happened. I'm getting teary writing this right now. I think what scares me more than what happened is what DIDN'T happen: how many things could have gone wrong. How many ways I could have been seriously injured. How I could have been killed on the spot. I am terrified that it will happen again, but I don't want to give up on riding a bike. When you fall off you're supposed to get right back on again, right? I think it will take a few days for me to feel confident enough to do so, but I can't imagine not getting back on my bike. To complicate matters, the bike I was riding, a vintage cruiser (which I am totally not used to), is not my bike, it is my roommate's. My road bike's rear derailleur is bent, and I have not had the money to attempt to fix it in the last month, so I've been borrowing the cruiser when I need to and walking everywhere else. The cruiser has back-pedaling breaks and no gears and is wobbly and difficult to ride. I sort of wonder if I might have been better equipped to avoid the accident had I been on my bike, but there is no telling.
after I got home last night I went about my business like nothing had happened. I made split pea soup, rice and shrimp, drank some wine and smoked some pot with my roommate before she left for a friend's house. Then I found myself alone in the house, and I was suddenly overcome with intense paranoia. Now that this has happened, I thought, what if I've become a magnet for bad luck? I don't normally believe in such things, but after having so many shitty things happen, well, it's not really that much of a stretch to imagine that someone will break into your house and rob you or murder you. Obviously, I made it through the night just fine.
I think I've by and large been depressed and unmotivated since I got back from my trip. Lots of wonderful things have happened - new house, new job, new roommates and sweet new friends, plus getting to see some of my favorite people ever - but I feel like I've been wandering through a thick fog. I've not been taking very good care of myself. I've been trying to change those things but every now and again my attempt fails and I wake up in my clothes, reeking of whiskey and with a complete uncertainty of what happened the night before. The other day, a friend of some work friends died unexpectedly. 25 years old, he went to sleep one night on his friend's couch and never woke up. What happened to him is a complete mystery at this point. This and last night's event are alarmingly loud wake up calls. Life is precious. Be happy, be safe, surround yourself with love. These are things I know, and have always known, deep down, but for some reason they become harder and harder to recognize when you are drowning in sorrow and uncertainty. I do feel that things will be different from now on. I am trying harder than I have in a long time. I am hoping that the loneliness that I feel will be sated, and that sincerity and friendship will win out over manipulation and lust. For with the season change can only come good things, and even if not, it is almost a new year already.