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The Aftermath

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Aftermath


The first thing I did after the accident was look for her.  I knew something was wrong with my body when I stood up and started trying to walk on the highway, away from my pretzeled bike.  I could feel the parts inside me broken, collapsed, bleeding.  The car that cut us off on Highway One in North Miami was stopped up ahead.  No one was getting out.

It’s not a cliché to say time stops in moments like that.  Or maybe it is, but it doesn’t make it any less true.  It’s snapshots, off kilter, irregularly cropped, askew.  You have a million thoughts going through your head, and at the same time you are blank.  You just can’t help feeling: I really fucked it up this time. 
           
It wasn’t my fault.  I knew that.  The last thing I remembered was seeing the black car, thinking was there’s no way that car is going to turn now, it’s too late.  But it turned, and the damned thing was drifting over two, three, four lanes, and in my head I know I am going to hit, I know the girl I love is going to be hurt, and it doesn’t make a difference if it isn’t my fault.  She’d gotten on the back with me because she had no doubts I could keep her safe, just like I was beginning to think I’d always like to keep her safe.  I was falling in love with her.  Not the first time, of course, but in a lifetime of falling in love, what, maybe twenty, thirty times, each one is pretty goddamn special. 

Once that bike hit the pavement, I knew, even if only somewhere deep inside those breaking bones on that bright blue Florida winter’s day, that that was it.  I’d violated the one thing you can’t violate with a woman.  I’d failed to protect her.  That, and I figured there was a good chance she was dead.

Walking unsteadily on what would turn out to be a shattered pelvis, broken back, and busted femur, I saw her, twenty yards away, crouched in the sawgrass on her knees.  I heard her moaning.  Her helmet was split in two but she was moaning.  She was alive. 

A stopped motorist grabbed me by the back of my neck, because by now I was coughing up blood, and I sort of stumbled and dropped into the tall weeds next to the train tracks, whatever adrenaline that had gotten me upright to check on her long gone.  

1 Comments:

At March 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM , Blogger Soybean said...

The pitcher who gave up the famous home run to Carlton Fisk in game 6 of the 1975 World Series? His name was Darcy.

 

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