Got Hit by a Car.
So, when I was in the second grade we lived in Euless. We lived in a 2-story house with not-enough furniture. It was the first time I had my own room. I had a twin-sized canopy bed, but no mattress. I still had to sleep with one of my sisters…
Anyway. My older sister was a “Firefly”, (which is to Camp Fire Girls as Brownies is to Girl Scouts). So she’s at her meeting and calls home to say that she left her napkin, handkerchiefs, or whatever and needed them to finish her craft or the world was going to end.
She NEEDED them. NEEDED. NEED-DEAD. Needed.
Well I’m not sure of the day or time but I do know that we were under the strict “Nobody In Nobody Out” rule, which means exactly what it says. Mom and dad weren’t home, but I got the call, and I had a bike. The thing is, the bike didn’t have brakes. Who knows why? I probably took them off, or my dad did as punishment. Who knows?
I grab the rags and hopped on my bike. I head to the street that has this steep hill that’s just by our house. It’s a straightaway with no incoming streets, until the very bottom. I start off slow, peddling hard to get started. And then the apex. The edge of the world. Time to jump or go back home. If I go, there’s no stopping, if I don’t go then what am I doing here?
I am FLYING down this street. I help to get up my speed with an occasional peddle but mostly I glide. On this three-speed, basket on the front, rags flapping in the wind. I am crouched over and leaning into it. Eye juice is running down my face.
Wow. Just wow.
Oh wait! There’s a car. I hope it sees me. I hope it hurries through the stop sign and gets out of the way. OR stays where it is until I pass. Either way, just do it before I get there!
It’s just sitting there. GO ALREADY! Stop looking at me, or at least see that I am in no way slowing down. I can’t. I’ve got no brakes. Certainly, this car sees that.
Nope. Doesn’t see any of it.
I am flying down this hill and in slow motion, this car pulls out right in front of me. Seriously, not fast at all. No acceleration. In slow motion. Just let off the brake.
So we collide. My front wheel hits right behind the front passenger-side wheel, just before the front door. This woman jumps out and is attending to me. I am so scared about getting caught breaking the Nobody In Nobody Out rule that I insisted on my perfect health.
She required that I give her my name and address before I could begin the defeated pushing of my bike and its warped wheel, and twisted basket with rags back up the hill and home before anyone was the wiser.
I didn’t lie about any of it. I answered every question she had. I was in such a panic; I might’ve told her anything. I had to escape her and get home before I was found out.
I don’t really remember the walk home, honestly, or the next two days. I do remember the doorbell ringing.
You know that feeling that comes over you? Like getting hit on the corner of your head without the pain? The vibrations ripple through your body at the same time a chill goes up your spine.
I was sitting at the top of the two-level stairs. No one could see me, but I could hear my dad at the door, speaking to the woman who drove the car that I hit. The car that was so blind, not to see me, or that my bike had no brakes. So blind not to notice that I was lost in flight.
Why is she here? She saw my limp my bike away. I am perfectly fine. I was perfectly fine. Now my dad knows. Now I’m gonna have to get a whoopin because I don’t know how to behave.
Dad says whatever he did to assure her that I was ok, and she leaves.
Dad calls me downstairs and when I get there – I didn’t run – mom was with him. He begins to ask what I was thinking; how could I; where was I going: on and on. Then I assumed the position. I was hoping that this whoopin wouldn’t last too long or be too hard and it wasn’t. I deserved this one.
Dad only whipped us when we laid across his lap, and with his hand only. He always threatened to knock my teeth down my throat, but he never did. I never knew when he might though. I just knew to stand close enough in case he decided to.
Here I am, 43 years later, and I don’t remember the pain, the trouble afterward, or the punishment. What I do recall is the wind in my hair and on my face. The freedom of flight. The speed.
When it’s time to consider something, when you have to decide to jump or go back home, when you have considered all the outcomes and you still aren’t sure, do what I suggest;
Do it. Let’s see what happens!