Drip drip drop drop

by Spencer

I can’t remember why or how; it was all too quick. I’m not used to riding a bicycle loaded with bags weighing 70 pounds and I’m not used to riding my bicycle on the freeway. I guess the traffic and crossing those four lanes got to me and I made the turn too sharp too fast and ended up with my head in a puddle of glass.
I can distinctly remember the asphalt, its ubiquitous scratchy dark texture. I remember flying towards it, the impact of my head crashing into it and then opening my eyes but being able to only open one, to see blood dripping onto broken glass. I remember Ben. F*ck. F*ck!! Are You Okay? He handed me an antiseptic pad. It didn’t seem up to the task. But yes. I am okay. I could open the other eye, though it blurred out and then hazed red. I realized it was only blood slipping under the contact lens. I’m okay.
I remember sitting up, standing up, kind-of, in shock, crouching over the asphalt, looking downward. There was glass everywhere. A condom dirtied black. And my blood. How did I end up here?
There’s the simple answer – I was inexperienced, the bicycle was poorly weighted, freeway traffic is intense, we didn’t know we were getting on a freeway, those were the directions we were given, there wasn’t much of an alternative. And then there’s the attempt at the larger answer. I wrote that we were riding bicycles through Africa to remind ourselves what it means to be human. I can’t remember her name but I do remember her. She was in her mid thirties, wore a head scarf and of all the people that went by, she was the one person who stopped and helped.
She took me to the hospital and I got my stitches and antibiotics. She got Ben the address of the hospital and got the police to help him get the bikes to the hospital. I can’t remember her name but she helped me remember how you react when you see someone in pain. You help.
I am humbled and now intimidated. The journey has only but begun. I wonder if I’m being reckless, if I’m needlessly worrying and inconveniencing others. But there isn’t much of alternative. Tomorrow I get back on the bicycle.