Sunday, September 18, 2005

Door Prize

Yesterday, riding up Pine Street, just past Broadway, almost to Neumo’s, I got door-prized by a guy in a Volvo station wagon. He flung open his door, smacking it into my pedals, and knocking me over on the left side of my bike. I recall seeing the strange sight of edge of the door suddenly between my feet; the next thing I knew, I was lying in the street.

First thing I did was hop up and check my bike to make sure nothing was bent or broken. Immediately afterwards, I snapped at the confused looking young man standing next to his car. “Fuck!” I screamed. “Fucking watch out!”

He looked stricken. “Sorry! I’m sorry.” He tried to explain. “I just saw another bike pass and then I opened my door.”

The adrenalin was coursing through my veins. “You’re a fucking idiot! You have to watch out!”

“I know, I know,” he pleaded, afraid that I was as crazy as I appeared to be. “It’s all my fault.”

By now, remorse was setting in for my anger. “I’m sorry I yelled at you,” I panted. “But I’m just angry!”

“Is there anything I can do?”

At this point, I was wheeling my bike to the sidewalk, leaning on it, turning the pedals, making a more in-depth check of its health. I realized that my ankle was throbbing. I took a few more steps to determine how injured I was. While it hurt, I reckoned I would live.

I looked back at the kid and just rolled my eyes. I straddled my bike, rolled a few yards ahead, assuring myself that all was in order. One last look back at the kid who door-prized me and he was gone. In a moment, so was I.

I wish I had handled it better. I wish I hadn’t been so angry and instead, had looked him in the eye and said: “Now. Have you learned never to do this again?”


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