The truth is that I don’t really know what happened. When I showed up bloody and bedraggled much later than expected, I told Marzipan everything I could remember, which apparently wasn’t much. And the next morning, when I awoke with just the inkling of a clear head, I assessed the damage to my body so I know what the end result was. But I was convinced in those loopy-headed hours that everything had occurred in a much different place. And when I checked out my gear and saw how thrashed it was and how my ride wouldn’t ride anymore, just none of it made any fucking sense.
So, to the best of my recollection, and using the clues scattered about my body, here is what happened:
My team was losing big at the end of the game and we were all hungry, so I left on my bike before the others to get a head-start and hit the grocery on the way back. It was really chilly out that night because some cold air from Alaska had decided to take a southern vacation to the Bay, so I bundled up with a sweat-shirt and a jacket and a hat and a hood and big reflective leather gloves and a helmet and rain pants. And I started to peddle on down the road taking short, sharp breathes to protect my lungs from the frigid air.
I looped around the edge of the lake dodging around night-time walkers in the park, and turned back onto the street and coasted to the base of the MacArthur Hill. I hate that hill because it is long (almost a mile) and steep (a 7% grade) and there are goofy intersections, so there are always ass-holes about. But it is the way home, so I ride it everyday. I switched my gears to a comfortable setting and started the long, slow slog, keeping my eyes just at the edge of my head-light and never looking desperately all the way up the hill. I passed the goofy van with primer-paint palm trees halfway up the hill and read all the campaign signs on the chain-link fence that nobody ever took down.
My legs were burning, but I felt strong and pushed on with extra speed and determination. Traffic was light, and I¬† got a warning sign as lights approached me from behind, which was good, because between the hood and the hat and the helmet I could not hear very well. As I neared the halfway point of the hill, I reached a plateau and one of those goofy intersections. There were no cars in front of me, so I pedaled on. As I reached the far edge of the crossing and the road started to tilt upward again, something slammed into my back tire from the left side and pushed me forward and to the right. I turned my head and glimpsed for a moment a fucking Prius without its lights on. The bastard snuck up on me silently and then took its opportunity to strike with precision.
I was pushed into a parked car – something from the 70′s with big tail fins and a wide body. My right thigh slammed into the tail-fin and I lurched over to the side. I caught my self with my right hand, but the impact was too much and my wrist gave out and my shoulder and head slammed into the cab.
I bounced and went off the left side of the bike into the roadway. My helmet contacted the ground first and absorbed most of the impact, but my nose and chin gathered the road rash as I slid to a pitiful stop. I laid on the ground face-down for some minutes, just breathing and gathering myself. I still had a long way to go home, and I was in shock enough that I really did not know what was injured or how bad it might be. I sat up finally, with my legs splayed out and my head hanging and ringing and blood running down my nose and chin until it dropped off making little pools in the potholes. I sat there for a long time before I finally pulled my self up on the hood of the big 70′s car and stood there leaning on it.
I looked around, but the Prius was long gone, probably happy to have gotten home after a successful night hunting. So I picked up my bike and flipped it onto the handle-bars and seat and struggled with the chain. I was pulling on it with my right hand when the first wave of pain hit in my wrist and I let go quickly, but the momentum scraped my fingers across the shifter-arm and it took a gouge from the first knuckle of my pointer finger. I gave up on the chain then and heaved the bike up onto my left shoulder and started trudging along as the shock wore off and the pain started growing from tiny spots to pulsing auroras. I made it about four blocks before a man in a pick-up saw me bloody and futile at an intersection and wheeled around right next to me.
He got out and took the bike from me and threw it in the bed and piled me into the cab. He drove off towards the hospital but I told him Marzipan is a doctor and convinced him to just take me home. He dropped me at the end of my block and I lugged the bike into the garage and dragged myself up the stairs and threw open the front door to show up bloody and bedraggled much later than expected.