Thursday, October 21, 2010
It happened so fast.
One second I was upright on my bicycle, cruising down the bike lane on a gray Friday in Montmartre, happy and sated from a delicious meal at Chettinadu. The next, I was face down in the street, spitting blood and checking for missing teeth and broken bones, while strangers disentangled me from my bike and stuffed tissues and bottled water into my bleeding hands.
It's one of those cyclist's hazards that I have a habit of falling victim to every few years. Sometimes, it's the other guy's fault; a car cuts you off or a pedestrian steps off the curb without looking. But sometimes, it's no one's fault but your own. That was the case in this situation. A guy on a Velib bike had just passed me, but he didn't get close enough to propel me over the handlebars and mouth-first into the ground. I managed that all on my own.
There's nothing quite as excruciating as the pain of having people stare at you for all the wrong reasons. I got quite a few double-takes while out and about with flesh-colored bandages holding my face in place. And never, ever, have I had more people stop to ask me for directions, or inquire about the dog I was walking, or smile at me expecting the same in return (which I could not offer) as I have this week. Je ne comprends pas!
It's been nearly a week since my wipeout, and wounds are healing, and the bandage on my face has finally come off. Looking forward to laughing again, whistling again, and saying words that begin with "B" again.
p.s. That's not a wine stain on my lips for once! That's the bruising that comes with knocking your mouth into the pavement :0(