We were in a hurry. Cass didn’t know I had a meeting at the church, and she and Boogs were out running errands with the car. So I told The Animal to shut off his video game and we took off out the back door, got on our bikes, and pedaled toward the rectory.
The little guy was keeping up just fine as we made our way down Canal Street toward the church. That’s when something caught my eye in the middle of the street. As I got closer, I realized it was a smartphone inside one of those little designer carrying cases with a strap. And it was lying right in the middle of the road.
That’s when it happened. I just reacted and slammed on the brake. Unfortunately, for some reason I only pulled on the left lever, which controls the front brake. The next thing I know I’m doing a reverse wheelie, flying through the air as I tumble over the handlebars. For a moment I paused at the top of my flip and thought maybe, just maybe I could recover. But then I passed the point of no return and crashed down hard on the asphalt below.
Of course, this all happens just as I’m passing a 20-something kid who was walking down the sidewalk at the exact same time. Still in shock and feeling pain emanating from various parts of my body, I pop up from the road and turn to look at the kid, who I notice is looking at me like I’m some kind of freak. “You okay?” he asks as he goes to help me pick up my bike. And, amazingly, besides a couple gashes on my ankle and some road burn on my stomach, yes, I am fine. Extremely embarrassed, but fine.
Meanwhile, my poor son is watching the whole thing and, as you can imagine, is a little freaked out. “My heart is pounding in my body!” he says. I try to jump back on my bike but it’s not working. I look down and see that the chain is completely off of the sprocket and jammed against the frame of the bike. So I just decide to walk it the rest of the way.
As we leave, I turn to the 20-something and say, “Well, at least you have a good story for your friends.” I’m not sure exactly how he’d respond, but I thought it would be something like, “Oh…I’m just glad you’re all right.”
Instead, he flashes a satisfied smile and says, chuckling, “Yeah! That’s for sure.”
When I finally get a chance to check out the lost phone, it’s cracked and pretty much unusable. So as it turns out I almost killed myself for a broken iPhone whose owner I’ll probably never be able to track down. Then again, I did give that kid a story he’ll be laughing about with his friends for years.
Let’s see him land a front flip over his handlebars and onto the road when he’s in his forties! You ask me…that’s pretty impressive.
Sure, maybe I can’t walk this morning, but it’s still impressive, nonetheless. ~
Copyright © 2016 Valentine J. Brkich