The rain in Spain may fall on a plain, but here in L.A., it’s been raining all around, all day and night. And it’s been a pain and a drain. Just insane. Let me cue the strain.
So there I am, at 5:00 AM this morning, up and wide-eyed, eager to start the new week here in California. So I get the bike out of the garage and start pedaling away to the local 24 hour fitness, taking little notice of the clouds in the sky. I go, work out a bit, and continue on to Best Buy, where I look at covers for my just-purchased Sony PRS-950 e-reader (one word review: AWESOME!!!). In what will prove to literary foreshadowing, a salesperson asks me if it’s raining outside. I tell him it was sprinkling a tiny bit when I arrived.
Fifteen minutes or so later, I walk out of the store and find a deluge in progress. A couple of “Aw, crap”s later, I decide that nothing can stop me (I do what I do, come rain or shine!). I ride on in the rain to the bank where the banker lady looks at me with a look of undisguised pity before she hands me my cash. I’m assuming it was due to me being soaked and dripping and not to my microscopic account balance.
Back outside, I set out on the road again. I’m about halfway to my destination, the post office, when I see railroad tracks up ahead. There are metal platforms that lead up to the tracks and gaps in the platforms. I decide to speed up to be able to go over the gaps, and oopsie daisy, I hit the platforms at an angle, causing my bike to spin and topple right over. Ow, ow, ow. I end up lying at the edge of the road on my back, dazed and confused (even more than usual). “Shit!” I cry to the sky, which just spits back more rain on my face.
I gingerly get back up on my feet and assess the damage. Both my palms are bleeding, like I’ve been hit with sudden stigmata. My jeans now have a huge hole over the left knee, which is also bleeding. I take a few steps, and fortunately, the knee itself seems to hold up. The biggest damage has been inflicted on my right hand, which has a being chunk of skin hanging from it now.
A few (or not-so-few) more swear words later, I put the chain back on my bike and get back on. I resume riding, this time at a turtle’s pace (well, I guess turtles don’t ride bikes, but you know what I mean). I approach my house and in an instant choose to pass it by. Holding the handlebars with my fingertips, I continue on to the post office. I wipe my bleeding hands on the back of my jeans and then pick up my package. Fortunately, the postal lady seems to notice nothing. Then, only then, do I make my way back home.
Cold, bleeding, a bit traumatized, I think about what happened. Crappy as it was, I decide I’m pretty lucky all around. I think about all the things that could have happened to me. I could’ve fallen on to the road and been run over by a truck. My plane could have crashed and never made it to LAX. I could have had no parents to return to. I’ll take bleeding palms and a scraped knee over that any time.
I finally made it back home shortly after eleven. It had been a long, long day. A shower, a change of clothes, disinfectant, and a few bandages later, I now feel a lot better. Due to my mangled palms, I won’t be able to work out or drive for some time, but still, all things being considered, it could’ve been a hell of a lot worse. Palms heal. Wounds scab. And while I won’t be winning Tour de France any time soon, I will come back stronger and hopefully a little wiser.