Tour de Rain…

Trust me, you don't want see what's under the bandage

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.

Ting Tings – Hands

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