Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thank You Passing Pedestrian

A week or two ago, my beloved husband Fernando was riding his bike to work, as is his wont. He was booking along over the Queensboro bridge in rush hour traffic, banking hard left onto Second Avenue at high speed, a total badass on his track bike wearing his spandex bike shorts, helmet and goggles (...pause.... savoring image...sigh...). Whoo! OK! regrouping!
Actually, why don't I let him tell it. The subject line of the email he sent me that morning said... "Do you remember...."
"Wile E. Coyote? In many episodes there was the inevitable moment where he steps off a cliff followed by a split second of suspense before he falls. He doesn't fall until he looks down and realizes he's no longer standing on solid ground. But in that split second it becomes clear that no matter long it takes, he's gonna fall.

"Well, that's a little bit like the moment when one is speeding one's bicycle to round a corner and beat the light; and one feels the front tire slip because it's hit something, like a rock. There's a sickening feeling in one's stomach, that if translated would say, "Oh shit, I'm going down!!!" And a split second later body parts start hitting the pavement. Of course, when one is pulling this maneuver, it's best to do it in front of a but-load of commuters on their way to work; so that upon getting up, one is faced by many, many faces of concern.

"I wish I could have seen it (instead of experienced it). I went down so hard and so fast that it must have looked like I'd been shot."
I got the full skinny on what happened later. Apparently Fernando went rolling at high speed in one direction and his bike went in another, into one of the most entropic and screwed up intersections in Manhattan. He told me that as he went down, a passing suit on his cell phone was yelling "OH MY GOD! THIS GUY JUST TOTALLY WIPED OUT ON HIS BIKE! I GOTTA GO!" - and promptly rescued the bike from being smushed by traffic and made sure Fern was OK. Of course my dear, proud husband leaped back on his bike and rushed back into the fray, and is basically OK except for a very sore wrist which is still adorned with an Ace bandage.
It warmed my heart though, to think of this anonymous guy, on his way to work, dropping everything to help the love of my life and save his bike from being demolished. He had no idea how precious and beloved this man is to so many people. But he acted like he knew, which makes me want to hug him. Wouldn't it be great if we all assumed that about each other all the time?


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