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After the Fall

October 7, 2008

My bicycle headlight, already strapped together with a ponytail elastic and some florist’s tape, was destroyed in the crash, its components flung across two lanes of pavement. I consider safety no joking matter—particularly as it applies to cycling in this city of maniacs—and for the rest of the evening, I tailed my companion, whose lights were not smashed, although it’s possible she was.

Then, we had to part ways. It was past her bedtime and I had two stops to make before heading home. I considered locking my bike and getting a taxi, but the night was late and cold, I was impatient and cold, and then I would have to retrace my steps to fetch the bike come morning. Instead of trying to hail a cab on a Saturday at last call, I plotted a careful route home, stuck to bike lanes and side streets, and took my chances against the dark.

I like to imagine I was fancy like the girl in this video, cycling alone late at night, stockings glittering, hair blustering, breath steaming. No headlight (maybe she fell and broke hers, too) or helmet (that’s just crazy), a really nice flower in my hair. And a fleet of guardian monsters on BMX bikes to fight off anything that interferes with me reaching my front door. No doubt the reality included a chilly red nose, a white-knuckled grip on my handlebars, and scuffed boots from where I’d slid across the pavement.

What happens next is even less attractive but too funny not to share.

Home, 2:45ish, the cold air has me wide awake, plus frozen. I draw a hot bath, thaw in the tub, put on cute pyjamas, and pour two fingers of scotch in my favourite glass. It’s like a port glass only more squat, with a schooner and waves and gulls etched on one side. I like to pinch it by the stem and rest it on my belly, enjoy a nightcap now and then while I watch bad crime shows on TV.

It’s too late for crime shows, so I hop in bed and turn on an episode of “First Person”—the one about the lady biographer who dated not one but two serial killers—and take a couple sips. Somehow, 3:15 seems so much later than 2:45. But this woman, her story, her speech, timing, delivery, everything about her is horribly freakish and too intriguing to switch off.

So, I burrow deeper in the blankets, snuggle down with my stuffed rabbit (his name is Moutarde), holding the glass of scotch…and…

…wake myself up about 15 minutes later, as my wrist snaps forward like a subway sleeper’s neck…throwing scotch in my own face.

One Comment leave one →
  1. looka permalink
    October 9, 2008 3:28 pm






    -a bit of aweful pain

    In daily doses, fabulous to read,
    but youch! to have!

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