Roadside Emergency

I’m riding my motorcycle, having just pulled away from the stop light. The day is cool and overcast, and the clouds are bright in the creases, as if lit by a day-long lightning bolt. The gentle hills to either side rustle in the light breeze, and I can easily imagine the flies rising like pollen from the riotous tangles of grass. As I snap-nod my flip-face helmet closed and lean into the highway on-ramp, my mind begins to wander.

What if a bug hit my eye right before I put the helmet down? That would hurt a lot. It might even blind me. What would I do? Just pull over? No! This is a delusion of grandeur! I would drive myself to the ER! I’d get there, and they would be like “Are you okay?” and I’d be like “I don’t know, you tell me” and I’d open my injured eye and a live wasp would fly out.

I wonder how bad the injury would be that would prevent me from continuing to drive? What if it were a rock, thrown up by one of the cars in front of me? Or a piece of metal! Can car tires toss pieces of metal four feet into the air? It seems doubtful. Still though, that would be pretty bad. Even with my helmet closed, a rod of steel could still punch through. I’ll have to watch out for that.

An individual pipe or two would be deflected by the motorcycle, but if it were, for example, a whole flatbed of I-beams that came loose, well, I’d probably need to avoid that entirely. Swerve to the side, brake like mad. Probably go into the ditch. I’ve always wondered if I could jump off of the motorcycle high enough to clear an obstacle, but I certainly couldn’t clear a hill. Do you roll up in a ball? Or just go limp? Either way, best to lie very still after coming to a rest, give the body time to report back on whatever injuries were sustained.

Speaking of injuries, I should probably be paying attention to my driving!

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