5.06.2006

Unprotected

Today I passed another motorcycle accident on my road. It was the second in as many weeks, and one of the several I've driven by since we moved here more than two years ago. The ambulance hadn't arrived as the slow line of traffic filed through on the opposite side of the road. As soon as I saw chrome on its side and police officers huddled around, I turned off my peripheral vision and stared at the road in front of me. My chest was tight. Tolby and Roxie were in the backseat, oblivious.

Last year my husband and I were driving across an overpass when we noticed cars and motorcycles parked next to the sidewalk that lined the chain links looking down on the highway. Below, cars were backed up as far as I could see. It must be an accident, we said. How sad, I thought. Then, just as quickly as I had started, I stopped thinking. See, I'm an avoider. That's similar to being a procrastinator, only it's more highly evolved. Avoidance is the only thing that allows me to be a functioning member of society now that I'm a mother. If I sat down and entertained the myriad ways in which life could crumble down around me in one bat of my twitching eye, I'd be rendered useless. So I don't think. My husband, on the other hand, does. He just doesn't care. That's why he stopped the car and got out to see what was going on. I stayed right there, belted into my seat, disproportionately proud of myself for not going out of my way to gawk at tragedy. A minute or two later, he got back into the driver's seat. Bunch of rubberneckers, I sniffed. Then, So what happened?

The next day I looked in the newspaper for an account of the accident. That's what I do, as if time and newsprint make a window thick enough for me to safely view other people's misfortune. But it's about hope, too. Like maybe I'll find out the rider was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries. It's easier to be hopeful if you can glaze over things as they happen and wait for analysis after the fact.

Let me say, in summation, that I am glad we are too poor to purchase the bike my husband would so love to own. If it means we never get one, I will happily live month-to-month for the rest of my life.



Speaking of my husband, he has heeded your pleas to show his face via a guest post on this blog, but his first submission was rejected by the editor. In the only line from his failed attempt that will see the light of cyberspace, he wrote "I'm a sucker for flattery and some of the comments poured it on really thick." He is currently working on his next idea.

12 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

My husband owned a motorcycle when I met him. He thinks it was what attracted me to him - WRONG - But I couldn't wait until he got rid of it. He'll never own one again.

I so get this. I read the post about your dog, too, and I get that, too. Last night I sat at my sewing machine, and let my thoughts wander. For whatever reason I thought about my kids having to live without me. My chest was tight, my breathing shallow - and for really no reason as good as witnessing an accident.

But when one has kids, it's true: life and death float there, just beneath the surface.

2:29 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

My husband also owned a motorcycle when--after knowing each other in college--we met up again as adults. Having been raised as a traditional girl by traditional parents, I was frightened and fascinated. He still owns the bike, though we only take it to the occasional concert, because bikes park up front. I've seen pics of motorcycle wrecks and they're awful. I'm always a little more leery of going out on the bike than I am in a car. Yet...you see things up close and personal.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Jene said...

what happened to not censoring his writing?

9:47 PM  
Blogger T. said...

My hubs has a motorcycle. He only rides it when it is nice out, and I am not home. Apparently, me wringing my hands together and pulling out my hair kind of takes the fun out of it for him...

I thought you weren't going to censor the poor man's words?? Your blogging audience is eager with anticipation you know...

11:39 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I have yet to meet anyone who rides bikes that does not have broken bones, skull fractures, pins in their spine, metal plates in their heads and worse. Call me grandma but I'm glad you can't afford one. He's someone's daddy now.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my boyfriend had one and then sold it. he was much more attractive when he had one.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that took me, like, eight tries to get through. possibly i am drunk at the moment. kevin is a dick regardless.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

I, too, am an avoider. I turn off the tv if something I don't like is going to happen...but then I try to find out later what I missed.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Jene said...

ha, i don't remember posting that last night (and i don't know why i posted under "anonymous"). i wonder what kevin did to make me say that he was a dick. anyway, i liked when he had his bike. it was fun. and i think it was a safer hobby than what he is doing now - flying planes.

10:12 AM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

Motorcycles scare the crap out of me. Hubby had one and thank god he got rid of it. Everytime I see and accident my heart drops. I am an avoider too. Every night when I try to sleep I have to push the bad thoughts out of my head. Every day you make it through unscathed is a day to be thankful.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

he he he... I love Jene's drunk comment. Boys make me mad when I am drunk too. He probably told you what to do like: "don't forget your purse" or "watch your step"...

10:22 PM  
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

Well written post. Antique Daddy's brother was killed on a motor cycle when he was 24 leaving behind a wife and an unborn child (Antique Daddy was 17). AD still loves motorcycles and I can't figure it. He's got one he keeps in storage and that's where it's staying.

12:08 AM  

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