I love Vespas. I once, until recently, had a beautiful, sleek, silver LX 150.
I would take her out to late night mixers or to the movies. I would relish the smell of Palo Verdes and raw desert air while riding through Papago along Galvin Parkway. However, we spent most of our time together riding from one meeting to another during redPear working hours. I had recently crossed the 6,000 mile mark. I was proud of my little girl and looked forward to crossing the 10,000 mark together.
I looked forward, that is, until I slammed her face-first into a ’96 Buick at 40 miles per hour.
I was looking forward. The driver of the ’96 Buick, on the other hand, was not. Further Back.
I approached the Mill and Southern intersection riding Eastbound on Southern towards Mill Avenue at slightly below 50mph. It was not above 50mph because, alas, there are cameras at that intersection and foolish I am not. I had a clear green light, there were no cars in front or to the rear of me. I was alone. I was happy. I was on-time for my meeting. I was
Enter Unaware Dude in Golden ’96 Buick–from the Circle K driveway–imminently blocking the right two lanes. I swerved left and began braking. Hard. He continued into the left lane. Saw me, eyes widened, and froze up. I was out of time, out of room, but, unfortunately, not out of momentum.
Back tire began sliding, mind numbing, muscles tightening. Collision. With Idiot’s front driver’s side wheel column and fender. Crumpling, spinning, flying, landing, standing, stars flitting, yelling, sitting, standing, limping, sitting. Curb.
I looked out to the street, saw my phone, ask someone to grab it. A police officer ran across the street. Witnesses, good Samaritan’s, bystanders stopped traffic, checked on me, kept Numbnuts in his car and on the scene, called 911, and gathered flailed items: computer bag, broken computer, iPod, camera, remaining keychain, destroyed helmet.
Paramedics came, sirens blazing. Cops came, sirens blazing. Ambulance came, sirens blazing. I made phone calls: to Tim Trainor, to my appointment that I had stood up at Steve’s Espresso so inconveniently, to my wife.
I passed the first inspection. I was ordered to the ER. I declined backboard and neckbrace transportation via ambulance. I chose a leisurely ride with Krystofer instead.
Johnny-on-the-spot was cited. The Emergency Room was too long. Three X-rays and a Cat-scan later and I walked away with a neck sprain, bruises on my arm and leg, a bruised wrist, and a very miserable back, and three days of work missed. The worst? No kid-wrestling for a while. Or ever. High-five to Buick Guy.
And the Vespa?