Allie Brosh's Bicycle post brought up a resurgence of emotions in me: nostalgia, pain, and hatred for that most secretly malicious of transportation devices, the bicycle. My traumatic bike experience came when I was 19. It was then that I learned the horrible truth about bicycles: given the chance, a bicycle will gleefully turn on you in the most embarrassing way possible. This is their way. Every bike accident I've had has been in front of a public audience, with a high humiliation factor and a low chance of dignity recovery. This one took the cake.
I was home for the summer, and classes at my high school across the neighborhood were still in session, so it seemed like a great time to visit my old English teacher. Hopping on my bike, I thought of how awesome I was gonna be, walking into his classroom like a BAMF college student and regaling him with tales of, like, literacy or something.
Still daydreaming, I decided to cut through the parking lot of the middle school next door to my high school. And still daydreaming, I saw the curb coming up and thought, "I'll just jump it." I don't know why I thought this. I'd never jumped a curb before.
My front tire slammed into the curb, and I went flying over the handlebars. My face hit the sidewalk and skidded, making this horrible grinding sound. When I sat up, blood pouring from the left side of my face, I couldn't see anything out my left eye. I started sobbing hysterically, convinced I'd ground my eye out against the concrete.
A mom waiting nearby in a minivan came over to help and escorted me to the front office of the middle school. Everyone in the office gasped when I entered, making me even more certain that I'd irreparably mangled my face. the rest of my life was going to be like that Mel Gibson movie, and I'd have to find some underappreciated kid to teach stuff to. But what stuff? WHAT STUFF?
A student aid took me to the nurse's office. The nurse sat me down, wiping blood and grit off my face, and said, "What grade are you in, sweetheart?"
The sympathetic look fled from her face as she realized I was just a short, wussy pseudo-adult and not some poor child, and she said, "Oh, stop crying. This won't even need stitches."
Fifteen minutes later, fresh from the middle school nurse's office with a bandage over one eyebrow, a black eye already forming, and my dignity severely injured, I skulked into my old English teacher's classroom. "Oh my god," he said. "What happened to you?"
I told him, and he tried really hard to keep from laughing. I did not regale anybody with tales of literacy or something, because every time one of his students wandered in, they immediately asked what happened to me, and I had to repeat the tale while my former teacher tried not to laugh.
On my way out of the building, I caught two middle school pricks trying to steal my bike. I should've let them take it. Haven't used the damn thing since.