for james

A few days ago I wrote a post about developing an enormous growth on the front of my leg. In that post, I described something that’s been called the Fuel Factor. Specifically, it is the tendency of the men in the Fuel family to injure themselves while doing something stupid. It’s happened to all of us. Me, Joe, Jim. Even my dad has fallen victim to the curse. If not for the Factor, I would probably have led a pretty injury-free life.

Yesterday, Jim had a bit of an accident. It reminded me of a time when I did the very same thing. Jim probably wasn’t being stupid, but I was.

Like Jim, I was riding my bike to my dorm room. I was riding rather fast downhill toward the dorm building. If that wasn’t enough, here’s where the real stupidity comes in: the sidewalk was wet. I mean soaked. It had rained for something like twenty-seven days straight (okay, maybe just the night before, but it rained a lot). I tapped my brakes and began the turn onto the walkway up to the entrance. Just like Jim, I lost control. The rear wheel skidded and slid out from under me. I watched as the dorm building uprooted itself from the ground and jumped sideways up into the sky. Holding dutifully onto the handlebars trying desperately to escape my grasp, I landed hard on my shoulder. I probably hit my head, too. They say that cumulative concussions can make your memory faulty. It serves me pretty well in recalling the group of girls exiting the building at the time. Standing sideways in my vision, their mouths hung open. Wide open. I think one of them, terrified, backed up against the glass doors. I lay on the ground, clutching my bike like a crack addict hangs on to his very last hit. The wind rustled leaves across the ground. The sun moseyed behind a cloud and reemerged. Somewhere in the distance, a duck quacked. And then, as one, the girls recovered from their shock. They laughed. A lot. They laughed and laughed, unabashedly, as I righted the horizon, picked up my bike and went inside.

No, I didn’t have a concussion. Well, probably not. For some, the mental devastation caused by such an embarrassing incident could be irreparable. By this point in my life, I was used to it.

3 Responses to “for james”

  1. # Blogger Joe Fuel

    Nice. Maybe I should post on my bike skid story...

    You know, in keeping with family solidarity and all.  

  2. # Anonymous anne arkham

    You guys have got me thinking that maybe I should start wearing a helmet when I ride.  

  3. # Anonymous headofsteelanonymous

    Anne, I think THEY are the ones who should start wearing the helmets.  

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