. . . One Friday Afternoon on My Bike
Let‘s (a Nifty Contraction to Let Us) Have a Great Time
as I share a very painful episode in my life and although you might be troubled about someone or some thing, I won‘t pry. What is personal to you is personal to me. No tricks. The meat of this piece is very painful (to me), but if it‘s one thing that I have learned in 65 years, embrace both the good and bad and hope to high Heaven that it all works out. No tricks.
I should give you a Grammatical Look at the word, Contraction. To you English buffs, a contraction is nothing more than a word that is shortened. Example: “it‘s“ means it is meant in the Long Form. It‘s as simple as this. See?
Aren‘t you glad of being able to read a short episode in my young life and come away with an additional lesson. This time it‘s Contractions. Tomorrow, who knows?
The Year and Season
was1966. Summer to be exact. On this day that I am sharing was on one of the many days when we young people in Rural Alabama had, Summer School Vacation—May 4 (or some place near there) until August 10 (close enough for horse shoes).
I was enjoying my brand-new 26“ bicycle with its frame being a candy apple red and fenders of chrome. “She“ was a sight to behold. When I mounted the bicycle for the first time, it was like being in love, but with the exception of me falling for a piece of machinery.
When I was riding my new bike, it was like I was the only young guy in the world. I used to do this one thing that made my folks so mad that they could cut me into with their eyes. I would pedal to the top of this Farm to Market Road, (187), that ran in front of our house, and when I had reached the top, I would pedal so fast that I hold my feed from off the pedals and let the summer wind burn my face as if I lived in Panama City. Even the birds joined in song as my bicycle and I made a blur as we sped by.
Why Didn‘t I Just
stop and think for just a moment. And I do not mean a long moment, just a blink of the twinkle of a star on a summer‘s night. (I thought it prudent that I use the term, the twinkle of a summer‘s night since this piece was born in the moment, a painful moment that I had in summer 1966.)
Since it was on a Friday, I liked to dress-up, and to this day, I still do not know why, but I wore my almost-new Hushpuppies, a clean shirt and pants—I looked GOOD. Even in the pain that can come with a catastrophe such as this, I looked good.
If anyone should tell you that they had a terrible accident and add, and it seemed like time was going slow motion, believe them. I know. When I tried to steer my bike, it had a mind of its own. An obsessed candy apple bike with chrome fenders, I might have imagined it, but I thought that heard this awful groan as the bicycle went over me as I slid down the highway and this movement repeated itself again.
Pain and Bloodshed Mixed
on the highway with my face to the ground was NOT cool in any way. If you are nearing junior high and think that accidents (in any fashion) is pretty cool . . .STOP! You have been deceived by a masterful lie. Happiness is not the end result of a bicycle throwing you to the ground and visa versa. Believe it. I know.
I wish at this point I could tell you the truth about how long I lay there on the highway. Probably not a long time because there were no vehicles to speak of. I got up, picked up my bike and instantly-noticed the huge rip on the shoulder of my right arm. But I didn‘t take time to look. I knew that my folks would be arriving home from work and I needed all the time I could get in order to manufacture a good lie.
I took my shirt off and there it was, this big gaping piece of flesh that had blood and asphalt on the top and I felt faint. But I sat down on our couch. And pilfered though my room to find a clean, unripped shirt. Aha! Success can be a friend if you are young, with a painful tear in your right shoulder (shirt and all) and no amount of lies would deliver me now.
Then My Parents
arrived from work and I did my best to look happy to see them. But my mom who is like all mom‘s, saw right through me. She never mentioned the cut and blood, but did her best to cook our dinner. That night, I forced myself to kiss caution good-bye and confide in mama and tell the truth.
At first she was angry. So was my dad. Both of them asked if I wrecked by myself or did someone run me off of my bicycle. Parents. What a strange question. No, I told them as my mom brought some home-medicine and dressed the bruise. Of course I was taken to our family doctor that I protested because I knew this doctor all too well. He loved to give young people shots of Penicillin and his head nurse, a Mrs. Campbell, a quiet woman, had a half-smile on her lips as she stuck the needle into my shoulder.
Did it hurt? Are you stupid?
Did I get myself into trouble? Not that much. Except being told by my dad (in a stern tone) that I was NEVER to ride my bike into the road—or any road.
All I could think of was there were none of my buddies there to help me at the accident. Something else that I kept thinking, more than the original thought, because if they had been riding with me and I had this wreck . . . they would have laughed their butts off.
January 16, 2019__________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery