Rainy Tuesday

I spent an afternoon with a crazy lady who lived in a van. I think it was a Ford Windstar camper. She served me cubes of cheese and apples while I sat shivering and trying to calm down.

My jeans and jacket were both soaked from skidding across the pavement. Somehow I wasn’t bleeding, but I couldn’t move. So I sat in her van and ate bits of cheese while she fed her sister, who was afflicted with some sort of horrible disfiguring disease, and couldn’t speak or move.

I needed to get up the nerve to drive my motorcycle home. Going around Cattle Point, my wheels lost traction and started to slide. I should have been driving more slowly. I think I was going 70 when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make the corner. So I hit the brakes, but I was already leaned over, and the ground was slippery after a bit of light spring rain.

I landed on my knees, and slid kneeling about 20 feet while I watched the motorcycle spin away from me. It seemed about to come to a rest against a concrete divider, but it must have been travelling quite fast. It smashed into the divider, bounced, spun around, and crunched against the fairing.

By the time it stopped moving I was sitting on the ground near the centre line, staring at it. An F-150 had stopped about 5 feet behind me.

“Are you alright?” asked the driver. I don’t know if he said anything else. He must have helped me pick up the bike and move it out of traffic. I don’t know.

At the time, I didn’t have a bed, just a mattress on the floor. For a few days I couldn’t stand up in the morning, so I would crawl on three limbs across my room and haul myself up on the dresser. No other damage.

I did a quick loop around the Cattle Point parking lot to check if the bike was still functional. I guess it was. I didn’t know anything about bikes back then. The forks were probably bent.

The crazy lady was waiting for me at the edge of the road. I stopped to tell her I was ok, but my hands were shaking a lot. So she led me into the trailer and 4 or 5 hours passed. She invited me to go to her church and play drums the next week. Eventually I drove home. Sold the wreck for $900 a few days later.

I guess if you’re going to crash a motorcycle, this is the best way to do it.

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Shannon Graham

Shannon has been writing brief essays and occasional how-to articles at Rocketships, Unaffiliated (.ca) whenever inspiration strikes, since 2012.

She is interested in your opinion.

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