A view from the driver's seat


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Remember that old saying about life throwing you curveballs? Well life just threw a bicyclist at me.  I was having coffee with friends at Trails Cafe, a gorgeous serene little cafe hidden up on Fern Dell. I noticed there seemed to be more cyclists and cars than usual. In fact, I had had to park  way up the hill past Trails which I never have to do. While I was hanging out,  I heard sirens and saw ambulances rushing up the street. Hmmmm… quite busy today. When I walked up to my car, something seemed off. As I opened the door, I saw it — the side mirror cracked and dangling. WTF?? I looked around me — had I parked too far out into the road? No, my parking job, for once, was perfect. (I’m a good driver — not a good parker. I blame my Korean genes.) Then a bald man with a soft Eastern European accent came out of the mini-motor home parked right behind me and said there had been an accident. A bicyclist had missed a turn and crashed into the mirror. He pointed to the ground where blood was splattered. “They took him to hospital. You maybe should find park ranger?” So I jumped into the car, sped out of the parking lot to locate one, only to find the entire street mobbed with long haired, testosterone-fueled bicyclists swarming up the street, bashing into cars, barely avoiding pedestrians. Escape from New York in spandex basically. I finally found a ranger and she filled me in. There was this impromptu race happening, someone had lost control, boom,  bam, no thank you ma’am. The police arrived. Took my info. They went to the hospital to find out who he was since no one at the scene knew. Pockets just don’t work with spandex apparently. 

At first I was furious. I was that poor, helpless man in the Italian movie, Bicycle Thieves. This-a was-a my livelihood!!! I mean, come on, just when I was starting to get into the groove of this Lyft thing. My car? Really Universe, my car??? Here’s the thing about accidents — you go over every choice, every fork in the road, to see if it could have been avoided. Was I too hasty in my choice of parking spots? Could I have been more patient? Should I have insisted on going to yoga class first and meeting my friends at 12 not 11? But accidents are such perfect storms of coincidences that they can’t be untangled. And after going down that rabbit hole of maybes and could’ves and should’ves for a bit, I realized there are no accidents. Only destiny. 

So I’m off the road for a bit. I have a backstory of photos and stories I still want to get up. I have other writing that I need to do, that I plan on submitting to Mississippi Review, Tin House, and the NY Times Modern Love column. I have a first draft of my short due for the fellowship I got into, Visual Communication’s Armed with a Camera. Ok Universe, I get it. I’m supposed to sit still and write for a bit. I can read the signs. As for parking… I’ll keep working on that but I can’t make any promises.





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