Thursday, February 4, 2010

Writer's Workshop...

I'm playing along here today, with Mama Kat and her Writer's Workshop! Head over there to link up with other workshoppers!

The Prompts:

1.) A song you can’t escape.

2.) Explain a time there was an emergency. What “mode” did you go into? Freaking out, calm and collected, etc.

3.) Write an open later to a cartoon character.

4.) Write a poem about a moment you would like to relive.

5.) List 10 things you never knew until you were mom. Mine?

I chose #2...Explain a time there was an emergency. What "mode" did you go into? Freaking out, calm and collected, etc....


I hate motorcycles with a passion. I don't understand why anyone would want to go that fast on two wheels, without a little more protection. They scare the holy shit out of me!

Jake had one about four years ago. I don't know how he talked me into buying one, but, he did...and he rode it to work occasionally. I think I rode it once or twice with him...white knuckles, clenched teeth, and praying the whole time. I don't know who I was praying to...but, I prayed when I rode that bike!!

Eventually, he rode it less and less...and I talked him into selling it. I don't know how I talked him into it, but, I did. I was relieved.

My disdain for two-wheeled vehicles runs deep. When I see them on the highway, I get scared, nauseous, and I literally panic a little inside. They terrify me!

Two years ago, the five of us were heading home from the grocery store, on the highway. We came along side a big cruiser bike. Older guy, maybe late forties. He had a helmet, leathers, and was just out for a Sunday drive.

My heart raced as we passed him. He looked at me. I feigned a smile.

Just moments later, we approached a busy exit ahead. Two cops had a guy pulled over. People started driving like assholes because of the cops. They slammed on their brakes, began switching lanes...driving erratically, because of the po-po.

I looked in the rearview, worried about the biker guy in the next lane over, just a car length, or so, behind us.

As I did, a car swerved in front of the bike, and slammed on their brakes.

In slow motion, I saw the biker instinctively and mistakingly swerve himself, to avoid the moron in the sedan.

His wheel caught, his bike flipped.

And flipped.

And tumbled.

My eyes were glued to the rearview...and the biker...and I was screaming.


Jake, was unaware as to what was happening behind us, as he was focused on the road in front of us. He was still trying to avoid our car from becoming part of any accident.

His eyes were ahead. Mine were on the driverless motorcycle, as it cartwheeled next to our car.

Parts were flying.

It just tumbled.

Like a toy, that a child had thrown in a tantrum.

The sight of the bike in his periphery, startled Jake, and he accelerated hard, to get in front of the motorcycle. He swerved to avoid cars, and came to a stop, ahead of where the bike rested, on the shoulder.

My eyes were still glued to the rearview mirror. Watching this unfold like a tragic scene in a movie.

Seconds after the motorcycle, the biker himself came tumbling.

His body twisted and rolled.

Just tumbling.

Like a rag doll, that a child had thrown in a tantrum.

It was sickening.

He came to a stop about fifty feet behind our car.

My screams became shrieks. "OH MY GOD. HE'S DEAD. HE'S DEAD!"

Instinctively, I grabbed the handle of the door, opened it, and jumped up, to get out of the car. I had to help him. I was so focused on this man, that I was oblivous to anything else.


I listened. And turned my body, my eyes still glued to the man.

My thoughts were scattered.

I should help.

I have to go help.

He's not moving.

He's in a twisted heap, and he's not moving.

Is he dead?

Is he already dead?

His family is at home, thinking that their husband/father/brother/son is just out for a Sunday drive. He's likely done it hundreds of times before. They have no idea he's dying. They have no idea he's fighting for his life in the middle of the highway.

I have to go to him, and ask him if there is anything that he wants me to tell someone. Does he need me to tell someone something. I would want someone there, to speak my last thoughts to.

All of this, rushing through my head, in a matter of seconds.

By this time, the cops were standing around the man. They weren't leaning down to him. They weren't touching him. They just stood over him talking on their radios. I know they are not paramedics, but, it seemed cold to me at the time. They see this more often than I do, they are a little more desensitized to it.

Across the highway, a man stopped his car, grabbed a large duffle out of his trunk, and ran to the man. We deduced that he was an off duty paramedic.

My eyes never left the biker, I desperately wanted to see some sign of life.

Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity...I saw his chest heave. He was still twisted in an awkward position, with one arm trapped behind him, and underneath him. But, I saw him breathe. He was alive. At least at that moment.

We went home.

It seemed crazy to just leave...but, the man was being taken care of. There were plenty of witnesses. i wanted to get home.

I thought about the man for the next several days.

I was terribly shaken up.

I thought about calling hospitals, and the police station, but, thought they probably wouldn't give me any information. I just wanted to know if he was okay.

It really shook me up.

I had just started taking classes for nursing school.

I was confused.

I told myself that I was going to see this kinda thing on a daily basis as a nurse. I would see death every day. I couldn't let each one effect me like this. I was taking this too personally. That scared me. I thought that maybe I wasn't cut out for it. Maybe I didn't have the chops.

I couldn't get him out of my head.

I posted about it on the discussion board for my psychology class. All of my rambling selfish thoughts on the incident.

A day, or so, later, I got an email. From one of my classmates.

She knew the man. He was the father of one of her daughter's good friends. He died two days after the accident, at the hospital.

My heart sank.

My stomach leapt into my throat.

Tears welled up.

I was just sick for his family.

I thought about my initial reaction. About wanting to see if he had anything that he wanted me to tell his family. I felt regret. For the things I didn't do.

For the things HE didn't do.

Then, in an perspective shifted.

Shit happens. People die. Accidents happens. Things are left unsaid, by untimely deaths. ALL THE FLIPPIN' TIME!

Not a damn thing I can do about that.

I was sad for his family...but, I knew they would survive. People survive. Death happens, and the people they leave behind, keep on living.

I also realized, that I had the chops.

My instinct was to help. My instinct was to run to this man. My instinct was to care and worry about him while I thought he was alive. And think of things I could do to make the situation better. My instinct was to feel the gravity of the situation when I knew he was dead, and then, to let it go.

And, to answer the I freak, or am I calm?

A little bit of both.


Elle @ A for Effort said...

I just have chills after reading this post. WOW! It is so disgusting that a few people over reacting and driving like jerks ended a man's life, but unfortunately it happens just about every day.

The fact that you had a life affirming moment and are now sure you're heading down the correct career path means that that man's death wasn't completely in vain. Perhaps many people on the road that day were taught lessons, or had revelations, that they really needed.

Kimmy said...

OMG!! My stomach dropped when I read he died. This really hit home for me cause I had posted back in Sept about my good friends, husband and wife, that were in a really bad motorcycle accident that nearly killed them. They were seriously lucky cause they too were on a highway in Tahoe and they have been laid up since. They can't walk and they have a long rode of recovery ahead of them. I'm just thankful that they are alive.

I agree with you though. I HATE motorcycles!!!

Heidi said...

Wow, great post Nikki. Made me feel like I was there watching it, not sure I liked that part. But it was great writing.

Kameron said...

I HATE motorcycles. Two of my uncles have had terrible crashes, one ended up in a full body cast for months. My dad has been in an accident and crushed bones in his face, and my friend lost her fiance when he went out for a "Sunday drive" and never came back. My husband said he wanted a Harley for our 10 year anniversary and I flat out told him no.

I can't imagine seeing that happen. The shock and terror of that moment must be so terrible.

Jennifer said...

Wow. That is so scary. I think about stuff like that happening and wonder what I would do. I'm not sure. I think an emergency with your own family is completely different than being around a stranger. But maybe not. Hmmm...

Jes said...

Wow! That was intense! I don't really care for motorcycles either. Jeremy has a cousin that was killed in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago. Sadly, he left behind two young boys. I don't understand why anyone would want to take the risk that comes w/driving a motorcycle? Crazy!

Anonymous said...

ok that's fine, i just brought many fresh emo backgrounds at my blog

Tessa said...

my hubby rides a harley and I hate it! I don't enjoy getting on the back of it and wish he would sell it, but oh well.
anyhoo, not related to this post, but i have to tell you, I actually DREAMT about you last night. weird.
in my dream, the hubby and I randomly stopped by your house and it was slightly akward.
you must've been somewhere lurking in my psyche.
Perhaps we'll meet IRL somday.