The summer before the fifth grade, I fell off my bike. It's a funny memory in just how it all lays out in my head today, what I remember. I'm riding with my friend Kim. We're going down the big hill by her house, it's not just steep, it's long - you stretch out and gain speed slowly until you can't petal any faster and then you just fly, or feel like you're flying, down until the street curves and goes uphill a bit. Then you ride up and do it again. I was at the fast part, the flying part, on my pink bike I called "Daisy" - it was too cute. As I'm flying down the hill I lean forward further and further until my face is diving into the wind. Nothing is anywhere, I'm just me and the sky. I take my feet off the petals, maybe too much, and soar. What I'm doing gets fuzzy, but the world around me at that exact moment is very, very clear.
I remember everything for one second - every blade of grass and the exact shade of green that it was. I could draw out the color of the pavement and how far I was from the curb (about five feet). Where the nearest tree was, the nearest car, the nearest house.
Then it gets black.
I open my eyes and the bike is on top of me and I'm laying on the ground. My first instinct was to close my eyes again, just play dead. I'm not sure why. But I'm too curious about what just happened. I sit up and see that my knees are bleeding. Crap! I hate skinned knees! There's a spot on my abdomen that hurts a lot too, but I'd rather look at my bleeding knees. Arms, too, wow, I've never seen all that blood on arms before. By this time Kim is where I am, screaming at me. I scream back at her. Help out, get Mom, whatever, I'm more focused on bleeding knees and it's got me in a bad mood. Then I start shaking and feeling faint and I don't remember much.
You have to understand that this is really the worst injury I've ever had in my whole life. I mean, I wasn't a daredevil accident prone kid. I wasn't the athlete with bad knees who needed surgery all the time. I was a good driver.
Okay, now for the worse phrase ever uddered at a bloody little girl by her friend's mom upon seeing the victim lying under her bike in the middle of the street:
My God, her teeth!
The front two were broken in half, but I didn't know that until she said something. Ewe! Ha! Now you all know about my teeth, it's this big secret I have, the reason I avoid blacklights like mad at bars and parties: because in the blacklight you can see where my front teeth were broken off, the dental material isn't the same as the real stuff.
It was typical injury after that, my lip swelled up, the taste of blood made me shaky and unresponsive. Mom took me to the hospital for fear of head trauma, but I was fine, could have been a lot worse. I had to wear a helmet while on my bike after that, and even with the helmet it was almost a year before I could bike again. I'm not as freaked out by it now, it's more of a phenomenon, I study the parts in my mind I remember like the color the grass was that day. It's funny how brains work, it's funny everything that goes on underneath them. Computers aren't like brains, they come has hardware with nothing and you put stuff on top of them, there's nothing there that wasn't at one time put on top of something else. With brains, there's this underlying mystery, features we don't know about. New things don't always go on top, sometimes they don't go anywhere, or the automatically go somewhere where we'll never find them again. That was that day. I was 11. I fell off my bike and broke my teeth and was really scared. Funny memory, I'm not sure why I'm thinking of that right now.