I’ve been thinking about something that happened a very long time ago. And no matter how many times I play it out, I have no explanation as to how I am still alive today. I question how some moments played out.
Many years ago I lived in a different life. I was married to someone else. This someone else had a motorcycle. And a car. I don’t remember the circumstances but the motorcycle, a 550 Yamaha (or something like that) was “in the shop”. We had to pick it up and it was in another town. We drove the car over but this someone else could not ride the motorcycle. He was having problems with his eyes and contacts. We knew he couldn’t ride the bike home. So it was decided I would. I could ride a motorcycle. In theory. I had ridden motorcycles for years. On the farm, on trails. But the only road riding I had done was a brief hop from the top of the lane to the school house long before I had a driver’s license. And I wasn’t even suppose to do that. So I knew how to “ride” but I did not have a license to ride a motorcycle on the roads. With no real road riding experience.
But that day I did anyway.
I don’t know where decision making comes from sometimes, obviously not our brains.
After paying the bill and getting the bike out of the shop, I put on the helmet. Glasses. Headed towards home. About seven miles from home it looked like rain. So at one point I sped up, to try and beat the rain. I did okay for most of the ride. Until I headed in to town. Home town. The road goes around the fairgrounds. It curves at a 90 degree angle to my right as I headed in town. For some reason I was terrified of the rain getting me while I was on the bike. I didn’t want to wipe out. So in a very short stretch I got that bike going faster than I had the entire way home. And I hit the curve. There were cars coming from the other direction. I was going too fast.
When I hit that curve I am sure something intervened.
Because it surely was not skill. I had none.
I hit the brakes as I hit the curve. I can still see the first car approaching the bend of the curve from the other direction. I wonder if that driver remembers that moment like I do. Well, probably not. He probably wonders who the hell the idiot on the bike was and why don’t I ride like I have some sense. I hope he knows I totally agree with him. In that second of total terror, I know time was suspended. There is no way I could see all that I saw, think all that I thought, and register any of it in that fraction of time.
I hit that curve without having a clue how fast I was going.
I hit that curve and that second freezes in my head just like it did at that moment. I can see the speedometer at almost 70. I had no idea I was going that fast. I can see the car that I am staring in to as they stare out at me. That second is frozen. I hit that curve without any idea on how I did not plow, and I mean T-bone, in to that car. Or how I did not lay that bike flat and roll or slide under any of the vehicles.
I just don’t know.
I know I hit the curve, hit the brakes, laid to my right and somehow am still living. By rights I should have:
- Hit that car
- Wiped out totally
- Been run over by the other cars coming
There is no explanation. Not to me. Maybe motorcycle experts can explain what I did as perfect. But I know it wasn’t. I think of that moment often enough. I replay it. I wonder about it. I should have been implanted in to that car. Or under another one.
I never spoke of this to my husband at the time. I couldn’t speak of it. I couldn’t explain it. And it scared me.
When I think about it I get a very uneasy feeling. Like I know that was not how it should have played out.
But it did.
I don’t know.
But I’m grateful.
I have no explanation for this happening the way it did. I still don’t. But from that time I think of all of the moments of my life that followed. The changes I made in who I was/am, the people I’ve met since then, the people who exist now because I survived then.
I obviously don’t know the plan for me. Because even at my stupidest I can’t undo what is suppose to be.