Tag Archives: accident

I’m committed to this community

I’m committed to being a positive asset to this community, which is why I’m apologizing, I’m really sorry I knocked into your mailbox. And, you know, just think, there was damage to my car also, not that it’s any consolation or anything, I can’t imagine a baseball sized dent on my rear fender would somehow make things a little better for you, but I don’t want you to think that I was taking aim at your property, at you. I’ve just got to get used to this driveway, it’s like, I could have sworn I had it, the angle looked great. You should see the inside of my dash, it’s got one of those rear-facing cameras.


But it’s not important. If anything, I think we both learned a valuable lesson here, that you really can’t rely solely on those cameras. Even though, yes, it clearly says, “Check your surroundings. DO NOT rely solely on this camera,” but come on, of course you’re going to rely solely on the camera. Why have a giant display if not to focus totally on what’s happening on the screen? Am I supposed to somehow crane my neck to get the real view, all while bending toward the front every once in a while just to use the camera as a backup?

What if that mailbox were a little kid? I’m getting ahead of myself. But, like I said, lesson learned, from now on I’m not even going to pay attention to the camera at all, in fact, I’m covering it up with tape. No, I’ll paint it over, just so that way there won’t be any turning back. Because I’m serious about being a good neighbor. I’m serious about that whole commitment to community thing.

Like, I made you this cake. It was supposed to be one part, “I’m sorry for destroying your mailbox,” one part, “I’m serious about my commitment to this community,” and a final part, “No reason, just thought I’d make you a cake.” I even wrote out “Community” in homemade vanilla buttercream frosting. But on my way over to your place, well, I guess this is a testament to what a clean house you keep, but I couldn’t tell that your sliding door was closed, there was seriously no glare whatsoever in the glass, and the cake wound up getting smashed.

And yeah, that doesn’t by itself sound like too much of a big deal, but when I went to find a hose or something to start cleaning it up, I wound up picking up this rake that you had leaning against the house, I don’t know, I thought there might be a faucet in that half foot or so of space you have in between the siding and that big central air box. Look, I’m cutting to the chase here, I swung around with the rake and …

Well, look at the bright side, at least you don’t have to worry about getting the buttercream off of that glass right? Haha. But seriously, I’m very sorry. That’s why I figured I’d start off with the mailbox, which I’m hoping might soften the blow somewhat for the glass. Like if I went straight to the broken sliding door, yeah, I’ll admit it, that’s huge, that’s a hassle, even if you do get a good price on glass, they’re not going to be able to replace that thing until Monday, at least.

Which is why what I’m about to tell you next won’t even seem like a big deal at all in comparison. It’s almost like a joke really, I mean, you’ve got a good sense of humor, right? Well, after I broke the glass, I just kind of reacted, like sprung into action, but I wasn’t thinking, not really, I was thinking about helping, obviously, but not about how I was going to help. It was mostly just pure instinct, a instinct of assistance, and I got hung up on the concept, the word, helping, totally out of context.

What I’m saying is, I stepped all over the cake, I walked into your house, I don’t know why, I thought I’d find a dustpan or a broom or some paper towels, but I think I just made a bigger mess. And then your dog ran out. But he’s chipped, right? Chipped. You know, where they tag the dog with a chip in case he runs away?

Look, I make great flyers. We’ll have that dog back in no time. Seriously, I’m pretty good at the Internet, and I’ll try to get like a viral campaign going, everyone’s going to be looking for that dog. And while I’m at it, I’ll launch a Kickstarter to help you raise funds for that glass, and the mailbox. And can I use your Internet? They haven’t hooked it up in my house yet, and I can’t figure out where I put my phone charger.

It’s just, listen, I know this is an incredibly awkward way to start off this relationship. My name’s Rob, by the way. But I just want to let you know that I’m committed, absolutely committed to becoming an integral part of this community, a force for positivity, someone that people look to and think, wow, that guy is such a great addition to the neighborhood.

Two-hand touch

Come on, get up, you’re all right, you didn’t fall that hard, just try and put some weight on it, I’m sure you’ll … ooh, you know what? Don’t put any more weight on it. Just give it a minute, I think that’s the body’s natural response to an impact, swelling, even if nothing’s broken, especially when nothing’s broken, because if there wasn’t any swelling, well, then you’d be in trouble, that’s when I’d start to worry. Maybe you’d be dead. You never see swelling on a dead person. Just a lot of bloat, which is totally different.


Nope, a fair amount of deep purple swelling is biology’s way of telling you, OK, you took a little bit of a tumble, but just let me rush a whole bunch of antibodies and natural painkillers to the affected site and … listen, I don’t even think you hit the ground that hard, I mean, you’ll be on your feet in a minute. Maybe two minutes. Just give it five minutes.

I didn’t hit you that hard. I know we were playing two-hand touch, it’s just … you know, heat of the moment, animal instincts take over and SLAM! You see? I’m getting all riled up just thinking about it, which is perfectly natural, that’s my physiology still reacting, still preparing for more reactions, I’ve got so much adrenaline still coursing through my system, I feel like I could take down everybody here. Does anybody else want a piece of this? What are you looking at, huh? He’s fine. Just give him some room to breathe, Jesus.

You know it’s because I used to play in high school, you know that, right? Some things cannot be unlearned, and to be perfectly fair here, you were coming at me pretty aggressively, way too cocky for a guy who still had a former varsity lineman to get through before crossing to the end zone. I know it’s a friendly game and everything, but I’m not just going to let you win.

Does anybody have any ice? Just … when you get home, fill up the tub with ice and stay in there for an hour, two hours, and when it melts, just get the Mrs. to fill it up with even more ice, nice and ice cold. I guarantee you that the swelling will … holy shit, is that bone? No, that’s not bone. That couldn’t be bone. Bone doesn’t come out that way. I totally, absolutely did not hit you hard enough for that to be bone.

Motherfucker … well, that could have just been a really awkward landing. On your part, I’m saying. You know, you’re a runner, right? I’d bet you anything that you had one of those stress fractures. Have you been feeling any shin pain lately? Like shin splints? Because that’s like a micro break right there, like all it takes is the slightest amount of pressure in just the right spot and, CRACK! That’s what I’m betting … I’m pretty sure that … there’s no way I could have.

Look, I can reset that, I think I actually have to. I took half of a lifeguarding course like ten years ago and … I’m serious man, that thing has got to be reset. We’re looking at permanent lifetime damage, like a limp, maybe a prosthetic, if that bone starts to heal without being properly aligned. That’s nature man, you don’t understand the resilience of the human body, almost to a fault, like the second you go down … remember I was talking about those antibodies? The swelling? Well it is a good sign, normally.

And even though I’m pretty sure your legs were in bad shape coming in here, I do feel somewhat responsible. When you run, do you strike with your heel or with your toe? Because heel striking, or toe striking, I can’t remember, but one of those is really hard on the shins. Didn’t you think about any of this before you took to the field? Don’t you have kids? Playing on a team against a former two-time county starting lineman? It’s like those guys who run with bulls over in Spain, nobody thinks they’ll be the one going down, getting trampled, gored, and no one wants to see that happen, but when it does, you don’t ever hear anybody blaming the bull. Am I right?

But still, we’ve got to get that bone set. Just, stop struggling. I know it hurts, don’t worry, I’ll bring over lots of ice for that ice bath, that’s going to be one of the coldest ice baths you’ve ever taken. You won’t even be able to feel any of this pain. Just, stop, just … somebody hold him down. Jesus! I’ve got to do everything …

Well, he wouldn’t stop struggling. This’ll be much easier now that he’s knocked out. There we go, just like that and … oh. Oh God. That’s even worse. And why is it all of the sudden bleeding now? You know, I think we should call an ambulance. I think … I think we should call his wife. Just … you guys saw all that, right? I was trying, like the good Samaritan. Like good Samaritan laws, they exist, right? That’s a thing, right? Because I was just trying my best. I didn’t know he had weak shins. I think he’ll be OK. We just have to wake him up, just slap him around a little bit. HEY LARRY! WAKE UP! LARRY!

Look both ways

This morning I went for a run. In an effort to keep things interesting, I have a few routes that I like to take. I was on what I guess would be Route C, and there was this one section, two blocks long, where I had to cross over from one side of the street to the other.

It’s always a challenge going for runs in the city. You want to maintain some sort of a rhythm, but it’s kind of hard with traffic, with lights that don’t always synch up with what you’re doing, your pace, plus the other eight or so million people living in this city, some of them out, some of them on the same street that you are, everybody jockeying for space, trying to just go about life with as few collisions as possible.

I ran by the first corner but the light wasn’t on my side. About halfway down I noticed that the light up ahead was good to go. But I wasn’t going to make it all the way there in time to catch it. So I figured, OK, I’ll just cross right now, right in the middle of the street. I do it all the time. It’s New York. You cross when you have to cross.

Only, and I’ve heard of stuff like this happening to other people, but I ran into the street to find myself directly in the way of a bicycle delivery guy. There was no time to react. I just stepped in the street and found myself exactly in his path. He didn’t even have time to swerve, he just kind of shouted something, I think I shouted something, although I might not have, it’s kind of a blur.

Incredibly, I was able to maneuver my torso, like a matador taunting a charging bull, in such away that I made very minimal contact with the bike as he came at me from my left. I turned to the right to see everything play out. The bike kind of wobbled, and I thought, he’s going to fall, but then he managed to correct the imbalance. For about a quarter of a second, everything looked like it was about to be OK. But then whatever grip he tentatively regained slipped away again and he tumbled off and over the bike.

It wasn’t the worst crash in the world. It was a relatively low-speed affair, but still, I’ve fallen off of my bike plenty. He was probably a little banged up. And what about his bike? What about the delivery? I went up to the guy and started apologizing immediately, “I’m so sorry,” like that’s going to do anything.

I gave him my hand to pull him up but he just kept shouting something in what I’m assuming was Chinese, just a snap judgment based on the Chinese restaurant logo on his delivery vest. Through his gesturing, I figured that he was worried about his bike, it was one of those new electric models with an engine and everything. I pulled it up, steadied everything out, turned off the motor.

Then he just kept saying stuff in that different language. I was asking the basics, “Are you OK?” telling him I was sorry. He kind of looked through his merchandise, everything seemed to be salvageable. He pulled up his pant leg but there wasn’t any noticeable damage. We made eye contact and he just kind of kept muttering something before making a gesture with his arm, like don’t worry about it, get out of here.

And then he got back on his bike and took off. I felt really bad. I felt like I should have done something else. But what? What was to be done? All of these things flashed through my mind. About how I always complain about my job, about how I hate going to work. I tried putting myself in his place, delivering takeout on a bike in the cold in a country where I don’t even speak a single word of the language. And I get hit by a runner. And maybe my leg does hurt. Maybe I have to go back to the restaurant and get new food, and the boss will chew me out for poor bike riding skills. Maybe the restaurant owns the bike, maybe the owner is a real dick and makes me pay for any scratches or superficial damage.

Man, I just try to be a good guy, so it stings especially when I make a stupid careless mistake, one that has actual ramifications on somebody else. And I had no idea what I could have done differently, you know, expect for looking both ways or waiting to cross at a corner, or just having a clue about my surroundings, not stuck in my head, unaware of the rest of the world, all of these eight million people with whom I’m trying to peacefully coexist.