11/21/2006

On bikes and boys

Well, people, I think it's safe to say that Stella is getting her groove back.

It has been the strangest month. I've been pressed up against heartache and it's been hell. It felt like everything went to pot, my mind, my health, my heart, my job. I'd start to climb out of my pit a little bit and I'd tumble back down. A few weeks ago I tried to lift my spirits by going to the launch of a friend's literary magazine; on my way there I almost got knocked over by a guy on a bike. I had no idea I was walking in a bike lane near the Jacques Bonsargeant metro station; it looked like a sidewalk to me. I wasn't wearing my iPod so my hearing was fine. And from out of nowhere a guy on a bike clocked me so hard I nearly fell down.

"Goddamn piece of motherf***ing sh** wh*re co**s*cker!!" I hurled all of my fury on the guy, and turned down another street, fuming. And though he may not speak the Queen's English, apparently this guy understood gutter English perfectly. He turned onto the same street as me and bawled me out for walking in a bike lane. "Next time I'll knock you over!" he threatened me, waving his fist in fury.

Outraged, I stood up for myself. "You piece of sh**, you almost did knock me over, and you could have driven around me, or rung your stupid little bike bell! How the f*** was I supposed to know it was a bike lane, it's in the middle of the sidewalk!"

"I had the right of way! I had the right of way!" he insisted. "Didn't I have the right of way? Look at the sign!" he was up in my face. And all of a sudden it was too much, the man on the bike and Nicolas was all of a sudden the same person, the same guy going full-speed ahead without caring if I was in his way and I started to cry uncontrollably.

"I'm sorry, I didn't see the bike lane, why did you have to drive into me," I managed to squeeze out in between sobs. The guy kind of awkwardly patted my shoulder. I imagined him going home to his girlfriend that night to tell her what a weird run-in he'd had on his way home. He gave me a final admonishment to be careful next time, and drove away. I was left a sobbing, indignant mess. Who the hell was he to tell me to be careful where I walk? I thought. He should be careful where he drives! Even sidewalks are unsafe, it would seem.

It's the same thing in a relationship, I realized that night, on the metro ride home. I can be doing my best to be careful where I walk. But sometimes you don't know you're walking in a danger zone, and the guy needs to ring his bell or otherwise indicate that he's about to run over you, if he can't avoid hitting you altogether. He needs to let you know to get out of the way.

But now, a few weeks into it, I'm much better, I'm watching where I'm going, and I'm hopeful for the future. I would not go so far as to say I'm over him. I still want us to work it out. But I can accept more responsability for where I walk, I can look at the road signs, if he can learn to drive a little more carefully.

3 comments:

smila said...

Dear Maîtresse,
I left you a comment on Parisbreakfast to tell you I just was kidding when I answer you(and it takes me a comment as longer as a mail,so now I think Carol wants to kill me...;D)
Don´t worry about your"heart-break",I´ve always thought that we don´t have to look for our middle"orange"'cause each of us is a complete one...Everything arrives to those who know to wait.While it arrives live your life as each day is the last,'cause while you worry about those little negative things,you loose the oportunity of living new things(and they don´t have nothing to do with chocolate...;)
Smila

ParisBreakfasts said...

Dynamite post L.
It says it all succinctly.
This month"horribilis" as the Queen would say :)

Bike rider in Berlin said...

You see, this is why I don't live in Paris. How could any bike rider possibly think that an appropriate response to someone blocking their way on a bike path is to run into them?? That's incredible. Or at least it would be, if I hadn't seen the way Parisians drive.