Notes on a Car Crash (2)
I don’t see her until too late. And I guess she doesn’t see me either. I always like to catch the eyes of the car drivers who are joining the roundabout to check that they know I’m there, so as I’m cycling across I swing my arm out in a huge exaggerated movement to indicate that I’m turning left. The woman in the third lane smiles at me. And then her smile is replaced by a look of absolute horror and I have only a fraction of a second to wonder why before I can see something out of the corner of my eye coming towards me at speed. There’s a huge noise as I’m rolling across her bonnet and then I’m lying face down on the road and for a full five seconds nobody moves. The road is hot. And then I get up, very calmly, drag my bike to the side of the roundabout and sit down on the pavement.
Everybody is asking me lots of questions, and my head is buzzing with thoughts but I can’t think of anything to say. So I just stare at them. I find it funny that the whole roundabout has stopped for me. They all seem quite anxious and my silence doesn’t seem to be helping things, so I say that I didn’t hit my head and I don’t want to go to hospital. I don’t know where the words came from but they’re something I can hold on to and I repeat them five or six times because they seem to calm things a bit. Someone protests that I did hit my head but I don’t want a return to the squabbling so I Ignore him and say that I’d like to go home. My bike is already in the back of a car so I guess that’s where I’m meant to go. The woman who hit me is crying so I smile at her and say that everything is okay really. She gives me her business card and tells me I have to ring her. Apparently she’s in PR. And then somebody drives me home and I’m sitting on the bed in my house and it’s cool and quiet and I’m completely alone. My legs are starting to shake so I lie down and put on Eddie Mair. And finally I sleep.