And this is what I learned
It was a Tuesday night around 10pm and we were on some highway that Waze took us to, going from San Mateo to Los Angeles. It was dark out and the crop duster planes were whizzing low like UFOs over the fields. Lucky for me the gas station attendant in one small town told me that I wasn’t the first tired traveler to ask about the mysterious, alien-like light.
As we hummed along the dark country highway Jack was rehearsing his life story. Where he started, where he’s been and where he wants to go. The framework to a life transition that so many of our friends seem to be going through lately. Just when he started retelling the part about his early twenties, the motorcycle that was barely 100 feet in front of us started to wobble and swivel to the rhythm of his voice and within an instant the cyclist and his stallion were parallel to the ground SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEECHING 65mph down the asphalt with a shower of sparks spraying behind them. “Where are we?” my mind blurted in panic, “Are we on top of him?”
“You’re okay, you’re fine, we’re fine, we’re fine, we’re fine,” Jack asserted as his left hand gripped the wheel like it was guiding a strong horse and his right arm covered my body and face with a confidence that I’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Miraculously we get to the side of the road completely avoiding the cycle and its steward.
Jack put the truck into park and dialed 911 in the same split second, I jumped out — barefoot and all — and ran towards the cyclist, gravel slicing my feet, barely able to hear Jack’s screams for me to get back in the truck through the adrenaline coursing through my head. Not 10 feet into my race to be an untrained paramedic, I see that the cyclist has safely walked to the side of the road, and a small white convertible is 20 seconds too late to realize that there’s not a cow but a full on motorcycle stuck in the middle of his path.
As the tiny toy convertible desperately SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECHES to avoid the bike, I’m still on the side of the road, feeling naked, alone and small, realizing the fate that my adrenaline hero moment may have just sealed for me. As I run as fast as I can to the driver’s side back door of the truck, scenes from Jurassic Park flash through my mind. “Even if I get in is this car going to smash into Jack and I? Is the bike going to launch into our windshield?”
Before I can get into the truck another concerned citizen who has pulled off yells to me, “DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE HERE. I HAVE CAMERAS ON MY CAR. DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE, I SAW EVERYTHING.”
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