Summer In the City

I began the week shaken, having fallen off of my bicycle on 13th Street and University Place bright and early Monday morning. I was on my way to work and my bike took off ahead of me, the tires skidding on a wet surface I didn’t see. I rose up from the ground with unsteady legs, my right side bloody and skinned and swelling.

As soon as I realized I was in the middle of the street, I was sent into a panic. Instead of lifting my bike and dusting myself off, I took off running to the sidewalk, dragging my bicycle behind me like it was a tantruming child, by the handlebars, with the pedals and spokes scraping across the grey concrete.

I knew that the city would not stop for me, even if strangers were on hand to see if I was okay, my only response to nod incoherently while my heart pounded inside my chest– because the streets are relentless that way. Nothing stops moving. Cars and food carts and delivery trucks barrelled behind me and they did not stop. And I still had to get to work. Later still, I would have to get all the way back home.

I found myself in all kinds of minor predicaments throughout the week. Trying to place my bandaged arm and my black and blue thigh in just the right position while I slept, sitting in an air conditionless room in the 90 degree heat attempting to write something that made any kind of sense, even carrying an 8 foot wooden beam through crowded streets that did not want to make room for me.

I love this city. I really do. I see it as a my playground. My home. But sometimes I forget that it is bigger than me.


6 thoughts on “Summer In the City

  1. Melissa! Oh..oh, please take care of yourself. As a mother of a bicyclist who lives in Jersey City, my heart beat fast as I read your recounting of the event. Nothing like something like that to remind us that we are truly mortal. Scary blog.


  2. oh OUCH. glad you're ok.

    my friend fell on the ice this past winter- in nyc getting out of a cab- broke her leg and had to get surgery- total nightmare. nope, a big city doesn't really stop for you. but it loves you…


  3. Beautifully written – even though the experience was quite the opposite. I felt for you and pictured this small person in this 'oh so enormous city'.

    I hope that you are healing well.


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