It was mid-August, just two months since I’d moved to Oakland, and I had really started to enjoy my morning commute.
Donning my badass leather jacket, my Lisbeth Salander boots, and my mat-black helmet, I would tune my blue-tooth to Steve Wright in the Afternoon; for some reason, I’ll always be curious about the traffic on the M25.
I would fire my beautiful, red Triumph Bonneville (Kevin) up, pull him into the brilliant sunshine, and fly across the Bay Bridge, the sky and the ocean filling my visor with countless shades of blue.
But not this morning. This morning is different.
I leave the house at the same time as Mat, which I’ve only done twice since we’ve lived here. On a slow Tuesday morning, we mount our bikes together, wordlessly, both groggy in the still of the morning. I fire-up Kevin and come to life, excited, as always, to be sitting astride this beautiful machine.
Within seconds, I realise I haven’t done-up my helmet, so I stop at the entrance to the garage and fasten it. Pulling Kevin out onto the main road that takes us to the freeway, I catch up with Mat a couple of blocks down, and settle in front of him in the same lane – staggered – as we’d learnt in motorcycle school.
A few blocks pass and my ears fill with the sound of screeching brakes.
Something else they teach you in motorcycle school; ‘It’s not if you get into an accident, it’s when’. For me, it only took eight months.
BANG. The sound is deafening as a car from the other side of the road skids into the van in front of me, spinning it around, before continuing its trajectory towards Kevin.
I brace myself. “Ah, fuck”.
And then it hits me. Head on. Visceral, sharp, steel-on-steel; the pure physicality of metal, bending, shredding, smashing into my body.
The next thing I know, I’m lying on the ground, half-on and half-off the curb. I am cradled in Mat’s arms as he holds me, pushing a blanket gently into my groin with one hand. There is blood. He is shouting at someone now, anyone, to call an ambulance. ‘I’m in agony,’ I tell him, in a voice I don’t recognise. ‘I know baby, I know’.
Everything is hot.
When I open my eyes again, I am being pushed into some kind of hanger with a big metal door. I don’t know how I’m moving. I think there are wheels. People are shouting.
Everything is noise.
‘Female. 31. High-speed motorcycle trauma. Significant blood-loss from groin area. Multiple fractures. Likely Pelvis. Neck. Deformed shoulder’.
I see people running towards me. They cut open my clothes and grope their way around my body, feeling for damage.
A nurse tries to move my left arm and I let out a crippling scream. ‘Suspected broken left wrist’, she yells, before bending down and looking me in the eyes, ‘it’s going to be ok. You’re going to be ok’. I don’t believe her.
Well, it’s been a good life, I think. I guess this is it. It feels impossibly real, and yet, somehow like a dream. As if I’ve woken up in a scene from somebody else’s life. Then I think about Mat, and my family, and my friends, and I realise I can’t die yet. I picture my mum receiving the news, and forget how to breathe. A mask is pushed onto my face. My face. I wonder what that looks like now.
I am wheeled towards a big white tunnel and placed on a hard board that slowly pulls me inside. The pain is melting to euphoria. Something is in my veins. It feels like bliss. The light moves around me and the machine hums. Maybe it’s ok to die. Maybe this is the next adventure, I decide, as I slip into oblivion.
13 thoughts on “Chapter One: And then it Hit Me”
Lucy, you are amazing. Life throws curved balls, sometimes rockets, at people and how they deal with it is the most telling. You aee an inspiration! I have always enjoyed your writing but this is almost surreal. I will be following every chapter. Take care xx
Thanks Jayne, for continuing to be so supportive of me. What a wonderful lady you are x
Lucy Lu you wonderful talented amazing human!! You continue to amaze me! The fact that you have the energy and willingness to share this says so much about the positive and amazingly determined person that you are. I am so proud of you and love you to pieces xxxxx
I remember. I remember our convos in the office when you and Matt where in motorcycle classes. I remember it all. I remember the day I first saw your Facebook post about your accident. I’ve been praying for you and the family ever since.
This post. This post is EVERYTHING. This series. This series will be EPIC. I’m so proud of you Lucy. I’ve always thought of you as one bad ass kick ass take NO shit phenomenal woman.
This proves it all. Thank you for being YOU! I look forward to reading every post.
Xoxo – Robie & Myia #wemissyou
It’s actually a good read in a detached ghoulish way and I’m sure very cathartic to have written it. What a strange tapestry our life unexpectedly weaves for us sometimes.
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This is Charles Everett
Wow – great that you’re sharing this – no doubt part of what makes you so resilient 🙂
Thanks Claire! Yup. I’m a chronic oversharer these days. Any lines I used to have are a distant blur on the horizon now 🙂
Lucy, you are truly remarkable and someone I am so thankful to have in my life and so thankful you fought through it all that day.. thanks for doing this, it is very brave. Speak soon xxx
I’m extremely happy that you are alive. You are indeed an amazing human. Take care and enjoy life.
Thank you Payrick. I really appreciate your kind words.
Just started reading your blog. Wow. Seeing the photo of the accident was a bit of a shocker ! Many people wouldn’t have survived it, but just goes to show how tough you are. It’s great to see you’re on the mend. That’s the Bristol spirt ! Your Mum has obviously been a Florence Nightingale, and Mat is a keeper by the sounds of things. Keeping fighting on Luce. Look forward to reading more
Thanks Joe. It’s been a journey for sure. Mum and Mat have been just incredible and I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now without them. Really appreciate your note and so, so good to hear from you xxx