Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Along Euclid

I was walking along Euclid Ave. yesterday morning, on the way to a mini-seminar that was scheduled to run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Euclid is the main strip running east from campus; traffic was light: a few students going to the second day of their Maymester classes, City of Syracuse workers gathering up end-of-lease heaps of curbside refuse. It was 9:37 a.m. I was ten minutes from campus, well into the 1.6 mile, thirty-minute walk.

A bicyclist peddled into the vague periphera at my right. Nothing unusual about the speed or course, until, that is, the front wheel of the bike scribbled a quick figure eight and the young woman riding along uneventfully just moments earlier tumbled headlong onto the street, the bike awkwardly folding away beneath her. In other words, she fell off the bike in the middle of the street, as if, almost, the bike just broke.

I pulled my earphones--Track 6, "All Tomorrow's Parties"--and hurried to where she fell. She was dazed, looking over her left arm for evidence of the pain she no doubt felt. Another walker on the other side of the street came to her aid, as well. While I called 911, heeded her request to go get one of her roommates from their house, which was less than a block away.

I don't think she was hurt badly. Might've had a broken hand/wrist/arm. And blue jeans did a very nice job, I'm sure, of abating what could have been nasty scraps with any other sort of legwear. Within fifteen minutes, the ambulance arrived; they whisked her away on a backboard, braced for the possibility of neck trauma. She wasn't wearing a helmet, and by some small miracle, her arm took the brunt of the fall. For all I know, that is.

I continued to campus and would be fifteen minutes late for the mini-seminar. Not rattled, exactly, but stung by a moment of crisis, affected somehow, as much by the oddity of seeing someone spill, unassisted, from a bicycle (@15mph), as by my quiet wish that everything would be just fine.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at May 17, 2006 8:35 AM to Orange