Sunday, October 08, 2006

On the Mend

It's almost been six months since I was rear-ended. I'm supposed to be all better at the six month mark. Well, perhaps I could be if I didn't have to work and could have kept going to physical therapy, or if I just got the physical therapy exercises done three times a week, perhaps. Still, I'm better, and getting better. Dizziness is gone, headaches are one every few weeks instead of constant (I can count on one finger the number of headaches I can remember having in my whole life prior to the accident). Forgetfulness also seems to be going away, and with that my self confidence returns, a bit. That the accident helped me find a new source of humility is not all bad.

One funny thing with the forgetfulness: Shortly after my accident I was showing somebody my digital camera. A few days later I realized it was missing. I could not remember who I had been showing it to, or where I was at the time (still don't). This last week, however, I was going through all my clothes and jackets looking for something else (I don't know what) and found it in a seldom-used photographer's jacket.

Then, Friday, I put on a pair of pants that I had not sent to the cleaners, that weren't pressed well enough for normal wear, but that I wanted to get a casual wearing out of, and I found a missing key to my motorcycle. A funny thing about that is that when it went missing, I looked everywhere between my motorcycle and the apartment and asked my landlady to be on the lookout. One afternoon, she was telling me about the plumber's visit, standing in my bedroom, and spotted an even earlier key of the same design that I had lost shortly after the accident amongst the knickknacks stuffed in a basket on my dresser. I knew it was an earlier lost key because it did not have the BMW Rondell logo on it. I think that she has one of those photographic minds that can see a page then read it's contents from the image in her memory without another glance.

One night, coming home from teaching in Gaithersburg, I switched the odometer to total miles rather than the trip-meter setting. I was three miles from turning 57,000 miles. In fact, I rolled over 57 just before crossing over the exact location of the May accident, Georgia & the 395 beltway. It felt good to see the next mile come up on the odometer. Like me, the bike has recovered and moved on.

This weekend, the motorcycle safety class was tough. It was wet and 50 degrees out, on Saturday. Today it was 50 to 70, but dry--a much better day. On the way to the range, I looked up to see what looked like a full moon in the early light of day break. After class, I rode up to Baltimore for shrimp at Maynards, followed the GPS that took me in the wrong direction through the tunnel. There was no getting off the freeway once I was on it until I was through a toll booth. The mistake cost me $2.00 each way, but it gave me a surprising treat. On the return trip, the twilight colors in the sky rendered the industrial parts of Baltimore I passed through into a very strange and beautiful landscape. It was like an accident turning into a cosmic bit of humor, what might have been a nasty joke ending with a very pleasant punchline.

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