Foreign Collisions

Driving foreign roadways I was far from anything or anyone I could have called home. There were no street signs to guide me for where I was. I simply had to learn the terrain. I couldn’t even read my own license. It was written in another language different than that I had grown up with.

Restlessness often drew me to the beachfront and this night was no different. I had taken the long way homeward on the highway. Pulling into a parking lot I directed my steering wheel toward an open spot.

Crash!!! Stunned for the moment I didn’t understand what had happened. Once I got my bearings, I realized a motorcycle had tried to pass me on the wrong side in the parking lot. Scrambling out of my car I went to the downed rider only to be greeted with a barrage of what I was pretty sure to be curses. It was one of those rare moments where I didn’t need any translation for what was being communicated. Seeing him get up I felt overwhelmed with relief. His yelling was almost priceless in that moment.

Years later as I think about that man, I realize he never took off his helmet. I can’t remember anything about him except his anger. What impresses me though, is how we were both watched over that night. It was not allotted to either of us to die in that collision. Now and again I wonder if he thinks about that American girl he yelled at? More importantly I wonder if he wonders about why he walked away without a scratch?

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