|sent from: London, UK. destination: London, UK|
One minute I was here, slightly off the seat, pedaling on the downstroke. Next moment I was over there, face down in the road, a ribbon of blood coming off my forehead. I can’t tell you exactly what happened in between here and there.
Let’s go back 20 minutes.
I was in the church hall. It was cold, the last Sunday before Christmas. I had my first taste of sherry and my first mince pie. The ladies complimented me on the organ music, as they always did. I was embarrased by their attention even while I craved notice, although I was never more than an adequate organist.
I cycled off in my heavy coat with its fur-lined hood, a lanky boy of thirteen, full of nothing but angst and good Catholic shame and cheap mince pies. My foot must have slipped while I was riding off the seat, and my entire weight crashed into the handlebars, whereupon I nicely demonstrated the principle of pivots, angular momentum and other Newtonian laws, only to be rudely stopped by an equal and opposite force from the pavement corner, introducing itself to my head.
All I wanted was to stand, assure everyone I was fine, slink off home to get patched up and call it a day, but my legs wouldn’t co-operate, and I lay on all fours.
Even as I filled up even more with embarrassment I was swiftly emptied of mince pies and sherry which left the way they’d come in only moments earlier.
I wouldn’t see my home again until New Year’s Eve.