Last night as I was cycling home from a movie, I crossed an intersection and the front tire of my bike got caught up in a streetcar track. I fell over sideways, breaking my fall with my hands (thank you, hands) and the right side of my body. Luckily I was wearing a helmet, but I still smacked my face hard against the pavement — the area above my cheekbone was badly swollen and is now very tender to the touch. Thankfully, I sustained no major injuries other than a few other miscellaneous cuts and bruises, and am happy to report that I will survive.
The only good thing about the experience was all of the help that I got from the random strangers who witnessed the event. First off there were these awesome drunk kids hanging outside the McDonald’s on the corner, who were ridiculously overly-helpful in that way that people often are when they’re wasted. One girl in a pair of spandex pants and seriously amazing studded boots* ran inside and got me some water and a bag of ice cubes to put on my swollen face.
*I remember feeling reassured by the fact that I noticed her boots — I figured that my brain had to be functioning properly if I wasn’t too out of it to recognize some cute footwear.
She also tried to give me a cigarette, and even offered to run back to her apartment if there was anything I needed, saying that she lived close by. So sweet.**
**I didn’t take her up on this, as I couldn’t think of anything that I could possibly need from her apartment — although in retrospect I probably should have asked her for those boots.
As I sat on the sidewalk, leaning up against a concrete wall with the ice pressed to my face, an assortment of other helpful souls drifted past, including one very inebriated dude who expounded on the importance of bike safety, and a homeless guy who crouched down next to me, expressing concern for my condition while telling me about a girl down the street who was trying to sleep with him, but he was reluctant to take her up on the offer as he feared she might have an STD (probably a wise decision, sir).
Anyway, it’s nice to know that even in a big city like Toronto, if you fall flat on your face in the middle of the night you can still count on the kindness of strangers.