So. I'm going to try to be direct and straightforward in hopes that anyone who reads this will learn better than I seem to have learned. I made many, many mistakes in the course of this story and I'm aware of them all. If you want to flame, flame away, but I'm already sick over what happened and just don't want it to happen to anyone else.
I had my first wreck Thursday night. I had a passenger, which changed the handling of the bike, and I wasn't careful enough. A turn snuck up on us in the dark, and I ran out of lean and lowsided at about 35 mph. We were just going around the corner for a burrito; no gear, no helmets. (not even going to begin to rationalize any of this. Like I said, this was all a result of many bad decisions on my part, and I completely accept that).
I'm sure we only slid for a second or so but I remember it vividly. The bike threw up a storm of sparks, she landed on me and we went over and over. I remember every time she came over me, I was trying to keep her off the asphalt. Then everything stopped and was silent, and the sickest single moment of my life occurred as I thought "I've killed a person. I've killed her." Then time started up again and she started crying. I called my friend from around the corner who took us to the hospital, where I sat with her for 8 hours while she got checked out.
The damages: I've lost lots of skin. I mean, lots. I've never hurt this badly in my life. It was just skin and I'm uninsured, so I thought "I'll take care of it myself." and declined admission to the ER. Scrubbing it out without morphine is the single most painful 30 minutes I've ever felt.
As far as she goes: she's pretty damn rashed up. Probably worse than me. She split her head open over her eyebrow, and it's swelled her eye shut. Two inches to the left and she would have died instantly. She came down hard on her hip and knee, and can't bend them for the swelling. Her x-rays came back clean, so no broken bones. She's medicated, safe at home, and never wants to see me again. I wouldn't either.
Listen up kids. When you ride 2-up, you take somebody's life in your hands. You had damn well better be prepared for that responsibility. I've spend quite a bit of time today sitting on the floor of my room sobbing that I'm such a jackass that I almost took a life. I took responsibility for another person and failed miserably. It's the sickest feeling in the world and I want to spare you all from it. I would give anything in my entire life for the last two days to have never happened.
Pictures below for the strong of stomach, in hopes of scaring you all into being wise. I would accept this unblinkingly as a damn good warning, had I been alone. But someone I care about is in even worse shape, and I am 100% responsible. I never wanted to know what that feels like.
All but the last photo were taken in the hospital bathroom while she was being x-rayed.
Left arm. This one bled for 10 hours:
Left hand. Note the missing skin. By now, 2 days later, it's peeled back about another half-inch around the abrasion:
Left leg. These were my good, heavy pants. They lasted about 6 inches:
Shoulder to waist. If you look closely, you can see all the buttons ripped out of the shirt and I dragged on that side. There's gravel so deep on my pec that I'll never get it out:
The nurse sent extra stuff with Catie so I could get cleaned up too. What she didn't send was the several vials of morphine that Catie had in her when then scrubbed her out. Tylenol isn't the same. I screamed, threw up, and passed out cleaning these. And the whole time I'm dealing with the fact that I knew better and was in control, and I did this to somebody else who did NOT have control. Day 2, and it's not any easier to live with.
I tried to be completely frank about how I'm feeling in an effort to make the truth set in on you guys. I was a literal 2 inches away from killing her, because I thought we didn't need gear to go 5 blocks, and because she liked the thrill of leaning and I wanted to impress her. Nobody's impressed now.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 12:54:14 AM by mgbenny »