Scabs

Sorry for the delay! Here’s the second part to the last post!

Scabs

I decided to finally try during one of these races. I was off to a good start, but I couldn’t keep my balance as I flew down one of the hills along the bike path. I felt my handlebars shaking and knew I was going to go flying. I hit the front break by accident and went right over the handlebars. My friends said I slid at least ten feet on the asphalt. I screamed as loud as I could when I saw the blood dripping down my arms and legs. My elbows and knees were completely scraped up.

When I finally got back to my house, my mom freaked out. She yelled for my dad and frantically asked what happened. “I fell,” I said. She rolled her eyes. “Again?”

My father heard me sobbing in the kitchen all the way from his bedroom down the hall. “Come,” he said. My cries grew even louder. I’d been down this road before. He had a bottle of peroxide in his hands.

“You’re going to need gauze strips.”

“But, Dad!” I yelled!

“Regular band aids won’t work, Nick. You really did it this time.”

“But, Dad! It’s going to hurt when you rip them off!”

I was a big cry baby back then, but my father was right: the cuts on my arms were filled with dirt and rocks that needed to be cleaned out. I would have rather dealt with the infection. The stinging was unbearable. My father always told me to be careful, and I would listen, but every time I didn’t, I paid for it. Every part of this process hurt.

Ripping the gauze off was next. As soon as I started feeling good, that was when we knew it was time. “Take a deep breath,” he said. I feel partly responsible for his hearing issue.

Bike Rides

This is a short, slightly exaggerated memoir piece. Anyone who knows my friends and I knows that we used to go all over our neighborhood on our bikes. This is also the first part of a two-part story. There’s a little bit more substance to these, so I’m spreading them out. Be sure to pay attention!

Bike Rides

I was racing through the streets of Farmingdale, New York with my friends at the time. We often tried to beat each other to the end of the block; however, we sometimes had marathon races around all of South Farmingdale, where we would start at the local park and drive to Boundary Avenue (a busy road which required us to ride in single file on the sidewalk, so positioning prior to reaching the road was significant), then go down a hilly backroad that went along the Bethpage State Parkway bike path, up another steep hill to the west on the Farmingdale/Plainedge border, and then back around to the park. In other words, it was a giant, horribly-shaped circle similar to what a four-year-old could do at preschool. I always remembered “Slow and steady wins the race,” so I would try to pace myself because I often saw my friends tire out right at the very end of these long races. The reason, though, why I saw them tire out right before the end, wasn’t because I was watching from the finish line, but because I came in last regardless. I always underestimated what my friends were capable of; I never learned that if I wanted to get better, I would have to try; I couldn’t rely on my friends to let me win. That wasn’t how life worked. “You’re ten now, Nick,” my father would always say. “You have to start doing things on your own.”