My shiny little online spot to help y'all keep track of me while I galavant around London.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


So I've been thinking about this post for a while now -- what to say, whether I should write it, etc -- for a few reasons. I do tend to avoid writing on this thing about really personal things, because I think it's dull to read and rather intrusive, and why would I intrude upon my own privacy? But this is a good story, so I'll write it, but I don't promise it'll be well written, m'kay?

Last weekend, while cycling home from hanging out with friends in Regent's Park and Camden, I got hit by a car. I'm not going to write exactly what happened, not just for potential legal fallout, but because I'm not even entirely sure. "It all happened so fast," may be a cliche, but it's true.

I do distinctly remember two things. Just before the collision, I recall thinking "Oh shit" before flying thru the air. And then, a second or maybe two later, I distinctly recall the feeling of my teeth shattering against the pavement. If you cringed when you read that, imagine how I cringe when I write it...

Anyway, I was on the ground for only a moment. Despite the protestations of those around me -- one of whom turned out to be a doctor, so I should have listened to her -- I got back up as quickly as I could. I don't know why, but that's my first reaction to a big fall. I do it after falling off horses, and apparently post-car accident as well. Maybe it's my way of convincing myself I'm okay, which in this case I basically was.

Other than the teeth, I have a road-burned elbow (the scabs of which are starting to flake off already -- I'm so, so sexy right now) and some massive bruises on my knees (which I hope don't foreshadow knee issues in the future). I also have, on my stomach, a weird cut/bruise which looks like it game from the zipper of the sweater I was wearing. My face is -- given my teeth, especially -- in decent shape. No cuts, just some bruising on my chin and under my lip. My lips were big and purple for a few days, but are starting to calm down. I also discovered a couple days later a bit of a -- and yes, I'm going to call it this, after years of ER -- contusion on the end of my nose, which makes sense. I was wondering how I managed to smack my face without hitting my nose, given it's not a small nose.

But the teeth... I seemed to have hurt just four, again all on the right sight of my face. My two front teeth both have been broken -- the one on the left lost a big chip out of the corner, while the one on the right is broken in half pretty neatly across the middle. The next tooth over was fractured at the base, and the crown was removed at the hospital; they're hoping to reattach the original tooth, otherwise I'm gonna need a fake one. And the last one, the canine, has had the top sheared off so neatly I didn't notice it at first. It was also twisted around, so the dentist had to shove it back into position.

I'm going to need a lot of dental work, which -- and it's early days still, so yeah -- looks like it will be covered by the driver's insurance, so at least I don't need to worry about that. I hate dentists -- not the people, but getting treated by them. I don't like people fussing around my face (hair stylists and spa folk included, actually) and the noises and the equipment make me very nervous.

But on the upside, I didn't shatter my skull. I say this for two reasons (aside from the obvious, which is that it is indeed amazing I didn't hurt myself worse). First: My mom has consistently nagged me to wear a helmet while cycling. At random, even. It's a mom thing, and she does it well. On Saturday, however, it was hella hot out -- like 26 degrees or something. So I thought about not wearing a helmet, to avoid sweatiness on the ride up to Regent's. I almost didn't, but then I thought: If I get in an accident, and I'm not wearing a helmet, Mom will never let me forget it. So I wore it. And that's the story of how nagging saved my life. Thanks Mom!

The second reason I say it's amazing I didn't shatter my skull is because some crazy drunk chick in the emergency ward did -- by getting drunk and falling over. It was a Saturday night, not late, but late enough for the drunks to be out (I'll point out here I was not drunk, nor was the driver, as far as I know) and so late enough for them to be in the emergency ward.

There was also a "drunken fool" incident at the side of the road, post-accident. I was leaning up against the wall, bent over at the waist with my hand over my bloody mouth. Inexplicably, I was refusing to sit down. I was surrounded by people; in a circle around me there were witnesses, passers-by, probably the driver, tho I don't even know who the driver was. Sitting next to me was the doctor; she was trying very hard to comfort me and being incredibly, incredibly nice and awesome, but I was really angry. Not at the driver; it was an accident, and I didn't really blame him. Just angry generally. I was pissed off that I'd shattered my teeth, and took it out on those around me, as I tend to do when angry. So I was being a bit snappy, even to the nice doctor lady (let me here shout apologies and thank-yous to her into the ether that is the internet; I'd thank her in person for her amazing patience and kindness, but don't even know her name).

As we're standing around, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, this guy stumbles up to our little gathering. I'm still leaning against the wall, bent over toward the ground, with my hand covering my mouth. He looks at us, and then loud and slurring, asks directions to a particular pub. No one answers, or indeed, acknowledges him. So he asks again, looking around the group for some response. Angry and in a rather cruel mood, I stand up, pull my hand away from my very bloody, broken mouth, and say: "I was just hit by a fucking car. Fuck off."

He takes a look at my mouth and utterly horrified-looking, says: "Oh shit. I thought you were vomiting."

At the time, not so funny. But I think it's hilarious now.

A couple pictures are here. Any votes on which should be my new facebook profile photo?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a year now...very interesting and witty to say the least. Thank God you're you look very British.


Anonymous tony said...

I'm glad you're alright Kobes, but maybe you should get the dental work done in Canada :)


Blogger Nicole said...

In the past ten-ish days, I have heard soooo many variations of the "british people have bad teeth" joke... It almost stopped being funny, but the consistency has made it hilarious.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words, random person from the internet, and Tony. At least now I have a very valid reason to get a new bike... and possibly a mouthguard.


Blogger Chris Green said...

What can I say, you are living proof that cycle helmets are a good thing!

I think I speak for the entire gang in the office when I say thank god your mother's nagging worked.


Blogger Mikey said...

I'm glad to hear you're alright too.. just read about your house break in too! What a fucking mad time. Please take care and god, i hope nothing else shitty happens too.




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