I saw a man thrown from his motorcycle this morning. I didn't see what happened, in fact, I didn't even see his bike until I'd gotten out of the car. It was rush hour traffic and I was driving north on 271 when I saw him flying in the air. He flipped, he hit the ground, did a somersault, and sprung back into the air before he collapsed to his knees, arms resting lifelessly on his thighs.
There was a woman in a truck in front of me. She'd gotten out of her car first and immediately ran to the man to check that he was okay before running up to an SUV, which had stopped much farther up the highway. I didn't know who either of them were, or what role they played in the matter, nor did I really care.
I ran to the man and asked if I should call an ambulance. Again, I didn't care what his response was, I was calling anyway. Before I hit send, he asked me to take off his helmet. I hesitated, as I was afraid of hurting him and afraid of what I might find underneath. He was younger than I'd thought he'd be. Twenty-five, maybe. A full, long beard but kid-like eyes, which were lost in the confusion of it all. He was shaking, yet looked completely numb.
When I reached the dispatcher, I answered all of her questions to the best of my ability. A motorcyclist had been hit. Heading toward the city. Yes, he was conscious. No there was no blood, that I could see. But both arms appear to be broken. No, no fluids from the accident were on the street. How old is he? How old are you? Twenty-six. Twenty-six. Yes, I can stay with him until paramedics come. Yes, I will keep him from moving.
The girl in the truck was his girlfriend. She was following him to take the bike in to get modified so that she could ride with him. They looked at each other and laughed. The woman who had stopped up ahead had gotten the license plate number of the asshole who clipped him before speeding off. The paramedics arrived. I explained that I didn't know much and had merely been the one to call them in, and with that I left.
As I merged back into the morning traffic, all I could think about was the call his parents would be receiving. Their son was hit by a car, but ultimately, he is alive and, as far as I know, will be just fine (hoping his arms are well within a repairable state). I imagined the string of emotions his mother would go through. An immediate hit of terror and panic, quickly to be followed with a sigh of relief, but the stomach twisting urge to see her son. She'd need to see him before her nerves could rest. His father would cup his hand to his face, thumb hooked under his chin with his pointer finger stiffly resting on his upper lip, which is pierced in close to the bottom. He wouldn't be panicked, but his heart would be pounding. He'd put on a brave face for the mother, but he too would succumb to the urge of needing to see him in person. They'd meet him at the hospital. Perhaps in the car they'd discuss how they had never wanted him to have a bike in the first place. Or maybe, on the other hand, they would discuss that time they'd dumped their own bike, and now he's a part of the club.
I don't know why that imagined scene played so vividly in my mind. The curiosity of the whole situation got the best of me, I suppose. I wanted to find the SOB who hit him and punch them in the face. Who does that? Who leaves a man to lie on the side of the road while they go on about their day as if nothing ever happened? Seriously. Who does that?