You know how you wake up with a start and you’re in that hazy place between dreaming and fully awake and you’re not sure what’s what and what’s not? Well, I was right there, but I was also face down in the grass and there was all this shouting going on somewhere behind me.
I lay in a daze looking at feet through tall spears of grass. I suppose they could have been blades, but the way my forehead, left knee, elbow and palm were feeling, I was pretty sure they were spears.
A pair of large hands grabbed me by the waist and hauled me up from my nest. As I arced like a ragdoll through the air, I saw a bicycle all akimbo in the grass. Its front basket bent sideways, the kickstand poking up like an accusing finger at the blue sky.
“Oy, Miss! I thought I’d killed ya!” The big man with the red mustache and the massive shoulders turned me around to face him. “Aye, that’s a nasty bruise on yer forehead,” he frowned.
I reached up and touched the goose egg that was blooming from my noggin. It was throbbing enough so that not quite touching it made me say “ouch.”
The man appeared even larger at this close range. He was so near to me that I could smell the cigarettes on his breath and when I looked up I could see that his mustache hairs were darker at the roots. On the tips they were the color of a nicely done pumpkin pie. Near his skin they were the color of bricks. Funky.
“I di’ not see ya comin’ til it was too late. Ya should be more careful.” He was holding me at arm’s length now, inspecting me for damage. He was clearly a person used to being in charge. “How ya feelin’ now?”
I smiled and my goose egg throbbed double time. “I’m okay. I uh…”
“Well, I thin’ we ought to get ya to the quack just to be sure. Felix! Grab 'er bike and put it in the lorry,” he pointed into the grass as he issued orders to the lanky young man who’d been standing quietly by smoking a cigarette. Felix took a last drag off his cigarette, dropped it and stepped on it as he went to retrieve the bicycle which was, according to the very large man, mine.
Now this was all well and good except that just a moment before I found myself lying in the grass in a place that was unfamiliar to me, next to a bicycle I’d never seen before and presumably having been knocked off said bike by a vintage delivery truck driven by a big man with a quaint accent - possibly British (and please don’t expect me to keep up with the dialect in this story because that’s not happening), I was driving a 2006 Toyota Corolla south on Austell Road near Atlanta.