Compasion and fairness

Compasion and fairness

Hit the ground the other day, going home.

My fault, really. Got myself into a tight spot that I can usually avoid – for this one stretch I usually keep to the sidewalk – the road is narrow and there is a barrier down the right. Anyway, decided to stick to the street and when traffic backed at the light, I cut to the right between the cars and barrier. Then I remembered the the lip between the asphalt’s undersurface and final coat, a half-inch step that I slid down. Humming down this tight space, I realized that the lip was closing up, that I had to get out of it. When I tried to climb its side, the wheel wrenched right and I found myself spilling left. I didn’t think I actually hit the cars; I was too busy being focused on the pain of landing in a crumpled heap on the dirty road surface.

As I was pulling myself up, my leg scraped up, my shoulder throbbing, a passenger of the car just next to me got out. I shook my head – “I’m okay, I think.” Without a word, he stepped past me and looked at his bumper for damage. Not finding anything, he walked past me again, without saying at word, heading back to his ride.

The thing was, he only checked the bumper. I noticed on the side paneling a big black smudge, perhaps even a dent, that looked like something a bicycle tire might make if it crashed against it.

Let me tell you, if I fell and you got out and said, “Are you okay?” and then looked for damage and found it, I’d exchange insurance then and there. It’s only fair. But if you step over my pained body just to look for damage to your car, if you can’t bother to say anything, if you want to openly indicate that you don’t give a rat’s ass about me, well, then, I’ll do what I did then.

I’ll just watch you drive away and think Happy motoring.