This was a different swing into the ending. I miss the conversation with my mom and the Golden Hour factoid.
When I was twelve, I told my mother I would never own a car. “American Flyers” and Tom Hank’s bicycling violinist in “The Man with One Red Shoe” were big for me that year. I’d like to say I was a particularly naïve twelve-year-old and leave it at that, but it’s carried into adulthood. No matter what life does to me, a healthy dose of naïveté will always be part of my make up. On good days, I see this as childlike and endearing. On bad days, I want to slap myself.
“How will you get to work?” my mother asked.
“I’ll bike. I’ll have a red, five-hundred-dollar racing bike and I’ll bike everywhere.”
“What will you do in the snow?”
“Where I live, it will never snow.”
I don’t know why I didn’t just say I’d take the bus. All I knew was snow, sometimes eight months at a stretch. Year-round sunshine was a fairytale.
Now I live in a place without snow and I ride my bike everywhere, but it wasn’t entirely a conscious choice.
Watching the news, I used to hear the phrase airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center all the time. Gunshot victims are fairly rare, but the snarl of traffic in Dade and Broward ensures at least one good airlift a day. That helicopter ride is the Golden Hour, the sixty minutes after a trauma when most lives are won or lost. I never expected to take that ride myself.
Once I graduated from the walker to the cane to my own two feet, I decided never again to take a healthy body for granted. Instead of getting rides, I started biking. Replacing the totaled car never felt like a priority.