Why do we fall, Bruce?

IMG_6272It was a good idea to book in for my Saturday duty with my longboard. The abundance of slopes and undulating terrain makes my camp a magnificent longboarder’s playground.

It was however, a pretty bad idea to book out the next day, riding on my longboard.

Some colossal foolishness in me convinced myself that I was not that much of an amateur not to try the 1km long journey downhill from my camp to the bus stop. Of course, the result was inevitably bloody. No kidding.

From experience, I usually start to wobble somewhere above 25 kph, but that’s manageable. The wobbling this morning, was insane. I was probably going at 30 to 40 kph. I tried to lower my CG, but it was beyond any point of control. I wasn’t wearing pucks – there was no hope of braking. I don’t remember bailing. I was simply thrown off by the sheer force of the wobbles and the adrenaline pumping in my system somehow blacked out my instincts to break my fall properly. It was all a blur anyway. Things were happening too fast for me to react. I flew across the road and landed in the worst possible manner – my belly and chin.

Every other part of me landed somewhere in a 5m radius – spectacles, longboard, bag, beret, some pieces of skin. Every muscle and bone was quivering and strengthless – adrenaline’s bane. And I instinctively went into damage control mode – check for fractures, broken teeth, abrasions, gashes.

I tried getting up but my vision was dizzy with redness. Globules of blood were literally hammering the floor from my chin. Tissue. Tissue!

The spare ones in my pocket probably looked like soiled sanitary pads at that moment.

But on the bright side, nothing was broken. Yeah, my thumb’s near-disabled but there are no tell-tale symptoms of a fracture. Hips, knees are stinging – they’re probably raw and skinless under my SAF no. 4 uniform (imagine how much worse it would have been without the thick uniform). Palms and elbows are wet and bright red – oh well. My face feels bloody, and my front teeth feels funny. My uniform has dark splotches where the blood landed, some buttons were ripped out and so was some sewn patches. My phone appeared wrecked, but, phew, it was only the screen protector. I guess I’ll live for another day.

Readjusting the longboard on the road, I boarded out the last 300m to the bus stop.

The distressed 927 bus driver didn’t move off until I accepted his packet of tissue and repeatedly declined his offer of first-aid later at the interchange. (His expression of revulsion minus the concern would repeat itself multiple times on the MRT ride home.)

“How bad is it?” I had asked. He pointed at the rear-view mirror. Oh boy.

I groaned like an animal at the Choa Chu Kang Lot 1 toilet. I counted 7 bleeding open wounds. But I’ve washed off the bloodstains on the basin already. And later at home, engulfing myself in water, every open wound felt like it was being bitten by vicious flames.

I think I lost more blood trying to convince each member of my family that they were just harmless flesh wounds. I hope they are – my front teeth don’t look deformed at a glance but they hurt when I bite, and my thumb still hasn’t shown any symptoms of a fracture. And my chin is still bleeding after so long.

I think however, I’ll lose more blood trying to tell Raag to relax when I see her later for dinner.



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