I worked again this past weekend. I brought Andrew along for the ride. While I worked, he wandered and worked on his novel. Despite some logistical things, the weekend went well, but I won't bore anyone with the details of that.
The fun started after the work ended. On the drive home Sunday, Andrew asked if we could stop and he would show me the camp where his family went every summer while he was growing up. They went through their church, so I was a little nervous about going. He assured me that there would be no one there because the camp was only open a couple of times a year, and if anyone was there, he wouldn't know any of them. I'm not afraid of strangers. I can generally hold my own. My main concern was snap judgments about what kind of person I am because of my outfit. It was hot on Sunday and I dressed for the weather. I was wearing a low-cut tank top and some shorts.
You know where this is going. Not only were there many people at the camp, but a sizeable number of deadwriter's extended family was there, too. I met his grandmother, three cousins, and an in-law. All of whom took a pointed look at my breasts upon introduction. Lovely.
His grandmother was very nice, though. She offered us cookies and squares and water. She and Andrew talked for a little while and it was nice, but I felt uncomfortable. And family members kept coming in to say "hi" and to look at my boobs.
We didn't stay very long. I just wasn't comfortable so I asked if we could leave. And that's when things got scary.
We turned out of the driveway of the camp to head back to the highway. We only got a few feet around a curve when I saw something coming toward me. It was a guy on a dirt bike. In my lane. deadwriter says there was a van in the oncoming lane that the dirt bike guy must have been passing, I didn't see it.
I slowed down , and paused, waiting for him to shoot back into his own lane but it didn't happen. I slowed down some more and tried to decide whether I should swerve. I decided against it, and good thing, because we both would have swerved in the same direction.
He skidded off to my right, slid through gravel (on his arm), went nose first into the ditch and flipped off his bike, head first.
I pulled over to the side of the road and stopped to see if he was okay. As we approached, he got up (sans helmet) and walked back to his bike. He pulled it upright and started inspecting it. I called out to see if he was okay, but he didn't answer. He had his back to us, so I called out again. We stood there for a minute, then Andrew and I headed back toward the car.
Up the road a few feet, a woman and her daughter emerged from a driveway. She asked if he was okay and I said, "I guess so. He's up but he wouldn't answer when I asked.
The woman, obviously disgusted, said, "He's been doing this all weekend. Him and his friends, I guess." By "this" I figure she meant tearing up and down the road at dangerously high speeds, weaving in and out of cars.
We all turned back to look at the man. He was walking towards us unsteadily.
"Are you okay? Do you want me to call an ambulance or a friend?"
Apparently he apologized a couple of times, but I don't remember that part -- deadwriter told me.
"Can you give me a lift up the road?" he asked.
I hesitated, looking at his bloody arm and elbow, thinking about my car's upholstery, wondering if he would be able to get in and out without bleeding all over it. I know it's a completely selfish thought, but I was annoyed. He did something stupid and dangerous and I didn't want to take responsibility for him. Still, I agreed.
The woman gave me a surprised look and then walked back down her driveway with her daughter. The man, Andrew, and I all got in my car (I wouldn't have let him if I'd been alone) and he told me where he was going. The second he sat in the car, I could smell it: beer. He was loaded. I don't know if that's why he was doing stupid things like passing on a curve, but that's probably why it took him so long to react when he saw me.
It was only a two-minute ride up the road. I guess we dropped him off at a buddy's house. There was a guy standing out front who he went to talk to when he got out. I turned around and drove off, but stopped up the road at a school to see the damage to my back seat. There was blood all over the car door by the handle, and a spot on the back of the seat. I took a bottle of water that deadwriter had and used tissue to blot at the stains. As I was cleaning up the blood, the man's buddy went by on a four-wheeler with another guy. They probably went to find the dirt bike. Andrew said the fuel tank had ripped off completely, so they'd probably have to get something to tow it back.
I kept thinking (and still sort of do) that I should have called the police. I don't know what they would have said or done, or if they could even do anything. I think I would have had to call before I drove him home.
I was really freaked out and grossed out. I am not a fan of other people's blood. Especially strangers. After I got my car cleaned up, we headed back to the highway and I stopped at a Tim Horton's. I went in to the washroom and washed my hands twice.
I kept thinking about all the things that could have happened. He could have snapped his neck and died; he could have hit my car and flipped off; he could have hit my car and come through the windshield; he could have slid under my car; I could have swerved and hit the van; there could have been a pedestrian walking down the road (as deadwriter says is entirely possible with the camp right behind us, and a store just down the road). I think we were all really lucky. But I'm afraid that he didn't learn his lesson, that he thinks he'll just have to be "more careful" next time. I just hope it takes him a long time to get his bike fixed.