Two wrecks in one city
I was sitting in a parking lot of traffic, in Beverly Hills headed east on Wilshire when I heard the sound of screeching tires behind me.
I look up into the one rear view mirror I have on my bike, and to my horror I see a minivan becoming larger and larger followed by an instant force slamming into my bike. I hang on for dear life to this two wheeled rocket launching forward between my legs. In this moment of panic I instinctively squeeze my front brake lever like an amateur idiot and find myself and my bike at a 30 degree angle nose over tail, and not the cool way where chicks get turned on and every guy wants to be you. Oh no my friends, at this moment I was the fool that endo'd his bike after getting rear ended. At this moment I already had a ridiculous amount of questions running through my head like:
"What? Why is this happening? I rode my bike all the way down here and now it's ruined what am I going to do???"
I left for my first real solo bike trip in the first week of August a few years ago and let me tell you, I couldn't have been more excited. I put together a rough plan of hitting all my favourite places on the west coast as well as seeing all my favourite people. And of course there was a girl. There always is isn't there? I was barreling down the I-15 like a man possessed, visions of palm trees and a gorgeous brunette dancing in my head. After a less than epic night in Vegas being absolutely exhausted and nursing my wounds: sore neck, back of my hands sunburnt to Halloween standards, and my ankles also somehow sunburnt (I didn't get the memo that no socks with sneakers isn't the best on a motorcycle in 100 degree heat), I arrived in Los Angeles after a gruelling 400 mile ride.
So tired and sore from the desert winds, yet so ridiculously excited to have finally made it.
I met this girl months before in LA when I was shooting a music video there, which is a whole other story itself, one which I'll elaborate on eventually.
We had made plans that I would stay at her place in Hollywood for a few days, then I'd be on my way out to Arizona to visit some more friends.
Upon arrival I pull into the gas station 10 blocks from her place to freshen up before I see her again, put in my contacts, wash my face, do some push-ups on the gas station bathroom floor, yknow the usual. It was early evening, maybe 6pm and still so hot and tropical weather wise compared to Edmonton Alberta Canada. I picked up some booze at the liquor store and made my way over to her apartment complex. As I turn the corner and see I've found her place I instantly change my mind and decide I have a better idea: to drain a few of these beers in the alley before the big reveal. This is a very often reoccurring theme in my life, to take a step back before a party, event, whatever it may be and enjoy a few quiet drinks alone.
I finish my third beer behind a dumpster and decide it's time. I pull around to her building and park out front. She comes down and we begin that delicate dance of a long distance/borderline digital romance essentially becoming real. It's always a little different when you meet someone and then get to actually know them through phone calls and texts.
So there we are, drinking and smoking on her balcony, catching up on everything and revelling in the fact both of us are here and together at the same time. Of course I have one of my "moments", I mean the sun is setting, I'm in Hollywood on a balcony with a beautiful brunette, and also on a motorcycle trip. Could life get any better?
We talk and talk until the liquor unfailingly does it's job. It's now time to go out. I've been wearing the same thing since 8am, jeans and a t-shirt, covered in bugs, dirt, and sweat, so naturally I should fit right in in LA. We head out in her area, some bars I've been to and some I haven't, until I am about two drinks away from being completely non verbal. We make our way back to her place and drunkenly attempt to live out the pent up dirty sexy texts we had been exchanging for a few months.
I wake up in the early afternoon to a pounding headache and no recollection of anything past 10pm the night before. My gracious host feels the need to remind me through a horrible rendition of me trying to get in a cab. Life goes on guys.
I pull it together and realize I have a whole day ahead of me and that I have to entertain this chick who I barely know. We hit the pool and do lunch oh so LA pretentiously. Followed by an early evening cruise down to Malibu for dinner, a decent seafood place and drinks of course. Aaaaaand I am slowly realizing I've made a grave mistake. This chick is bad news to say the least and now I'm the asshole that turned a one night stand into more than that and now I'm stuck. Yet another cliche and reoccurring theme in my life. How do I get out of this? How do I maintain/escape? Well, I did what any guy would do: make a plan and stick to it. I decide it's time we end this dinner and begin drinking back at her place. So there I am, battling the wind and terrible drivers on the interstate back to Hollywood, with my half drunk passenger behind me "woo'ing" every 10 seconds for Snapchat.
Upon arrival of our shared accommodations I finalize exactly what my plan is; to get incoherent blackout drunk to avoid anything real right now. I do so by pulling my emergency ejection seat lever also known as the bottle of whiskey I had purchased and stored in her freezer.
I continue on said path until I am facedown on her bed and in no condition to go anywhere or exist for that matter.
I wake up again to a new day in wonderful Los Angeles and decide I need some time alone. I head to Venice for the day and have the most amazing afternoon ever. I defend a taco place from a drunk shirtless dude stealing tomatoes and empty the batteries on my cameras filming some dumb stuff. For whatever reason I feel like applying my own ingenuity to getting back to Hollywood and decide to take an alternate route.
I wind up on Wilshire Boulevard and begin to mosey my way back inch by inch. Let's keep in mind this is the first time I've ridden a motorcycle in LA and I know nothing about splitting lanes. I wait patiently like a bitch sandwiched in between cars and wonder why every other dude on a bike is whizzing past me and I'm sitting here in this heat. And course at the moment I'm least expecting it, the inevitable happens: I get rear ended on my motorcycle.
I climb off my bike still in mild shock, helmet still on, and walk up to the window of the minivan that hit me. I lose my cool definitely maybe a little and find myself screaming and pounding on the window for the driver to get out.
He gets out and comes over to my bike. To my surprise, now that I've calmed down a bit and know what's going on, my bike doesn't look damaged at all, the bumper on the minivan was so low it just hit my back tire. All the while this guy that hit me keeps telling me:
"you're fine, you're fine, everything is ok".
Which only makes me more angry naturally. I get his information and laugh while this guy and his friend take pictures of my back (yknow with clothes on, standing on the street), just to prove "there's no damage". I end the whole ordeal with a few colourful words directed at the terrible driver and his friend and get back on my bike. Fuck it I'm splitting lanes now.
I actually considered getting a hotel room for my last night in LA, just so I wouldn't have to spend another minute with this chick. Feeling my back and neck begin to tighten up a bit from the impact however, I decide what I need right now is the hot tub at her condo building and a whole mess of cheap American beer. I'm sure you can imagine how I make it one more night in the proverbial bed I've made for myself: let the liquor do the heavy lifting.
I left LA that time with a bittersweet feeling, laughing to myself how interesting life can be. One minute you can't wait to see someone, and just hours later you can't wait to get as far away from them as possible.