I felt the tap and saw him swerve. The bike, the guy and the girl, they never went down. I knew he was only steadying himself for a chase. What I didn't know is which of us had the greater capacity for speed. I assumed he was probably pretty angry so I gunned it.
For the first half mile or so I thought maybe I had lost him, maybe motorcycles were no match for Oldsmobiles, maybe this was all a really bad dream, maybe I could forget this and nobody would ever know, maybe. Oh no, there he was gaining on me. I saw him in the rear view mirror so I went faster.
He picked up his speed as well, but he looked better doing it. The car was big and heavy, the curves way too numerous. At each turn he gained more ground like he was skating on ice. I had to respect the man who was obviously going to kill me was quite graceful. Would he do it with a chain? Would he simply stomp me to death with his boot? I began slowing down, accepting my fate.
Then it was like I was on a Sunday afternoon drive and my killer had to actually decrease his speed to pull along beside me and wave me to the side of the road. As he motioned I looked at him through the window as if to say, Who me? Oh, okay. No problem. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but something in me like the part that didn't really want to die felt I should take the I am an insane kid defense. Obviously this came natural to me and there was a relief to pulling over and coming to terms with what had just happened even if it meant he was going to slam my head into the pavement with his gigantic hand.
I wish today I could read his version of the story 'cause the look on his and his girlfriend's faces when they pulled up, stopped beside me and I rolled down the window was priceless, pure shock so I went with it and asked one of the most incredibly absurd questions of my life.
Are you okay?
Just for that question he should have beat me. He should have come up with new creative ways to tear my ass up but he did not. Was he Jesus? I don't know. I never got his name. He said he was fine, his girlfriend was fine, yes, yes, his bike was okay. Did I want to get out and check my car?
Nah, I said, I'm sure it's fine.
Okay, he responded. Be careful, he added.
You, too, I said with a smile and a wave.
Later at home I hammered the dent out of the car.