I was completely shocked that this guy-that-I-liked called me back after a rather embarrassing “Amber’s had a few too many” night. I was at my friend’s house, we were having an impromptu Mad Men party complete with candy cigarettes, champagne, scotch… We’re knee deep into season 2 (and the scotch, as we had clearly demolished all other booze during season 1) when he texts me: “My cousins just flew in from Toronto, I would love for them to meet you. We’re at Frank. Get down here!” I have to redeem myself, show him I can do more than just get drunk and humliate him in public, see him one last time before he moves away! I figured we’d never speak again, this is my shot! I REALLY LIKED THIS GUY. I had JUST ENOUGH champagne on an empty stomach to respond, “Okay! On my way!” I also had just enough to keep watching a few more episodes with my giggling friends (please note I promptly cut myself off at this point). Time has passed, I realize I am MEGA late and get another text: “Seriously… Where are you?” I realize I have epic-failed him again and refuse to let shit go down that way. I let him know I’m on my bike. I look up from my iPhone at my friends and ask, “Am I sober enough to ride?” They, eyes half-closed from the previous imbibements and too drunk to figure out how to use the corkscrew to open up the wine (they had finished the scotch) all say, “Yes! Go get your man!”
“Okay!” I think to myself, “Pump it up! I’m going to do this! I’m sober, I’m fast, I’m polite, I’m going to make a good impression on these people! C’mon Amber!” I’m even thinking like that stupid little Youtube girl who talks in the mirror, “I can do anything good!” So I’m ready to repair this disaster of a relationship and my “Amber always has-a-few-too-many” reputation when I realize I am practically flying. I am pedaling so fast and so hard. I feel so good. I look so good on my bike. I’m racing over Town Lake and it is gorgeous. I look over the water, riding hard on adrenaline, desire, and the fact that FOR ONCE I have a clear straight shot with no pesky joggers in my way over the bridge. The moonlight…The water… All of it… So beautiful… OH MY GOD THERE’S A GIANT FUCKING STICK-WHAT-IS-THAT-A-LOG?! IN THE… Then my next immediate thought as I realize I have swervy-veered a little too close to the side railing is, “Ohhhhh this is gonna hurrrrrr…”
Up like a rocket ship. I was launched like a shooting star over the handlebars and into the night sky I soared. And crashed. Onto the pavement, injuring my ribs, head, and face. I laid there, halfway on my side for a few moments, then painfully rolled myself straight on my back and stared at the street light glowing over me. I clutched my chest. This was pain. I knew that if anyone saw that, it’d be funny as hell but I was in no position to laugh.
Still determined. I really liked this guy. This was my last chance to see him before he moved back to Canada… I get right back on the bike. I feel the cool moisture of blood spreading across my face and into my shirt, my hair is sticking to my head in a funny way as it clots. I show up at Frank restaurant. “Hey Tyrone!” All smiles, possibly stumbling from more than just the head injury.
The hostess flips out, everyone gasps, and I get pissy… “Why is everyone looking at me like I’m a zombie!” “Stop touching me!” “Why are you guys treating me like a 2 year old it’s not a big deal, I just fell off my bike!” “I’m not drunk!!” Then immediately to the worriedly smiling blonde girl at the table, “It’s so nice to meet you! How was your flight?” My hand brushed hers in an attempted handshake as I was promptly swept into the ladies room where said hostess bent me over into the sink to help wash the blood out of my hair. I realized I was crying, and apologizing to her for the mess. Tyrone then informs his just-flew-in cousins that he needs to take me home as he pulls me by the arm out of the crowded restaurant. “This is totally unnecessary! Totally unnecessary! I am fine. I can ride my bike home or even get a cab if you’re worried!” He takes me home and sternly says, “Look. I’ve got to go back to my cousins. I’ve got to get them home. I’m going to come right back…. LOOK AT ME! Don’t nod off.” I nod and say fine, whatever, the usual… “I MEAN IT! We think you might have a concussion. DON’T GO TO SLEEP. I AM COMING RIGHT BACK!” The door closes. The next morning I wake up to several missed calls and even more texts reading, “OPEN YOUR DOOR! I’M HERE!”