The pavement spinning towards my face. Confusion. Gaping hole in my knee. Not a cut, a hole. Its white underneath. God, that’s bone. Clasp my hand over it shut. That is going to start gushing blood. People running towards me. A dark-skinned man picks up the scooter. Why is he picking up the scooter and not me?? My friends arriving frantic. More confusion. Faces over me. Its ok, its ok its not broken, I say. but I need stitches. I say it calmer than I feel. I hear the voices. Francisco sounds like he’s going to break down-Baby, are you ok? Oh baby, I’m so sorry. The voices are saying, we’ll put her on a moto to the clinic. Oh, God, not a moto. Then there’s suddenly a white van. They’re lifting me in the van. Francisco is getting in with me. For some reason I’m very concerned with how they are going to get the scooter back to the town. He tells me not to worry about it. I am very worried about it, but I say nothing more. They put a white hotel towel over my knee, I think its going to be horrible to pull off, but I leave it there. Jonathan asks me if I want to go to a good clinic, el major clinica he tells the driver. I start to panic. I’m hyperventilating. It doesn’t actually hurt so horribly, but I’m freaking out. I keep thinking about the hole in my knee and I burry my face in the seat. The driver carries me into the clinic. I am so grateful he’s so strong. They put me on a table. I lose the bit of calm I was holding on to, and let myself give into the fear. Im becoming hysterical. Kristen tells me to squeeze her hand as hard I as need. I starting talking to myself in my head, Joy you have to calm down. You are just going to make this worse. You need to just maintain control. I flight back the panic. The doctor comes. I tell him he has to do a good job, I’m don’t want to scar. They have to scrub the gravel out. That pain is real. Kristen tells me to ask for an anticepic, and finally they give it to me. Suddenly, I can think again.
This was the dramatic moment of my Sunday afternoon. We were on our way back from swimming in an incredible waterfall. The countryside was a blur as I wrapped my arms around Francisco’s waist on our rented vespa scooter. We knew it was a risk, going around like this, especially if you didn’t have much experience driving. Its sunny, bright blue skies, which are a gorgeous contrast to the brilliant green of the country side. I remember passing a small community, where they had dammed a river to make a natural pool. Kids were playing and it looked so refreshing. Five, maybe ten minutes before the crash, we were talking about how it was dangerous, how easy it would be to just take a pothole wrong. But we were only ten minutes out of town. And we would return the scooter and go on our way, back to Santo Domingo from Las Terrenas.
And then suddenly that huge hole appeared in the road. But it was too close. I dont know if we managed to swerve, or I just willed us to swerve in my mind. But I knew it was bad.In the end, it was not really that bad. Francisco left a significant amount of skin on the road, and I got 12 souvenir stitches. But thank you God-and I mean that literally- that we didn’t hit our heads, break anything, or hit anyone else. The tire on bike was popped, and we had to pay for a bit of repairs – both on the bike and ourself, but Francisco’s scabs are quickly falling off, and my stitches come out this week.
But what really stood out to me, was the overwhelming kindness and generosity of our friends, Kristen and Travis, and Cristen and Jonathan. Thank you so much. Who stayed with us at the clinic, who didn’t flinch to help us pay the medical clinic bill, and the completely just took care of things, working out getting the bike back, and repairs set up. They helped us back, brought us dinner and so much kindness.