I was going to take the T this morning but a step outside changed my plan. I had heard the rain earlier this morning but I was expecting winter weather. It is December 14. It was warmer than I expected and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It appeared to be a sterling day and I vaguely remembered reading in the Sunday Herald that highs today would be in the upper 40s. That may have been a wishful confabulation on my part when faced with a seemlessly azure sky and invisible breath.
I turned right around and picked up my helmet. I predicted Ninja weather. I got a dishtowel and mopped the leftover raindrops off the seat and fairing. The Little Ninja fired up as ready to take to the streets as I was.
Motorcyclists, beware this time of year! On Bakersfield Street, without a care in the world and looking forward to some high speed revolutions along Malcolm X Blvd, I hit a slippery patch. I can't say it was black ice though I slid like I was on ice. One instant I am balanced on two wheels; the next instant, I feel my helmet hit the road and I realize, from experience, that I have tipped over.
After sliding maybe twenty feet, I got up and walked around. I checked my burning knee and confirmed that I have lost some skin in two places. No more kneeling in church for the next three weeks at least. A pair of Irish workmen came over to help me set the bike back vertical to the road. Their accents gave their nationality away. An off-duty mailman walked over. He scuffed his shoe on the pavement, "It happens to me all the time," he said, "You've got to be careful this time of year."
What's the most heartbreaking part of this accident besides my torn pants? I bought an Apple MacBook eight days ago and that very same investment was in in a satchel pinned under my hip as I slid down the road with my little Ninja motorcycle on top of my midsection.
The keyboard doesn't sit flat on the desk anymore. The screen has a crack that radiates a yellow-tinged, rainbow aurora that matches up with the factory issue wallpaper. I don't think something like this is covered by the warrantee. The damage is more cosmetic than functional. The software works, as you can tell. Like a Timex, an Apple, apparently, can take a licking and keep on ticking. My new MacBook is now as scarred as my old knee. Both are still working fine, thanks, if a little worse from wear.
I popped my turn signal back into place, rubbed the fiberglass shavings off the fairing where the Ninja hit the road directly, adjusted the mirror, and hesitantly made my way across Boston via Dudley Street, scared like a man who would be in a coma if he hadn't been wearing a helmet. Kawasaki lets the good times roll, but sometimes Boston's weather reminds a driver to be cautious above all else. Boston: always a picturesque killjoy.