some may say otherwise, but i do not have a death wish. with that in mind, i suffered yet another motorcycle crash late this afternoon. i was on my way to joel and sara's wedding, traveling down nearby linnaean street in cambridge. a car was coming down the road in the opposite direction. whether it was signaling or not i don't remember, but suddenly it made a quick left turn. i jammed on my brakes but instinctively tipped the motorcycle so i wouldn't smash head first into the turning car. since the roads were wet from the pouring rain, i slid several yards on the pavement before coming to a stop, my motorcycle clipping the back bumper of the car.
i saw the car driving away so i tried to memorize the license plate number before it could take off, but it eventually pulled over. i wasn't in any pain so i knew no bones were broken. i did feel some hurt on my back and elbow where i made contact with the road. as i laid on the ground in my initial daze, two different people came running out of their cars, asking if i was alright, and volunteered to be my witnesses. immediately after an accident i am both apologetic (even if it's not my fault) and embarrassed. i righted the motorcycle and pushed it onto the sidewalk, out of the traffic.
not sure if somebody called the police, but the next thing i knew i saw the flashing lights of a cruiser. in total, 4 cop cars converged at the accident site (must've been a slow crime day). a fire station EMT response vehicle pulled over, while an ambulance was enroute. one of the paramedic was checking my pulse and asking me questions to make sure i was lucid, while the other was examining my helmet to see if there were any impact marks. i assured them i was fine, just some road rash. i signed some form saying i refused treatment and the paramedic called off the ambulance.
i asked one of the policemen who was at fault here, and he said the driver since i had right of way. the two witnesses said the same thing, that the car just cut me off suddenly. the cruisers all soon left, with the exception of the first responding office still hanging around writing up the paper work in his car. i stood outside in the rain with the driver - an elderly gentleman - and his wife. while i was very apologetic, he was friendly but didn't say anything that would incriminate himself. the police came out of the car and gave each of us a copy of his report. since neither of us violated any traffic laws, nobody was issued a citation, and he said it was up to us how we wanted to handle it, either going through the insurance, or settle it some other way (thunderdome?). he told us we could get official copies of the accident report from the police department to send to our respective insurances. the driver said we'd let the insurance take care of it as we both left. i was able to start the motorcycle but it made a horrible rattling noise as i rode it to belmont, like maybe the chain was loose. the left handlebar was bent at an awkward angle and the left exhaust was crumpled and bent as well.
when i arrived in belmont i told my mother the reason why i was late was because i was in another motorcycle accident and i couldn't explain it right then because i had to shower and get dressed for the wedding which was in 30 minutes. i washed out the gravel from my road rash. while i was suiting up, my sister slapped some gauze on my wounds. i think i was still in shock when i drove out to the hotel for the wedding. i had this overriding fear that i would get into another accident. i managed to avoid any accidents but i did get lost. i had to call my sister and ask for direction, while she was being very sanctimonious since she initially offered to drive me in light of my motorcycle accident. i did manage to find the hotel eventually, but was late to the ceremony. i only caught the end part, where both joel and sara smashed glasses symbolizing their shared union.
i hung out with a handful of former screen house coworkers. the idea of a reunion was bandied about, since for many it was the 10th year anniversary. christian and i were the only ones not married with children (or expecting children), unlike chris, mark, and sean + robin (tim didn't have any kids but he was married). i also chatted with some of joel's old friends from connecticut, those that i've met before socially. that probably only covered 20% of the guest list, and there were many more people i didn't know. i wish i had a guidebook of who's who, or maybe just forward enough to go up to people and ask who they were. however, the only thing on my mind was how i survived another motorcycle accident less than an hour ago.
the indigo is a swanky hotel in newton usually found in some posh boston neighborhood. it's probably one of the more glitzier places i've attend a wedding at. there was an open bar (which i took advantage of with orders of water and coke) and a live band. an illuminated outdoor pool would've been a great place to hang out were it not raining. an attractive waitstaff mingled through the crowd of guests with an inexhaustible supply of appetizers and drinks. by the time the buffet table was ready, most everyone were already full from the assortment of hors d'oeuvres. dessert came in the form of chocolate covered strawberries and decadent cupcakes so crammed with sweetness that it nearly put me in a diabetic shock. afterwards bowls of pink cotton candy drifted to the various tables of those were weren't out dancing. i left around 11:00.
i ended up driving home one of the the cars, since the motorcycle wasn't reliable anymore. it was close to midnight and my roommate was already asleep. an office coworker of his brought him to costco earlier today to buy some things. tomorrow he's going to cape cod for the day. i took a shower, redressed the wounds, and spent the rest of the night blogging because i couldn't sleep (drank too much coffee at the wedding party).
this morning i watched the kennedy funeral. i only saw the first hour but it was just absolutely fascinating seeing those beginning rows, with presidents clinton and bush and obama sitting next to each other. it was surreal, like the nexus of american executive power. i asked my sister to record the rest of the funeral for me on DVR but i may also be able to rewatch it on C-SPAN.
i left late morning to go to the annual boston caribbean parade down in roxbury-dorchester. unfortunately it was raining for most of the day. not just a little drizzle but steady rain. i tried to find out if the parade would be cancelled but i didn't see anything online. i went nevertheless with the very likely possibly that there'd be nothing there and i'd come straight back. i got there via MBTA, getting off at jackson square. by the time i got to martin luther king jr. boulevard, i could see girls dressed in feathers marching down the street, a sure sign that the show will still go on.
although the boston caribbean parade is a lot of fun, it's also very disorganized. the city of boston's official website states it starts at 12:00, but other websites say 1:00. maybe it'd start under those times in an ideal situation, but today was anything but ideal with the pouring rain. apparently the parade officially kicked off at 1:30, with a handful of local politicians and their supporters. most of the local politicians were invited to the kennedy funeral happening at the other end of roxbury in mission hill, leaving just a handful remaining. ayanna pressley was the grandmatron in charge of cutting the ceremonial ribbon (i'd never seen that done before at the carnival parade). "who is she?" a mother with a daughter asked me. "she's the boston city council at large," i told her, reading the title off of a card. there was also beleaguered boston city councilor chuck turner who was arrested by the FBI last year on corruption charges for accepting bribes.
after the politicians went by, the parade just stopped. it took another hour for all the parade participants to get organized and start marching down the street again. once it got started though - especially with the help of speaker trucks - things really picked up. it didn't matter that everyone was getting soaked and people had been waiting for hours for the actual parade to get started. as soon as that soca music starting blasting away, the whole street erupts into spontaneous dance and celebration.
unfortunately by then i was already at my limit. with a wedding to attend in a few hours, with my camera bag already soaked, and with my back starting to hurt from all that standing around, once the parade passed by, i turned around and made my way back to the jackson square T station. although slightly disappointing, i will get a second chance at carnival photos when cambridge hosts its own event in mid-september (it used to be the sunday after the boston parade, but this year they changed the date).