I didn’t write it.
As a writer, I wish I did; as a rider, I’m very glad I didn’t have to.
My phone rang at around 9:45PM. It was John’s girlfriend. She didn’t know where John was. She knew we’d been riding bikes earlier that night and asked if I knew anything. I told her we’d parted ways at the fire station on the backside of Paradise Loop at around 7:15PM. He had turned off early to go meet up with her. Her voice cracked as she spoke. She started to cry.
l write a lot about the bad things that can happen on a bike. More than I ever thought I would. And far more than I really want to.
But I don’t think I’ve ever written anything as moving, and seldom as heartfelt.
I called John and got no answer. I started calling police departments in southern Marin. If my mind had a clear task then maybe I could ignore my rising fear. Tiburon PD told me to call Sausalito PD. Sausalito PD took my number and told me to await a call from the responding officer. I told the agent this arrangement was not cool. I asked what happened to my friend. She said he’d been involved in an accident. She said the responding officer was the only one who could give details. I asked if he was alive. She said the responding officer was the only one who could give details….
It’s beautiful and sad and heart-wrenchingly tragic. And one of the best things I’ve read about one of the worst things that can happen.
It’s not easy to read.