His last word was “DUDE!”

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Image for post
by Asya Vee on Unsplash

My bike commute was about 85% complete this morning when a car starting barreling down on me.

I was sailing through a green light, carefree.

It’s a cliche to say out of nowhere but it felt like a car materialized from the ether. It started driving straight toward me.

The car was turning left while I was going straight. It was traveling at a high rate of speed. It was about to hit me from the side.

Time slowed down. Another cliche.

I hit my brakes.

My reaction was not anger, not fear. It was something unexpected.

I was incredulous.

Like, really? Who was this person? Why were they in such a hurry? Why was this car trying to kill me? What did I ever do to this car?!?

“DUDE!” I yelled.

And then — just like that — it was over.

The car stopped inches from me. I came to a stop in front of its bumper.

Then I went on my way. The car went on its way, with the driver yelling at me like it was my fault for legally biking through a green light.

My heart was racing and I noticed every detail around me with hyper awareness.

The doorman standing outside the nearby hotel stood out to me. Had he witnessed this? What would he say in a police report had the car not stopped in time?

Well, the man on the bike yelled “DUDE!” and then he was hit by the car.

Dude? Is that the best I can do in a seemingly life-and-death situation? Is my lizard brain some kind of bro?

It focuses your thoughts and priorities when you have a casual near death experience on a Wednesday morning while biking to work. So here are my two takeaways from surviving this encounter:

  1. DRIVERS: Please SLOW the %#(& down! Watch for cyclists. If you hit us, it’s pretty much game over. It’s a very vulnerable feeling to be completely exposed with a giant hunk of steel speeding toward you.
  2. Don’t judge me on my last words. Whatever words that pop into my brain as I depart this world — and thankfully they weren’t DUDE! — they probably won’t be very profound. Sorry, dude.

Written by

Educator. Podcast addict. Wrote a book about creativity: http://bit.ly/thecreativejourney

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