THE CALLS STARTED the night I was released from hospital. My lungs again. I’d coughed so hard inside my motorcycle helmet that I’d blacked out as I slowed down for a traffic light, slipped off and under my bike, and out into a rain-slick intersection. I scraped off the toe of my right shoe, the pocket of my good pants, the palm of my riding gloves – the ones with the Kevlar knuckles that made me feel like I knew how to throw a punch. A mean gouge ran down the side of my helmet. Gravel in the waistband of my knickers. Not a scratch on the bike.
The colleague I least expected volunteered to drive me to the ER. He wore black shirts and crimson ties with his pinstripe suits, like a cartoon Mafioso, and used to have his more exorbitant online shopping delivered to the work mailroom to skite. A parcel of his tech gadgetry set off a half-day bomb scare; a king-size pop-up tent erupted out of its packaging between our desks, and none of us could work out how to fold it up again.
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