A Loss of Traction

American Lake

This story will take us back to…..some point in time. Must have been some time between 2007 and  2010.

Eric was with me once again, he is likely to end up in a few stories. If you go back and read almost every other personal story from me you will end up hearing Eric’s name a few times.

This story talks about me and my wheelchair combined with over confidence.

Eric woke up at my house from another night of drinking. He had a hangover, and I’m lucky because I never got them. We quickly decided that we were bored, so we decided to go to American Lake in Lakewood, Washington so we could fishing off of the dock.

At this time Eric drove a dark green Chevy truck made in the late 90’s and he didn’t keep it very clean either. He was the type of dude that would roll around listening to 2pac, but listened to country next day.

After getting food at Jack in the Box. He threw my wheelchair in the bed of his truck and headed out towards the lake on another one of our days surrounded by dark clouds, rain, and wet pavement.

We pull up into a parking spot, not too far from one of those wooden signs with yellow paint that welcomed you to the park, the ones that always let you know that they close at dusk. Eric gave me one of his raincoats, on a side note people in Western Washington do not rear raincoats unless they are sitting in one spot for more than 30 minutes to an hour.

Eric gets out of the truck to lift my wheelchair from the bed of the truck back onto the pavement, the wheelchair was definitely wet, but I didn’t really care. I took my “asspad” off of my chair and put it into the cab of the truck so I didn’t have to sit on a soaked cushion.

After I sat down Eric went to the other door to grab the tackle box and both fishing poles. He starts to walk as I follow him in my wheelchair, both of us wearing dark green raincoats and baseball caps. My hat was red with a white ‘N’ on it, Eric’s hat was some color; I do not remember but he had a fish-hook on the corner of the bill.

We get to the top of a hill, Eric is standing there and I can tell he was thinking, “how do I get this asshole down the hill.” 

“I got this bro,” after staring at the hill for a few seconds, I continue by saying “yea man, I’m good, I can make this bitch.” This hill was about no more than a 20 foot drop that also had a run on of about 50 feet.

Doing some fancy trigonometry I can tell you that the hill, if I’m correct, ran at an angle of about 21 degrees. The hill was not all that steep, I’ve done steeper hills thousand of times before, but this hill was different.

The paved path that went down the hill had two curbs on each side, which was kind of weird to see on a sidewalk. Now picture a letter S but put it upside down and skew is so the three paths are longer than the corners.

There I am starting at this upside down letter S slapped onto a hill. “Man, this is going to be the shit,” I said with a loud voice trying to pump myself up. Eric was unsure and said “you sure dude.” I push forward and let the wind take me.

At first everything appeared to be fine, just another handicapped dude going down a hill, you know the type of shit you see everyday.

My tires on the wheelchair didn’t have any tread left on them, and really; what is the point of having tread on a tire when you don’t go that fast? It was raining by the way. I picked up so much speed in this straight of way that I no longer had enough traction, or even power, to slow down to any noticeable amount.

If I grabbed both wheels and held them in a stopped position I was barely slowing down, however if I only grabbed onto one wheel and let the other one spin freely I was able to turn while slowing down at a faster pace. I had to turn anyways, so I was trying to turn to my left.

I was barely able to turn, I was going faster than I could turn. The curb is now rushing towards me in slow motion and I think to myself, “fuck this dude, just try to stop,” I continue to think, “wheels can’t roll sideways.”

I was thinking that if I was able to turn I would come to a stop, I was not even trying to make it to the bottom of this hill anymore.

At some point I must have grabbed a tiny section of traction on the wet pavement, I turned left really fast; too fast, I still had the momentum behind me. That momentum thought it would be a fantastic idea to grab both tires and tip the whole wheelchair onto its side.

I’m tipped over and I’m now on my right wheel sliding down this hill as I’m sitting sideways like Paul Wall. My right tire eventually hits the curb and proceeds to bring me to a stop.

My left tire up in the air is still spinning as I look up to see Eric walking down this hill with fishing poles and tackle box in hand, he is trying not to laugh. He sees that I’m okay and didn’t harm more than my wheelchair, which was not in the best condition anyways.

This in not the first time I did something stupid in my wheelchair. He started laughing really loud and helps me up so we can go fishing.

And that is my story of a handicapped guy having fun. That was pretty damn fun, even during.It got my heart pumping and I didn’t cause physical harm to my body.

As we were fishing I was telling Eric my whole thought process.

A few years later my dad took Eric fishing in his boat and Eric told my dad this story, but from his perspective. The difference between my mom and dad are simple. My dad simply laughed his ass off thinking, “that’s my son.”  

My mom would just end up saying “Don’t have any fun, you’re going to kill yourself.”


2 thoughts on “A Loss of Traction”

  1. HAHAHAHA! Now this is a funny story. I’ve lost control on rainy roads and the fear is so strong I say to myself “IM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN” then when it’s over I say “It wasn’t so bad, let’s do it again!” Thanks for sharing this. Loved it.

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