“A funny thing happened to me on the way to the hospital,” cracked Sophia Nelson, a writer for HuffPost, Daily Beast, Essence and theGrio.com, in a phone interview with FishbowlDC Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Sophia was on Twitter like she always is, firing off spurts of motivational thoughts that vary on any given day from sex and relationships to joy, jealousy and friendship and how to not let the assholes of life get you down. But then, suddenly, the tweets trickled to a standstill. Suddenly it wasn’t Sophia anymore, it was someone who had stepped in for her, saying that the freelance writer and author had been in a serious bike accident last Wednesday morning.
She was biking in Louden County, her morning ritual of sorts. Like most accidents, she never saw it coming. The road shifted, and she flew over the handlebars and fell into a drain. “There was a pipe thing protruding out,” she explained. “I was lucky it was rounded.” She suffered blunt trauma to her abdomen, has a swollen spleen and walks with a cane as she recovers. Two strangers found her. One, a white father and his daughter on the way to a swim meet. Two, a black thirtysomething woman named “Phyllis” who held her hand and said prayers until the ambulance arrived. At the hospital they ruled out a head injury and internal bleeding.
“I’m definitely staying off bikes going forward,” said Sophia, remembering another serious bike accident she had in 2009 in which she fractured her skull. She joked, “I guess I’m improving in that I didn’t try to knock my skull off. I think I’m going to a spin class and for a walk. Sophia is done with the bike.”
In the foreground of the accident, strangely, was race. And it’s something that never left her mind. Sophia, who is black, was struck by the fact that a white man and his daughter stopped to help her and that a black woman came to pray with her.
On the way to the hospital, in an ambulance full of young, white men, a worker named “Mike” from the Moorefield Fire Station recognized her from TV. He wired her up, got her vitals. Then he asked for her thoughts on the George Zimmerman verdict.
Oh boy…here we go. Read more