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(Click here for voice no te pasó nada)

Twice since I have been in Chile, I have been reassured, “no te pasó nada,” (nothing happened to you, you’re ok). Strangely, both times have been after having been struck by a car while cycling. The first was the famous I-will-now-spend-months-in-PT shoulder accident, and the second, my recent dooring.

No te pasó nada is how the person at fault tries to diminish their fault. It’s also in the same camp for me as language like “no te enojes” (don’t get angry), and in this case, what the driver said when I let slip some slightly colorful slang “no te expreses así” (don’t use that kind of language/don’t talk like that).

It all minimizes what I’m feeling and tells me to feel something else. Would that life were so simple. You wake up in a mood, think, no! that’s not how I want to feel, and you atari cartridge (for yes, I am old enough to remember the atari cartridge) your mood out, and pop a new one in. You rewind the cassette (ditto on remembering cassettes, which maybe we said tapes in English?), to before the accident happened, and then really no te habría pasado nada (nothing would have happened), and no one is hurt, and you get to use a verb tense you don’t often need.

I lost contact with the person who opened the door in front of me, the thing that caused me to hobble around for the past few weeks. It’s been frustrating, though not awful. Every week I put on my skates, see that my foot is still too swollen and unstable to support me, and put them back under the side table I bought from a friend and tried to take home on the bus one night.

Yesterday I gave it another try, and though it hurt, I have decided that there are two kinds of pain. The one that’s your body saying, “nonono, don’t do that,” and the kind that is just pain. Like many of my two- and three-pronged tests, there is no clear application of this rule, but I decided a few days ago that my foot pain had morphed into this latter one. So putting on the skate hurt, and balancing on it was a bit painful, but not eye squinchingly so.

So I went out to skate with my people, attempting nothing interesting, not a cross-over, barely even working on the dreaded frenar (braking). A few people asked me where I’d been, and I told them I’d been in a car accident, and they all contorted their faces. And then I said, “on a bike” and they all relaxed. But then they asked about it, and we talked briefly about my experience, and not a single one of them tried to tell me that nothing had happened, that I wasn’t hurt, that I shouldn’t get angry, or that I shouldn’t express myself like that.

And I think I’ve just developed another multi-pronged test. Not that I thought I was ever going to be friends with Mr. Scatterbrain fling the door open whenever I feel like it, even if the driver has not put on his blinkers and we just passed a cyclist. But it’s good to have a test on hand. And this one I know how to apply.