I suppose it’s just an all-American pastime. This wanton day of gluttony called Thanksgiving. Like the Cowboys vs the Redskins. I smoked a (Butterball) turkey a few days before the big day – and Erica made all the necessary embellishments to go with the bird – so we had a plate on Tuesday and wrapped up the rest. Naturally, of course it’s been turkey sandwiches, turkey spaghetti, and another few plates of turkey and dressing, not to mention a few mandatory helpings of the dreaded green bean casserole ever since.
But lots of personal leftovers this year.
The whole needle in the eye thing drags on, a few more to get through, but another old wound reared it’s ugly ‘whatever’ this past week, too. It’s a long story.
Care to hear it?
So glad you asked. Well…here goes…
Once upon a time I was working radar on the motorcycle and I saw a pickup truck coming through heavy traffic, of course headed my way. It was one of those handheld units, a Falcon Industries K-band radar, and the readout put the truck at 80, and climbing, in a 35 zone. I stowed the radar in the left saddlebag and punched the starter – and the Harley rumbled to life. I pulled into traffic just as the truck roared past, and just as dispatch put out a description of the truck on our primary frequency. The three fellas inside the truck had, it seemed, just robbed a convenience store. Armed and dangerous, I think, were the words that penetrated my little testosterone fueled adrenaline surge.
Well, I called in, said I had them in sight and gave our location and direction of travel, as well as my speed, when the asshole in the passenger side seat leaned out the truck’s window and started shooting at me – with a deer rifle, no less.
I was not amused.
A round smashed into the Harley’s fairing. I felt bits of sharp plastic hitting my arms. Such an interesting sensation.
I heard a helicopter overhead, saw a squad car up ahead readying to u-turn and join the chase.
Busy intersection ahead. Lot’s of mid-afternoon traffic.
The suspects’ truck blows the red light; I slow and get ready to shoot a gap through the traffic. In the opposing left turn lane, across the intersection, I see a white Econoline van. Starting to turn. Old lady behind the wheel.
Oh. I see.
She claims she never saw or heard either the truck or my Harley. She turned right in front of me, and I was doing about 80 miles an hour. This is what’s called an “oh, shit!” moment, I think.
I think I said “Oh, shit.”
I’m certain I was not amused.
I tried to evade around her rear but the right crash guard on the Harley hooked her right rear bumper – and off I went, like ‘up in the air, junior bird man…’ Slid through traffic, arms out ahead until my left arm – completely outstretched – impacted a curb on the roadway’s median. Shoulder hit next and I vaulted at that point, landing ass first on the hood of a Mercedes Benz, shattering my pelvic girdle, before crashing on through the windshield.
Let’s put this simply. I was fucked up. Dying, as a matter of record.
I am alive today because the driver of the Mercedes was a vascular surgeon just getting off work at Parkland Hospital. He basically started in on me out there on the street, if you can wrap your head around that. Even more interesting, he was a friend of my father’s and had watched me grow up. God is, I think, funny in that way. A more interesting sense of humor you’ll never find.
Anyway, almost a hundred fractures, not quite eight months in the hospital and I had to confront the fact that I wasn’t going to get to play cops and robbers anymore. Point of fact I found it real hard to walk for a few more years, and besides, Annie said no more so that was that.
It’s been getting very hard to climb stairs for a while now, and I was up on the ladder painting a few weeks back and I got stuck. Mind you, stuck as in on top of a fully extended 28 ft Little Giant ladder in a howling wind kind of stuck. Stuck because my hips had locked-up and Would–Not–Budge.
I was not amused.
I tried everything to get even one of them to move, but nothing doin’. Nada. No way.
And how’s this: the closest house to mine is way beyond shouting distance.
Oh. Remember that left arm? It doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to anymore and I can’t say I blame it. The x-rays looked like an accordion, a compressed accordion, when Annie finally showed it to me. Oh, and I forgot to mention. She was a resident in internal medicine at Parkland when they wheeled me in to the ER.
I’m telling’ you, He’s got a world class sense of humor.
So, one working arm and two really fucked up femurs, on top of a 28 foot ladder in a windstorm.
I was SO not amused.
So, rung by rung, the right arm lifted me up just enough to free my feet and slide down to the next lower rung, and about a half hour later I was down. I crawled up to the Ford and drove my fat ass down to the nearest orthopedic surgeon and she sent me for an MRI and my entire pelvic girdle looks like coral. Earlier steroid injections when in the hospital apparently did the trick, and the idea of hip replacement surgery went out the window on an early November breeze.
So, yesterday I went back to the big city. Steroid injections into what remains of the hip. And the left shoulder. I’ve got bandaids all over my groin. From six inch needles. In the groin.
I feel like leftovers.
So, here I am back at the desk. Left eye not cooperating. Hips not cooperating. Shoulder doing it’s level best to make my day miserable.
And I read that our dear Republicans in our beloved Congress want to do away with Medicare and Social Security. Give us tax credits to buy private insurance on the open market.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Sure.
We all know how that story ends up, don’t we?
I am not amused.