Thursday, May 04, 2006
Magnificence The Jiro Mid Air Break Up!
My first time solo on a motorcycle lasted three seconds. In those three seconds I became a rider, earned my broken wings, and discovered that the human body does, in fact bounce. In certain high velocity cases it even skips like a big, fat frozen chicken across a yielding surface, like say, tall haymow.
My motorcycle was a nice little Yamaha 250. I used to go out to the garage, take it off the stand and push myself around the driveway with my feet while my husband shook his head. Oh, I was hot to ride.
When he finally sorted out the electrics I was all ready to go. After all, how difficult could it be? I was one of those kids who rode a bicycle no hands down hills and stood on the seat. I couldn't wait to get the thing going and head down the road.
I turned it over. It gently slipped into gear, causing it to lurch forward unexpectedly. Causing me to reef back on the handlebars in response to the sudden motion.
You know, the throttle of a motorcycle is a twisty handle? It is.
Did you know that you make the motorcycle go fast by turning it towards you?
I headed down the driveway, remembering to put my feet up on the pegs, (I didn't remember to turn the damn key the other way and kill the engine, but I remembered to put my feet on the pegs.) and headed straight out into the street, gaining speed. As I crossed the bow of an oncoming UPS truck I could feel the heat off the engine on my right arm. On I sailed, over the center line, onto the shoulder, and straight over the lip of a drainage ditch.
And through the intervening space.
And straight into the opposite side.
The motorcycle came to an abrupt stop.
I did not.
I caught the rearview mirrors with my knees as I soared over the handlebars, and as I arrowed onward into the aether like a majestic fois gras I caught the downturn of the handlebar on the inner part of my right calf.
I landed tits first, the first time. The rebound was spectacular.
I landed stomach first on the second bounce.
The third bounce I caught with my face. Fortunately my mouth was open, thus acting as a collector and slowing my velocity so that I only slid after that, no longer airborne, for the space of about three feet or so.
My husband was already there, and I was already experiencing that cold, floaty faraway sensation that presages shock. Not that I was hurt that badly; I just shock out easy.
He walked me back to the house and sat me on the front steps.
"Why is my leg cold?" I asked him woozily.
"It should be hot. You're bleeding, " he noted.
I looked. I was. "Oh wow, my shoe is full of blood, too, " I exclaimed. " Lookit that."
I was piled into the car, still marvelling at my blood-filled shoe, and taken to the emergency room in Bellingham.
Now unbeknownst to me at the time, a guy my husband worked with at the plant down the street had witnessed the entire spectacle. Before we were out of the driveway, everyone at the plant knew. By the time I returned home, everyone they knew, knew. And by the next day people in town that I'd never spoken to before knew, and they knew details I don't remember releasing to the general public. But that in a moment.
Once at the hospital I was hustled into a bathroom with a paper gown and a bag for my clothes, leaving a line of single bloody footprints down the corridor. I wiggled the shoe off first and the sodden sock fell off all by itself. Splat. Beautiful spatter pattern all over the floor. The shoe tipped over and blood poured onto the tiles. I was fascinated by this. " Aw sick! My shoe was full of blood!" I remember calling. I don't know why this impressed me so much, but I guess it was the first time I'd ever had a shoe full of blood, so there you go.
I took off my bra and big chunks of turf fell out into the sink.
I unbuttoned my jeans and the dirt and gravel just cascaded down my legs, all over the floor, in the sink and into the toilet. The nurse rapped on the door and called "What are you doing in there?"sounding indignant.
' Jesus Christ lady,' I remember thinking 'its not like I meant to bring half the real estate in the goddamn county in here with me, ok? You can sweep up later. '
I peeled my pants down my legs. And saw for the first time what had actually happened to my calf. Yes, it was bleeding, it was raw, there was gravel in it, it hurt....
.....and there was human hamburger spattered all the way down the inside of my leg.
I hadn't cut it. I had burst it.
That's when the Yummy Biker came in and found me sitting on the toilet with my pants hanging off one ankle, soaking my jeans with blood, just sort of staring as I called 'Honey? Oh honey? Come look at this....? in a high, funny voice.
The rest of the ordeal was pretty much me hyperventilating and acting like a moron as the doctor trimmed and sewed. But I will never, ever forget that sight. It had looked for all the world like a big, greasy handful of ground beef wiped all over the inside of my pantsleg.
All I have to show for this is a kind of shiny indent on my leg. Hardly noticeable at all through the hair.
A side effect of this incident was the impressive bruising I received. Places I hadn't even realized I'd hit turned every shade of the rainbow. Parts I did remember hitting were really ugly. And to top it all off, as if being a human kaleidescope of barely medicated pain staggering around like the Mummy wasn't bad enough, as if having my nice little motorcycle bent around like the letter 'C' wasn't bad enough, my damn dagmars were mismatched.
One was its usual spectacular self.
The other one was blue.
Bright fucking indigo BLUE
I mean the whole tit, people.
And somehow everyone in town knew it. No, really. Everyone.
I suspect that I am at present married to the person who was responsible for leaking that bit of information. Ha ha!
Yes, but someday, when age has taken its toll, and statistics have proven me longer lived by virtue of my sex, it may fall to me to be the person in charge of changing his catheter bag.