Get a drink, get some cheese and crackers, put your feet up. If you read this post you’re gonna be here for a while because this is bound to be very very very long. I’m a storyteller and I have to tell the whole story of the last 36 hours from start to finish.
Yesterday started like any other day; we got up, we had coffee, we watched the news, we said ‘good-bye’ at the door with an extra long kiss. It made a voice pipe up in the back of my head; Something bad is going to happen. I almost told my hubby to take the car even though it was a beautiful late summer day. I told myself that I’m slightly insane to begin with so it’s best to listen to only The One voice in my head that truly counts and since it wasn’t his voice I ignored it.
I went to work. I was swamped with work. Got through that. I made up a few flyers for NEWS and took them downtown to distribute in a few places. The one place I really wanted to go, the Monte Cristo Bookstore, was closed. I took them around Bank Street and then headed home. I got online and started chatting with Monte Cristo Bookstore as I’d asked them to promote the NEWS event in their FB feed. They agreed if I’d pass the word about their shop. I agreed. One thing led to another and we may have a small Indie Author Event in the works for October. I threw the scant information out to my local author friends. Started taking information. All is well.
I started dinner; BBQ ribs and sat down to watch “Bones”. I looked at the clock and thought; Oh, he’ll be home soon. Just as I thought that my phone lit up the screen told me hubby was calling. I thought; Oh, he’s going to be late, well that’s ok. I answered: “Hi, honey.”
“Is this Lisa? Are you Lisa?” Asked a woman’s voice.
Before I could answer or she could go any further I thought; Who the fuck is this bitch calling from my husband’s phone? I swear to God she better not be calling to tell me she’s his girlfriend….
“Yeah, I’m Lisa.” I said through a tight jaw.
“Your husband’s been in an accident on his motorcycle.”
“This is ______ (it’s the only part of the call I can’t remember!) from Sound Community Services. Your husband’s been in an accident, but I think he’s ok. He’s very concerned that someone call you. They’re taking him by ambulance to Lawrence & Memorial.”
“He’s alright, he’s conscious and asking about you. He’s going to be ok.”
“Do you need one of us to come take you to the hospital?”
Pause. “No, that’s ok, I’m just down the street from L&M.”
“Ok, they’re taking him now.”
“Where was the accident?”
“We’re down on Montauk Ave.”
Less than a half mile from home! But, I thought; he was going slow, he wasn’t on the highway, and the Coast Guard makes him wear his helmet. He has his armor on when he left this morning.
“Some woman just pulled out right in front of him!”
Heart sinks. Pause. “Ok, ok, tell him I’m leaving for the hospital now.”
Breathe. Sit one moment. Sit. Breathe. Good. That’s good. Ok, ready?
Get up, retain the presence of mind to turn off the oven, the rice cooker, and the coffee pot, I even locked the door behind me. I make the half minute trip to the hospital and even got a parking spot right away.
It’s waiting for you.
I know, thank you.
You know I’ll never let anything absolutely horrible happen to you.
I know. Thank you.
Ok, one more time…big breath. Good. Let’s go.
I got to the ER before my husband. I waited ten minutes for someone to tell me he even got there. All the while I’m wondering how I’m going to tell the girls. When am I going to tell the girls? I don’t have anything to tell them yet. They finally told me he arrived and led me back to the Family Room which is almost never a good thing. The last time I sat in the Family Room my dad died! Of course no one comes in to say anything to you at all. Nothing. Meanwhile I can hear him back there, he’s groaning, he’s throwing up, he’s trying to tell the cop where his insurance certificate is!
I’m in the fuckin’ Family Room, ask me Johnny! Leave him alone he’s got enough troubles right now!
(Oh, yeah, ‘Johnny’ that’s CT Speak for Officer of the Law a/k/a John E. Law…get it?)
They find the insurance card and I clearly hear the doctor ask; “Was the accident his fault?”
And Johnny very clearly responded; “No, it was her fault.”
Not that that’s much comfort, I already figured it wasn’t his fault. He’s a very careful driver. The last time he had anything close to an accident was wiping out around a corner in a patch of sand. We were going very slowly due to the corner and the sand but the back tire caught it, wobbled, and the bike pitched to the right. I fell off scraped my knee, got burned by the exhaust. All was well. That was…fifteen…maybe twenty…years ago.
Back there I can hear him asking for me. That was the worst. It really was. Hearing him in pain, asking for me, and knowing I couldn’t go to him. I took about 40 minutes of that before I had to get out of there. But before I left the room I very calmly called the girls and told them their father had been in an accident, we were at the ER and didn’t know how bad it was. I told them they should wait at their respective homes until I had more information. Both of them lost it right off the bat but I stayed cool. Sometimes I gotta hand it to myself. For someone who suffered from panic attacks so badly she barely left her bedroom for six months…I’m a motherfucking rock in these situations. Provided I’m alone. That’s the caveat. If I’m with someone I perceive as stronger than myself I may lose it. But mostly I keep together throughout the entire crisis knowing I’ll fall apart when it’s over.
I went out to the sidewalk, had a smoke to calm my nerves. I had a bit of Internet out there so, yes, I made a quick FB post letting everyone know what I knew and that I’d post updates as I had them. Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that FB friends or online friends aren’t friends…that’s bullshit! In an instant there were 90 people at the ready to do whatever they had to to get me through this from real world friends and family to ‘fans’ and fellow authors to people I don’t know who they are or why they follow me…no clue. Prayers and good wishes went up and out all over the globe.
I made some more phone calls. Rebecca and Hector pulled up. We all walked in together and hung out in the Family Room while they wheeled in an X-Ray machine and my heart dropped thinking; He can’t walk. His legs are broken. I wasn’t too worried about head trauma since he usually wears the helmet all the way home from work and, I figured, if his head was a smashed pumpkin he wouldn’t be calling for me back there. Still, I didn’t take it as a great sign.
Breathe. Everything’s alright. I’ll say it again for reassurance; I will never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, allow anything absolutely horrible to happen to you.
They finished with the X-Ray and got him hooked up to the IV and machines. We went back to see him for a few minutes before they took him for a CT Scan. He was in and out of it but lucid. His lip was split open but he wasn’t gushing blood anywhere. He complained about his hip, he thought it was broken. He complained about his collar bone, he thought it was broken. He complained about something else too and thought it was broken. Major bummer. He thought he broke a rib. I held his hand for a while and rested the other on his forehead. Told him I loved him, I didn’t give a shit about the bike, and everything would be ok, no matter what, as long as he was alive all would be well. They wheeled him out of the room. I went out for another cigarette and to make some phone calls; Freddie, Karen (his supervisor), and Chris (my boss). I checked my FB to see all of the well wishes and was heartened by them. Nikki pulled up. We walked in together.
Both girls are doing their best not to totally lose it, I gotta give them credit. They held up well. Not like the time the cop screeched to a halt, jumped out of his car, pointed at a loaded gun at me, told me to shut down my engine and get out of my car because he thought I was dealing heroin. Becca just totally lost it! Oh my! She had a panic attack that beats every single one I ever had. But me? Cool as a cucumber, baby. Smooth sailing.
They get him back from the CT Scan and the results came back very quickly. The nurse was wonderful, Nurse Christine, I wish I could remember her last name. She was a true Angel of Mercy. She says; “Nothing’s broken in the pelvis region…nothing.” She paused hoping we’d get the message and we did. “No broken ribs, everything in the chest area is fine. The collar isn’t broken. In fact, you have no broken bones.”
THANK YOU!!!! OH I LOVE YOU!!!
He was pretty out of it for several hours but they let him come home last night and he got himself up the stairs to bed. He’s sleeping on the couch now. He’s pulled just about every muscle in his body and he’s very sore but very very lucky.
The bike is trashed. Someone posted pictures of the accident on Facebook. How do you like that? They didn’t realize it was him until Becca saw the pictures her friend posted and asked her to take them down. There’s pictures of the bike, the van…smooshed driver’s side read door in the exact shape of the bike’s faring and front tire, she even had pics of him laying in the street which she was kind enough not to post. We did see them. They are very disturbing. They are the type of photograph that, had I been there, I would have wanted to take but refrained from doing so out of respect. He drew quite a crowd by the pictures. Yep, rubberneckers always gather at gruesome scenes. After the initial shock of the pictures wore off I found myself hoping I’d seen them earlier then I would have known he was ok. His jacket is fully in tact…love that kevlar armor! Even his pants weren’t ripped. His face was a bloody mess due to the helmet shattering and the face shield breaking in his face. But the cut is only about an inch long. It didn’t even take a stitch.
I’ve never been the kind of wife who just adores telling her husband what he can and can’t do. I’ve always done my best not to do that. He’s an adult he can make his own choices and decisions. They are not mine to make for him. He had a motorcycle when I met him. It was part of his appeal when I was 17 and part of his mystique. This morning I told him I didn’t want him buying another bike because I really couldn’t do that again. I broke down. I cried. He was very comforting and understood my perspective. Within 20 minutes I apologized and told him we’d work on it if he really wanted another one; maybe a fat old Harley or a chopper, neither of them go much over 40 and they corner like shit so there’s little chance of accident. Maybe a scooter or a little Honda Rebel (I’ve always wanted one of those! LOL). Perhaps we’d get him a mobility scooter and put fringe on it.
Then he told the story of his trip home. He keeps coming back to the same thing and being angry about it. But I see it differently.
It seems, right around the end of Huntington Street where it meets Tilley Street there’s a STOP sign and he let another biker go ahead of him. The kind we generally laugh at; shorts, flip-flops, tank top but with a helmet! He says it was a white bike, the guy was wearing a matching white helmet with a full-face shield. (Are you on my wave length yet?) He complains the guy slowed down to like 3 miles an hour and then they turned down, I think it’s Walbach Street, together, the guy stopped. Just stopped dead in the street. Hubby says he waited a few seconds but then blew around him. Instead of going down Shaw Street to home the way he usually would have he turned up Bank Street and then down Montauk.
Shortly after the accident hubby says he saw the guy again, he stopped at the accident, looked down at my husband for a few seconds and then went on his way.
Hubby is very angry over this. I’m not sure why.
My take is simple; if he’d just stayed behind the guy five more seconds when he stopped dead in the street the accident never would have happened. I think the biker was…let’s say for lack of a better term…an angel…trying to prevent this accident in a last ditch effort.
Then again, I’m one of those crazy dippie freaks who swears she actually did see The Face of God in the rising dust of the Twin Towers. It stopped me cold, my heart froze, everything froze, and I knew exactly what it was when I saw it. No one will ever tell me different on that score. No one. No one will ever tell me different on this one.
Five seconds. Just be patient for five seconds. Be inconvenienced for five seconds.
Sometimes five seconds can make all the difference in the world.
I’m not blaming hubby for the accident the chick driving the van is the idiot here. I don’t know what distracted her or how she managed not to HEAR him coming…that bike is LOUD…I mean it’s LOUD. I hear him coming home before he hits the hospital. I don’t know how she managed not to see this big biker with a Darth Vader helmet riding a fairly large blue and white bike coming at her with the right-of-way. I don’t know why she too stopped dead in the street. If she’d hit the gas and zoomed out of his path she could have avoided this.
I’m just glad he’s ok.
That’s my story.
What’s the line? Oh, yes…’Just a little excitement in an otherwise dull day’.
Yeah, a little bump in the road. A big bump but a bump nonetheless.
Gotta love those bumps!