4 February 2006

A Ghost on the Highway

A long time ago I ought to have been killed in a car crash. It was night when I rounded a corner at the end of a bridge. Ghostly, a white car spun sideways in front of me. It looked like it was going 100 miles an hour.

There was no time to avoid the ghost so I tried to hit the brake, relaxed and kept my eyes wide open. That was what I was taught to do in kung fu. Relaxing minimizes the damage of the blow. If you are expecting to die, as I was, you may as well watch the last scene of the movie. You paid good money to get in. Much later I remembered my last thought before impact: "This is how I motherfucking die?" We are all a little curious about our end.

The last thing I saw before everything went black was the closed eyes of the passenger in the white car. I could count the hairs in the guy's nose. Then I woke up, looked around and was surprized as a person could be to be alive. Ha! Too bad I could not see out of one eye and could not walk. All around was radiator fluid and the possiblility of a fire breaking out occured to me so I climbed out of my window with someone's help and lay at the side of the road. A beautiful brown haired woman held me and let me bleed on her. I started to curse at the top of my lungs.

"That dumb motherfucking, cocksucking son of a bitch! Fuck that fuck! Let me at the motherfucker. I'll fucking kill the fuck, fuck, fuck, fucker. I can't fucking see! Fuck!"

The lady holding me brushed my hair with her hands and said, "That's right let's go kill the motherfucker. That's right. You let it out. Kill the motherfucker." The brown haired lady is one of my favourite people I do not know the name of. People who stop to help car crash victims are my kind of people.

I found out later that not only had my little car been hit by the white ghost. I had been creamed by four other vehicles while I was passed out. The two people in the ghost were in need of an ambulance as well. The others would require some hospital attention too. It was a fucking beauty.

After a while the ambulances arrived. They are busy on the stretch of mountain highway they are responsible for. Rock faces do not smooth out driving mistakes for shit.

I asked, "Is my eye damaged?"

They answered, "Hard to say."

I told them, "My head hurts like a motherfucker."

They poked at it. "Seems to be OK. Let's have a look." They took off my ball cap. I screamed like a horror movie victim. They poked my head some more. "Seems to be OK."

I asked them, "When you put me on the stretcher can you wheel me over by the driver of the white car so I can whack him one?"

I got loaded in an ambulance for the first time in my life. For the first time in my life I felt helpless. My head was now the size of a medicine ball and felt like it needed some medicine.

At the hospital I politely asked for morphine. A mountain country nurse jammed a needle in my arm and cleaned and sewed up my eye. My sight was only damaged by blood draining over my eye. That was a relief.

"We're going to send you for a cat scan on your head."

Turned out my skull had shattered. A few other bones had snapped along the way. A shattered skull is right at the top of the list of most unpleasant things you can have happen to you. It was like having molten iron poured into your cranium.

I got to take a lot of morphine for the next while because of the two operations necessary to fix me up. I had to insist they double their meagre dosages. I have a high tolerance for drugs. I was off work for about two and a half years. My dog was sure happy when I could walk again. We walked together for hundreds and hundreds of miles as I slowly eased the demons out of my brain. My grandma taught me knitting to help me redevelop my hand eye coordination. I took a lot of pills.

Eventually I was paid some compensation for my injuries by the insurance company. I bought two houses with the cash. I have some limitations on my activities because of the injury but the only thing I really miss is being able to think without pain.

I found out the white car that fucked me up was the driver's mom's Lexus. Every once in a while it occurs to me that I would like to hit mommy's little rich boy over the head with a hockey stick.

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