February 27, 2008

Dark roads

A motto I've had in life for the last 20 years is: Nothing good without something bad. Nothing bad without something good.

You can walk dark roads, but only if you have a light at your side. You've faced darkness, but dawn always comes. Never has the sun failed to rise on my life. It may not feel like that during hard times, but those times only make you stronger to help others when they are in turmoil.

February 17, 2008


Around 5 pm

A growing deep crimson pool. My arm unmoving. Bits of sand and uneven gravel cling to skin in front of my eyes. Waves of pain. Tattoo pressed into the pool and road.


"It hurts, I have to move."

"NO," she says.

"It hurts, please." It's a whimper. Or maybe even in my mind.



My clothes are cut away. I'm naked. Still in the road. The air is cool on my groin.


"I'm gonna do a proctol exam," she says.

"I don't think either of us is gonna like that," I reply.

I definitely don't.


"Why didn't you call us from the scene?" Helicopter crew.

"You weren't available." Someone from ER.

"We are moving you to XYZ hospital," He says.


"You are bleeding inside your skull, they have a better trauma center there."

Oh. This is neither strange to me or frightening. I hurt too much to really care.


Many people pick me up. Questions from every direction. Fast. "What is the date today?" I don't know. I've never been so frustrated. "It's later than the first. It's not the 18th. Can you ask me something else?"

"No, what is the date?"

"I don't know. I'm sorry."

"It's OK."

It's not OK. I can't fucking remember what day it is. WHY? First time I've been scared in a long long time.

Someone manipulates my legs and hips.

"Can I move my legs?" I've been on the board for probably 2-3 hours.

"He wants to move his legs...", a nurse calls toward my feet.

"Go ahead." A deep caring voice responds.

I slowly lift my legs and feet. Pulling them closer to my body. I think. "Did they move?" I can't see anything.

"Well, if you can do that, you don't need me." I sense this Dr. leaving.

More hands lift me. The board is removed. Feels so good to have the pressure off the back of my head.


CT's & X-rays. Laying on a gurney in a hallway. People pass by. "Can you get me out of here?" I ask a passing orderly or nurse.


At 12 am a pre-pubescent looking boy comes in to suture my head. He doesn't say much.

At 1:30, I realize I am still lying in my own blood. I stop another orderly. "Can someone clean me up? And move me to a room?" The sheets are changed with me still in the bed. The waves of pain almost make me blackout. I'm on a serious dose of morphine and it doesn't even cut it.

At 3:30 am I'm moved to an ICU. I'm washed by two nurses. It doesn't even occur to me that I have a catheter hanging out of me. They start two new IVs and give me a morphine pump. "Whenever you think about it, you hit that button 3 times. Don't wait 'til it hurts," one of them tells me. "Try to sleep." I give that my best shot, but I just drift in and out. Whenever I start to sleep the pain jolts me awake.

February 01, 2008

The raise

When I was in High School I worked at a fast food restaurant that shall not be named. After a prolonged illness, I was summarily fired. I was devastated. This was my first job. I made real money. I bought my clothes and food with that money. I immediately began putting my resume in at every place I could think of in town. I struck out more than a few times. Most didn't even give me a callback.

Then I got the magical call. We'd like to interview you. WooHoo. Somehow, I managed to get the job. The base salary (a pittance) was more than I had made at the previous job and I was happy. I was also clueless how to do the job. I did my best to master it and eventually found my rhythm. I made new friends and enjoyed the work. It was busy and hard. I found myself exhausted at the end of the night. I figured this is what life is about. You work hard, you earn money to pay for things you need. The fact that I was a HS student didn't really factor in for me. I needed money.

I was there for a long time and one day my manager called me into the office. The GM was also there. Uh-oh. I thought out the night. Had I done something wrong. Had I pinched a waitress when I shouldn't have? "When you started this job, we had serious concerns that you could do it." Shit, I'm about to get canned. What am I gonna do? "However, you've learned the job and you've been doing a great job. You've become an asset to the store. So we are going to increase your hourly wage by seventy-five cents."

I just stared. Not Fired. Not Fired. Wait. Raise? Seventy-Five cents? I'd never dreamed of making this much money. Much less getting a raise for a job at a restaurant. I don't remember much of the rest of the conversation, but I know I earned that money. Sometimes good things happen without asking for them. Rather than feeling entitled all the time, perhaps we just need to put our noses to the grindstone and work. Food for thought.