Sunday, November 14, 2004
Never title a post "Please Kill Me" because two days later you will fly over your handlebars and hit the pavement so hard with your chin and jaw and right side of your body that you dare not move for some time and must go to the emergency room. At the same time you are certain that a painting you are carrying home got caught in the front spokes, causing the accident. And all you can think of is, I hope the painting is OK.
You will hear someone say, "Are you OK?" And "Can you move?" And they will cover you with a thick towel because you are in shock. You notice something in your mouth and spit it out. It's a chunk of tooth. You look at it against the black of your glove. It's big. You notice blood on the glove, and feel the wetness on your chin. You spit out another piece of tooth, smaller. The nice lady says she will hold onto the big one for you and puts it in her own hand. They will try to help you get up a couple of times but the aperture starts to close and the nausea comes and your legs buckle and you must go into child's pose. And they will say, take some deep breaths. And can we call someone for you. It is then that you realize there is no one to call. And, do you want to go to the emergency room. And where do you live and we will take you home if you want. And we put your bike and bags in our car. And two men, one on each elbow will help you stand up. You don't see their faces. You think you are going to faint and / or vomit but do not. You show them the wound on your chin and they say it doesn't look like you need stitches. They give you a towel to dab it, and help you to the car and warn that it's a big step up. Your neck hurts and your head is at a weird angle and your vision isn't quite right and you can't think quite right either. They tell you you can take your helmet off. You start to faint again and put your head down. They want to know whom to call. If there's a friend, a neighbor, anyone. They take you to your house. Upon arrival you lift up your head and look at your building and the whole scene starts to get lighter and lighter until it's almost white and then the aperture starts to close again and you must put your head down. You cannot even think about the three flights of stairs, let alone whom to call.
I think I'm about to lose consciousness, you say. Maybe I should get looked at. Don't worry, they say, we will take you to the emergency room, and discuss whether to go to Weiss or Ravenswood or Swedish Covenant. And you think about your shitty insurance, and say you're not sure which one will accept you. And they say it will work at any emergency room, and head west. And the nice lady in back places a call to Addington, who's not home. What's your name? She asks, and you tell her. You give her some more numbers to dial and she asks who she's calling and you say Blaine. "Blaine X?" she asks. Yes, you say. Do you know Blaine X? Yes, I just called him myself. He's not at home, either.... And it turns out they are neighbors.
Around this point you start to feel a little less like you're about to lose it. And notice there are seven other people in the car, including three totally silent kids in back. Someone introduces all of them; the the husband, the wife, the husband's parents, the three boys. You start to feel better and it's agreed that they will bring you to their house. On the way there is still the question of whom to call. Your mind scrolls and scrolls but your parents are dead and the vexx is history and eveyrone has kids/ families/is busy or lives too far away. Holly? No. Deb? No. Marty? No. Dreyfus? No. They put your bike in their garage and carry your bags in for you (such a relief) and put your tooth fragment into a Ziplock with milk. And set you up on the couch and bring a glass of water and something to clean the wound. You wipe off some of the blood and show the gash to them and they say, in unison, "You need stitches." At some point, you're not sure when, you get your cell and call Add's moble and he picks up. He is in the middle of something but will call Enelle, who is in the neighborhood. The nice people do some research via 911 and decide to take you to Illinois Masonic and give you some ice wrapped in a red dish towel and fill up your water bottle. Enelle calls to say she can meet you at the ER. Singleton to the rescue. As you're leaving you learn that the nice lady's sister is someone you know, through yoga.
The nice man drives and talks to you on the way. He carries your bags into the hospital. A metal detector. They let you in despite your shitty insurance. He waits with you but there is not a huge wait. They want to know what happened and where, and if your teeth meet correctly. They are much nicer than the emergency vet and the place smells better, too. Eventually Enelle comes and the nice man leaves, saying you can get the bike when you want. You get his name and number as you are still *out of it* and can't remember any of their names.
In no time your name is called and you're placed on a bed and told to put on a gown. An intern does everything, very young. Not quite young enough to be your daughter, BUT. She looks at the blood on your hand and the bruises on your elbow and chest, makes inquires. She and the "real" doctor, who's about two years older than her, are all very interested in whether your jaw is closing correctly. No one can see the chipped molar in back so you don't know whether the root is involved or not. Enelle holds your hand as the intern jabs in more and more and more and more and more pricks of novacaine or whatever. You feel a lot of dripping from the shots. At the same time it is nice to lie on your back, having your hand held while you stare at the dirty spot on the light fixture. It is a relief to do nothing. And the pain is dwindling with more shots. She tells you each time she's finished a stitch. After the stitches go in you feel much better. Especially after the doctor laughs at your joke about no hair growing on that part of your chin when you get older. Then it's time to go. They don't give you a bill, which is scary. Enelle drives you home and puts up the blinds that were soaking in the tub. While drinking tea with Enelle the nice lady who rescued you calls and asks if you're OK. You are floored. People are good.
But now you want to pack a suitcase and move in with them.