i’ve had several much-appreciated messages from people, saying they liked my writing, and/or that i made them laugh. I’m pretty sure it’s the only thing keeping Mr Bastard and I either sane or alive. Laughing, i mean, not him appreciating my glorious prose. *coughs*
The mould doesn’t settle in your lungs as bad – it’s like aerobic exercise for those who can’t afford a treadmill. I find walking any distance outside a problem, thanks to Aunty Mary running over my knees that time.
Yes, i’m exaggerating for comic effect. It was in May, ’95. She only bounced me (and my knees) off several places on the driver side, while i was holding onto the door, before i lost my grip, and was pitched off, to sail through the air at a height taller than my five-five (166cm), for some distance.
This gave me time to muse on mortality. It was in neon, a mile high, a shout at God, “But I haven’t finished yet.” Like a waitress had removed my soup. I knew with some certainty, that i hadn’t. I knew i’d have to come back and go through all the crap that had got me to this point, just to catch up to where i’d got to in this life. (Yes, reincarnation sucks sometimes. Funny, i didn’t believe in it, until that moment, when i hung suspended between Heaven and Earth. Then i just knew.)
Teach me to stand inside an open car door when the motor’s still running. We live and learn – hopefully. I have friends and family i want to weep for, watching them repeat patterns – like standing inside open car doors when the engine’s running – that are guaranteed to lead them to that moment of misery, high above the Earth, where we think, oops, that was a silly idea. Whether by choices that allowed others to abuse (or run us over), or by the choice to abuse ourselves.
Yes, i was quite surprised to survive – at the very least, i was going to lose my legs – there were three separate points during the experience where i thought oh fuck. I’m dead. At one point i even thought, no, do not let me live after i have been crushed from the hips down, (which i could see coming at me, as part of my very immediate future.)
Very matter-of-fact, I was. It was only on the third time, that I had that split second extra, to think. Anyway, people came running up, who were very surprised that i was conscious and not apparently bleeding. So was i. I wiggled. Hmm, i began to sit up. I was in a bit of pain, but i’d had broken bones before, and i didn’t seem to have any now.
Don’t try to move, said my saviours, and i ignored them. I think, I said, I’m okay. They scoffed but didn’t have that medical training to hold me down, and i sat up, thinking, holy fuck, my legs aren’t broken. They’d nearly gone between two cars – when the impact happened, the door i was hanging off had been bent along the car’s wing, towards the headlights. Not just a bit, but completely flattened.
Up til then, i’d managed to get my toes to the lip of the driver’s side, arched my back like a bow (amazing what the thought of being crushed can do to a back), and had kept myself off the roadway and from going under the car i was hanging onto. I had burred lines along my cowboy boots where i got dragged a bit, but nothing serious. I’d nearly worn flat shoes and light cotton pants, then had instead worn boots and jeans. That saved me.
It was then, as we hit the other car, that i went airborne.
Anyway, this is all justification for one thing – i get to ride on the tank when we invade Budgewoi – oh, and then Halekulani. There’s a nice club and restaurant there. Oh – and then we need to detour south, to the lighthouse at Norah Head. No, not for strategic reasons, the best cafe is there. Lovely view down over Cabbage Tree Bay.
Can you tell, I’m avoiding what i really should be doing? Yeah, me too. I’ve done the washing up, swept the veranda, am thinking of doing some washing, and ooh, ooh! I can have a shower, too. Oh, i’ll just slip in a quick blog.
And then, I’ll work on my book. Oh, wait… I just need to sweep up downstairs…. and strip the bed… I can procrastinate in such productive ways.
Anyway, there i was in the air, pissed off after escaping certain death twice in about ten seconds, only to be about to crack my head on the carpark below, and the ground was coming up to meet me.
Afterwards i discovered all my nails on my right hand, neatly sheared off as i’d reached towards the bitumen. Not bleeding, just filed down hard. A tiny bit of gravel rash, and i mean tiny and not bad, on one elbow and one hand, and spectacular bruising from hip to ankle that went right through both knees.
I drove us home, poor Mary was in a state. She’d floored the accelerator instead of the brake when the auto gear slipped from Park into Reverse.
A miracle. And the thing is, i knew what i needed to do. So when you say, thanks, you made me laugh, or thanks, i loved your writing, it makes me think yes, this is why i’m here. It makes me feel so good.
There … gawd, it’s only 9am – i might actually end up doing some work on the book after all. Oh – hang on, no, my computer’s gone mental and thinks we’re off Summer time – and we aren’t. It’s actually ten, i’ve lost an hour, and i don’t know how i’m going to get the washing done before lunchtime, I need a shower, and omg, those cupboards need a wipe down.
Book? What book?