Safety Dance

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One of the long lasting downsides of being run over by a truck is that I’m not great in traffic. I’m an easily scared passenger, nervous driver, completely non-bicycler, jumpy pedestrian. So mostly I stick to the sidewalk. Fortunately work is just a mile away so it’s pretty easy to live life as a pedestrian.

It’s dark now when I close shop. I think about my visibility all the time. I wear a lot of white jackets and white pants. I’m very focused walking, I look into the eyes of drivers when I cross in front of them, I never take out my phone, I don’t listen to music.

But still people are reckless, dangerous in their driving, bicycling, even as they run/walk by me.

People will risk their lives to save 5 seconds of time. Every night I see some dumbass running against the light on a big busy street dressed entirely in black. Moms looking at their cell phones as they push the stroller out into an intersection, not checking to confirm a car is turning. Taxis trying to squeeze thru on a yellow that has already turned red. Bicyclists without helmets, without lights, in the dark, splitting lanes. Everyone is at fault. Everyone thinks they are in the right. I can go on forever on this topic.

Another long term downside of being hit by a truck? Rage. I have a lot of rage. Especially towards these morons I watch breaking the traffic rules, making foolish and unsafe choices. This post is already priming me to Hulk out.

But so I focus on myself, on making my movement through this world safer and that includes my new light up bracelet. For my walk home in the dark. My doggies have their lightup collars, and I now have a lightup bracelet I got for $.20 at Goodwill. Besides my ivory bangle, this is my best Goodwill find yet.

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The Other Monday 2007

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One of the very interesting things with memory is that to create and store a memory you must review regularly. Starting especially within the initial days following an event. So if something disrupts this process, especially when it’s something high adrenaline and stressful, the memories preceding it are easily forgotten. Which is how it’s so hard for me to piece together the prior week of dates out with my honey aka the guy from the bar.

That Monday (it was the 22nd of January), I woke up at my new boyfriend’s apartment early. We lived all of a ten minute walk away from each other so I dashed home where I dressed for work. I must have strapped my newish silver metallic bag to the back of my bike because it was returned to me later. I think I wore black pants and a white blouse, I definitely wore my long brown leather jacket, three squiggly little cheapo bangles, and a helmet. And then I got on my bike to ride to work.

I remember crossing onto Market Street, joining the bike lane. I also remember waiting at the red light on Octavia, in front of the freeway on ramp. Then the light changed green.

Next I remember pieces of a moment. At this point I’m not certain how real they are because it’s been eight years. But so the white truck to the left of me decided to make an illegal right hand turn onto the freeway.

I remember my surprise at the first impact. This “oh shit” feeling where I thought I was just going to lose my balance. Then the moment where I knew the situation was worse than that. Next there were people standing over me and I was both terrified and embarrassed to be laid out in the middle of the street blocking traffic. I wanted desperately to get up and go to work. I had an appointment! I had to leave. But they wouldn’t let me.

Most specifically there was a man. A very kind man with a goatee. A complete stranger who asked for phone numbers, he told me everything would be okay. And then he waited with me. I still don’t know his name.

Apparently the first phone number I remembered was my dad’s office number from when I was a little girl.

I sort of remember being in the ambulance. I know I was in immense pain, but when you aren’t in pain you sort of forget what pain is like. And then I have flashes of the emergency room. Being propped against a metal slab. My mom rushing in. The doctors saying I’d need a catheter and I started screaming. What? Catheters scare me. According to my mom that was when she knew that I’d be okay. At some point I had X-Rays, CAT scans, chest tubes inserted both in my right and left lungs, and a neck brace.

The rear tires of the pick-up truck (Ford F-450 bearing cement- that’s the punchline of this story) had crossed my torso and crushed it. Pretty much every rib broke, multiple times, puncturing both lungs. I should have died. Without a helmet I would have already been dead. There’s more to my injuries but the story telling machine is running out of steam.

“But what about your honey?” You may be asking. He came to visit me twice in the hospital. He met my parents while there. Then I broke up with him, because I couldn’t continue. I was hospitalized for just under a month, then I moved in with my mom so she could care for me. I spent a year of my life on a painkiller cocktail which left me numbed to pain and other feelings. My honey hung in there though, texting me (not too much, not too little) until finally we returned to slowly dating. It wasn’t until December that we became serious again.

So that’s it. The big week that changed my life in many ways. I’ve forgotten so much of it because the memories didn’t have time to form. I can piece together bits thanks to emails, pictures, my honey’s memory. But there are parts that are completely gone, blank hours. And things I’ve discovered that I misremembered. In the litigation I saw a picture of the truck, I learned the make and brand but it looked completely different from my memory of it.

Oh wait here is the actual punchline, you know why the driver made an illegal right hand turn and sped off after running me over? He had to go to the bathroom and hadn’t realized he’d struck a person on a bicycle. There are only two lessons here: drive safely and wear a helmet.

Today’s bangles: the trio I wore on the day of my accident, tortoise shell bangle from Goodwill, lucky figa charm bracelet.

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Something Happened Tuesday 1.16.2007

Remember yesterday? I told you all about how my honey and I met. It was sweet and cheesie and special and a story that will take exactly one week to tell it all, because this is the big week in my life with the most life changing anniversaries.

I think about this week in 2007 a lot. I think about each day of the week, and about how we as a species find patterns in everything, even when there are no patterns. I have a need to comb through the events to find reasons. It’s part of my life philosophy- everything is connected, each action pulls and moves and creates our lives. Maybe by looking at the pulls and changes I can better understand some of the outcomes.

This day, eight years ago, a Tuesday started abruptly. My honey, who was not yet my honey but just the guy from the bar last night was sound asleep in my bed. Don’t judge! I wasn’t as easy as this all sounds! And he is my HUSBAND now, after all, so even if I was that easy… errr. I digress!

In 2007 I lived on Oak Street where they begin car ticketing and towing each weekday at 7 a.m. sharp. My bed was pressed against the window, I loved the noise of the traffic. It was kind of a swooshing lull but I was very keenly attuned to the ticketing and towing process. So with the rattling of the metermaids and tow trucks I sat bolt upright and began punching and pushing my guy from the bar last night to move his scooter. Side note, it turned out the motorcycle helmet was actually a scooter helmet.

He yanked on some pants and ran/hopped out the door into traffic and meter maids and tow trucks barefoot. He managed to roll the scoot up onto the sidewalk in the nick of time and return to my place where we probably exchanged some awkward words, phone numbers, or something. But we solidly made plans for either that night or Wednesday night (I can’t remember now) to watch American Idol at his apartment.

So today (or tomorrow) is the anniversary of the very first time I ever watched American Idol. It turns out I’m not such a fan. Oh well. The things that stick with you, right? To answer your question, no, (thank god!) this is not one of the life changing events. This was just a first that happened to occur during a phenomenally life changing week. It was the last week of part of my life and I didn’t realize it at the time, but the little things, they all stand out now.

To be cont.

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Today’s bangles: the orange Clic-clac I was wearing the night I met my honey, the blue Cape Cod watch also wore that night, and my lucky little figuinhas.

Being Hit By A Truck vs. Infertility: which is the best?

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HIT BY A TRUCK   INFERTILITY
Pain YES X neglible
Heart ache neglible X YES
Cause Truck X Cause unknown
Weight change loss X gain
Ability to exercise not possible X not allowed
Time heals all wounds X is not a woman’s friend
Financial profit gain* X loss
Diagnosable psychological repercussions PTSD, panic disorder tie tie depression
Time off work many months paid leave X two days per IVF round unpaid leave
Frequency of strangers asking if you are pregnant daily by X-Ray techs but otherwise non occurring X Frequently because you are fat from hormones and lack of exercise
Ability of strangers asking if you are pregnant to make you cry Nope X Immense
Fun-ness of medications Very fun X No fun
Internet forums to discuss issues Maybe? Runoverbytruck.com? X Gobs
Risk of death High X No risk
Relatability of the situation Very, everybody has experienced pain and can imagine being hit by truck X Not very, except by others who have experienced it
Root of fear that being hit by a truck contributed to infertility Yes X No

Conclusion, being hit by a truck is better than infertility by a landslide! Lesson here, always choose being hit by a truck. Wholesale ducky hospital ID bracelets available at PDC Healthcare

*conditional upon fault of insured truck driver

Nano Wrimothoasitheslnt

That’s how you spell it, right?

It took me a very long time to figure out what that acronym meant. I’m significantly better with anagrams than acronyms. Not kidding. Like the WR in football, I keep wanting to call it a Right Wing. Since I know that’s wrong I continue to call those guys the WR, to my husband’s huge annoyance. He has definitely explained it to me many times but it just doesn’t stick. However, give me the daily jumble and I can see the words. They just manifest themselves to me without any effort. It’s probably thanks in part to special skills I learned a while ago at a very unique job. A job that was the inspiration for a story.

That job was working in a casino.

Nope. No Mahjong here, buster.

I was a supervisor, basically my company’s equivalent of a PitBoss. Anyway, that was a lifetime ago. Then I was run over by a truck, and invalided at my mom’s house. As a needing-to-do-something-creative-at-all-times kind of person, writing was the logical course of action. Frankly, I couldn’t do anything else. I wasn’t physically capable of it. I was in a lot of pain and needing to process what I had experienced.

No dice either.

I should probably clarify that I had recently started a new very regular type job at the time I was run over. But obviously, some of the stress reverberations from my time at the casino still needed working on, too. So it all came out. Almost dying gave me a goal. I want to publish a book.

I do need dis!!

The story transitioned from a diary of pain, to a fictionalized account of my life, to a totally fictional thriller type story set in a casino and one of the side characters gets hit by a bus. Reading those first drafts is painful. Literally full of pain, and it hurts to read. But it’s come a long way. I have an editor who has helped improve my writing by leaps and bounds. Now, like everybody else hoping to get the door slammed in their face, I’m preparing to start soliciting agents.

Which brings me to Woo Irn Man… errr Nano Wrimo

I think I want to participate. But writing this blog distracts me so much (in a good way). This blog gives me a purpose in a way that I really need right now while I’m dealing with the bad shit in my life. Do people do both? Maintain their blogs and write a story? Have you done it before, are you doing it now? Give me insight please!

Note about the bracelets: today the pictures link to their websites if you are interested in them. A quick note, neither Mah Jong nor dice games were offered at my casino, but I can’t find any Pai Gow jewelry to showcase.

10.4.14 crash test dummy

IMG_2716.JPG It was exactly seven days after I first met my honey that I was run over by a truck.

I used to bike commute to work. I always wore my helmet, never crossed against red, and still doing everything correctly, a pickup truck hauling concrete executed an illegal right hand turn and ran me over. The hauling concrete is the punchline of my story. This was almost 8 years ago.

I remember brief details from the moment, which I don’t feel like sharing at this time. The truck crossed my chest. My parents arrived at the hospital when it was still unclear if I would survive. I sometimes find myself thinking I shouldn’t be alive. I have the kind of luck for things so unlikely, that if only the luck were angled at the lottery, I’d be a mega millions winner. But no, it’s the wrong kind of luck.

Anyway, these stupid bangles are survivors of the accident. They show a tiny bit of roadrash.

IMG_2717.JPG I purchased them at a boutique on Chestnut Street with a gift certificate just that weekend before. I think they cost me $15 maybe. Little nothing bangles with little nothing scars. I don’t wear them ever, and I can’t explain why I wore them today. But my other bangles are a North African bangle from the streets of NY, my dad’s Rolex, and the Hermès Astrologie from my honey.