Open Wounds

The worst accident I ever had was on my bike when I was thirteen. I took a corner at high speed and had to turn even sharper to avoid a parked car. Something went horribly wrong and I crashed hard, landing squarely on my face. There were stitches and blood. So much blood.

The second worst accident I ever had came forty years later. I was on a bicycle again. I tried to turn off a street and onto a sidewalk by way of a paved dip. But the road and the sidewalk were too new, too recently poured, and the definition between one surface and the next was sharp and pronounced. My tire got caught in the rut, which forced it in the wrong direction when I was already committed to the turn. I went down on solid concrete and bounced my head off the pavement. This time I was wearing a helmet. Despite sloshing my brain around in my skull, my head didn’t hurt.

Everything else did.

After a very nice German girl named Tanya helped scrape me off the road, she sat with me for forty minutes while I recovered enough to start walking again. The sun was down, and my hands were too injured to work the brakes, so I pushed my bike home the last three miles before collapsing into bed.

That’s when the shock set in. It was a long night of fever and shakes and sudden nausea when I tried to sip a bowl of soup. Even in such a sorry state, I still had to limp around the block in the wee hours because Inheritance Dog must be walked regardless.

Yes, I should have gone to the hospital. Instead I just texted a friend to check on me in the morning to make sure I was still alive. Someone needs to feed my animals if I die in my sleep.

This was two months ago. I’ve been recovering ever since. The scabs have since healed and flaked off, but other, deeper injuries still hurt. And my mangled big-toe nail is dead and waiting to peel off Brundlefly-style. Most nights I sleep with various braces to keep all those distressed bones and ligaments in place. The sprains and broken fingers and toes have mostly set, and my worries of having to endure chronic pain throughout the rest of my life have subsided.

I’ve even been on my bike a couple of times since the accident. Having two estates to settle and a house to sell pushed me to make weekly, sometimes daily, commutes out to Lachine. This is how it goes when two parents kick off on you within a few months of each other. I got tired of being at the mercy of train schedules and started using my bike instead. Soon enough, I learned I am not as nimble as I once was. A series of escalating minor accidents ended with me nearly killing myself, but everything has finally been sorted out. The house is sold, and my parents’ affairs have been largely resolved at this point. Slowly my life is becoming my own once more.

This means I’m writing again.

Like riding a bike, you never forget how it’s done, but there may be a string of cataclysmic accidents as I get back into the routine. We’ll see how it goes as I push to bring several major projects to a successful conclusion.

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