London July 20 2003
Been away a while. That's what happens when your motorcycle gets whacked by a car.
So I'm riding out to Teddington late on a Monday night in May, minding my own business on an empty road, when this car pulls out to turn right, and drives into the side of my bike. Witnesses said that I flew fairly gracefully and landed in the gutter, lying straight.
I have no memory of this. Ain't the brain a grand thing? It edits out the really, really unpleasant stuff, like the crack of both wrists breaking, the squishy sound of a shoulder dislocating, the scrape of helmet against tarmac, the thud of a body rolling over and sliding to a stop.
So anyway, I have just four memories of the accident - firstly, a woman (the driver? a witness? Dunno) leaning over and asking me if I had a mobile phone, and who she should call. Secondly, a breathalyser being inserted into my mouth - oh the shame! the ignominy! Thirdly, me complaining while they cut my favourite pair of moleskin trousers off me. And fourthly, me being wheeled into X-Ray.
After that, the morphine took over and I can't recall much of anything. Until I got out of hospital, with two wrists in casts and a suspicious lumpy left shoulder.
A week later, I'm back at the same hospital with a swollen and painful ankle. They discover that I also cracked an ankle. How the hell did they miss that? So they wheel me back into a ward that DOESN'T even have a television, and where the newspaper seller comes by around midday. For a week of antibiotics, before they operate on the ankle.
I got out of the casts just ten days ago, and I am still a pissed off dude. I wasted 2 whole weeks while they misdiagnosed my ankle - "It's probably ligament damage; wear a strap and it should be fine. They IGNORED my shoulder until my last visit, when the consultant lists a number of operations I can have. And they neglected to tell me about a broken toe.
Anyhoo, I can lift small things now, I have a really glam scar running inside my left wrist - like a suicide bid gone wrong. I can't even lift my friend Kate's four-month old baby dammit.
And if that weren't enough to deal with, I was thinking of ranting about the attitude of my fellow users of the Underground towards those with injuries and handicaps, but I'll just content myself with this: See if I give up MY seat when you're pregnant, or injured, or old, you suckwits. It's like a Darwinian petri dish, the Tube.
On the plus side, I've found a few new songs to groove to:
"Madam Helga" - the Stereophonics. They've done their research, they've got the whole hard-living rock thing down. This one's going to be played in biker pubs for the next decade.
"Smile" - the Supernaturals. How can you not like this song? It marches right up to you, grabs you by the scruff of the neck and commands you to jump up and down. You can almost imagine attempting to break the world mass aerobics lesson record with this song.
"Wasted Time" and "The Last Resort" - The Eagles. Definitely not easy listening. You know it's a Don Henley song when you feel you have to listen to the lyrics and get all righteously outraged at some perceived ill. On the other hand, "She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island" makes me smile.
"Eleanor" - the Turtles. Stereotypical 60s right up to the chorus, but "You're my pride and joy, etcetera" is a glorious line.
::: posted by Sun King at 6:49 PM