Thursday, August 11, 2011

Epistle. To: Mercy Hunt

I like to think maybe I beat it. Beat it at its own game even. I like to think I acted randomly. Down through the years and all that. Not so much from something personal, but something more like looking around and trying to decipher it. Like algebra class. Remember Mister Z and how earnest the man was?  Oh the chalk lines dragged across one's nerves! Algebra class -  like all the rest that we sat through - back in the dreaded school years of being developed for the coming phase of life where we would be all stuck later on as adults. And it was also like spades working against you when trying to fit in was more important than something like having a second thought about it.  But the one good thing from algebra class - other than of course having you as a text-mate to cheat from!  - was getting credit for trying to solve the problem. Even if you didn't arrive at the correct answer in the back of the book you did get marks for your scratch-work in the side columns for pursing the damn thing etc. But it made me wonder. Pursing problems and all that. Ah. The grand scheme in the nature game. The one that doesn't like a vacuum. But to get you up to speed here's what happened. I was riding my bicycle along the Onion Avenues north to south when I got t-boned at Main and the hot dog cart by another bicycle. Some wild and crazy guy flying down Main east to west hit me broad side and sent me into orbit south east to north west. I remember being forced off my seat into a kind of suspended air and flying through some eternal moment in the books. It being totally beautiful to become air born. Like the stuff from where dreams are made. Only now I appeared capable beyond the abstract. I was flying through the air. And I guess somewhere it registered that right now I was in the air - forced against my wishes - but really wasn't that a pedestrian thing we all fear? In the air I flew-  breath taking - gonad tightening - above the curb-scape - a small city intersection with hip hop boys holding skateboards like instruments and music apps stuck in their heads and tourists in bad shorts sweating for ice cream cones. Bare chested hard hat laborers dug in the filth of ongoing asphalt repaving to make the streets simpler to negotiate. I was flying above land. I was a mammal with stock options and a coupon for a free car wash in the next month. And now whoa. A bird's eye of things below more defined than any gods might be since they were already there in the air and that's why they were gods to begin with and not mammals flying through the air.  I was making my own dream. Could this get any better? The beautiful stuff lasted for a few seconds until I slammed head first into the metal sides of the hot dog cart. With impact enough to geyser steamed wieners and the relish trays up into a fountain and then back down in a sticky sweet protein filled mess onto the heads of a group of city councilors out for a break from budget negotiations. When I woke up I was a room. Whoa. Where did the air go? This was not a place where the gods hung out! And maybe waking up wasn't a clear enough description. Had I come around to what? It was explained to me. There was a pause in the manufactured breathing tubes stuck down my throat and into my nostrils where I volunteered something like my own breath and then opened my eyes. This wasn't anyplace to be I thought again and I knew it immediately. Like if you've ever sat down to a poker table and looking around you if you don't see a sucker at the table than brother you're it. Machines were all around and it was like being lost inside the workings of a mechanical forest that stretched to the door frame and then wrapped back toward me around the walls. White whispers spoken beyond a pall of understanding and needle ports rising out of me. Welcome back some gal said looking down into my eyes. Don't even think about moving she added. What was next I thought? Was I going to be told that I was doing fine? You're not doing so well she said. I tried to talk. But I had no voice on the outside. All I had were sounds on the inside. They were like shouts no one heard but me and they filled my ears with equal mixtures of fear and curiosity like a balance point not arrived yet. If I texted I might say WTF? But I don't. All I have is a landline that the telecommunications company of origin keeps embarrassingly updating to the 21st Century until they get rid of me and all the other landline users. I tried to raise my hand. Hoping for the odd calligraphy gesture that by a simple physical act was meant to communicate a need from within and write thoughts upon the air to be viewed. But the bed held onto me. The gal kept looking down at me. I kept looking out. Through something. I was looking out through something. You were dead the gal said. Huh? When the EMT's finally pulled your head from the hot dog cart you had a seizure and went into cardiac arrest and then you bought the farm. Huh? That means you died. Huh? Technically you were gone for a minute and forty-nine seconds. Huh? They put the paddles to you and that banged your heart around and that got you kick started back up. You were quite the mess when they brought you in. Now you're here. Suddenly it was clear. I was in a hospital room. Either that or now I was still dreaming. Either way I thought I'm screwed. But who was this gal? Did she text? And if so did I now have to get an app? Cue the neurons. What can I say? But I liked the way she talked. I liked how it was. I wanted to hear more how it was she sounded. Dead? Well wasn't that the shit... And a thought I then had was - am I still dead and this was just a memory? Cool I thought. Maybe I'm in the Twilight Zone? A syndicated television re-run. Like the one at the bus station. How many time have I see that one? After the Rod Serling introduction some guy with baggage checks his whereabouts but it's pretty clear he's just another invisibility left in the aisles among confused passengers and bad fares and inept schedules heading off into forever - which was really his life repeating again and again - without really knowing anything different because you get off one bus and get on another beneath the big time clocks and black and white postings for tickets. But what if that wasn't it? Maybe I was in the future. The old piss smelling bus station where thieves share the night was no longer there. Instead confused passengers bad fares inept schedules were installed as the old same template but this time around was posted onto a brand new off the drawing board federal grant designed multi-modal-user-transit- sender and the exits hummed like illuminations with different cites imprinted virtually upon the air in brilliant smart phone colors. But wouldn't it be in the end the same old invisibility to contend with? So nonetheless I felt stuck. The fucking present. I couldn't talk. I couldn't move. And naturally I wanted out. Here's the program the gal said. Severe facial lacerations. Collapsed vertebrae. Broken sternum. Your knees look like dog meat. And here's the kicker. There's a piece of the hot dog cart stuck inside your head that can't be removed at this time. There's too much swelling in there to get a clear shot at it she said. And with situations like this there's always the risk of hemorrhage where even if the surgery were a success well if you bleed too much afterward then your brain might blow up she said and so she said there's no point at this time putting you through all that. Plus she said who you need to do the operation is at this moment wind surfing off the coast of Oregon and who if I do read the e-mails correctly won't be back until the last gust calms down. Realistically she said  he'll be back in the office in nine days. It's a problem with professionals she said. Especially the brain surgeons. They get away from the lasers and the scalpels and turn into nature boys. My job here she said is to care for you. I do have to inform you that while you are in the hospital there's always the possibility for infection. Bacteria aren't exactly the easiest creatures to catch she said. She looked down on me with big leafy eyes that seemed like elements on her face. I wanted to say whoa. I wanted to say I can't talk back but I will look up into those greenstone rims and herbal-like corneas until the turn of the century faded away. I wanted to say majestic. I wanted to say this is a fucking nightmare. I wanted to say but what happened to my bicycle? Relax she said and hit a button on an IV port. It's cocktail hours she said. And oh she said. The You Tube with you and the hot dog cart that went viral.        

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