I set off a dazzling display the likes of which I’d never before seen — stars and colors and kabooms — simply by crashing my bike into a tunnel wall. The sudden impact of head meeting concrete triggered a private Big Bang event you can’t imagine. My world burst into a shower of bright, sparkly, shooting stars and careening galaxies. I heard birds, too, cuckoos, I think. And I was stupefied, either by the glitziness of the spectacle or the pain, it was hard to tell.
Did you know you can hear bones break? You can and I did. Stepping on a breadstick, that’s how it sounded, but it felt like being impaled on a fence. So I sat very quietly, unblinking, and bled onto my t-shirt, my bicycle, my shorts and shoes, waiting for my friend to return with the car. I entertained myself with thoughts of the Three Stooges and Christopher Reeve and being bedridden.
Finally, after my friend strapped the bikes to the carrier, I very carefully squirmed into the passenger seat and pleaded to go home; he took me to the hospital, instead. You think you know somebody, right? Dirty sneak.
Thus began my 9-day odyssey tethered to a chest tube (punctured lung), morphine drip (broken shoulder and rib), IV (standard procedure), and leg compression (circulation). So the next time you’re cautioned to have a safe Fourth of July celebration, pay attention. I promise, the consequences of ignoring logic, reason and gravity are incredibly, horribly painful.
Please, use a little common sense and remember: life isn’t an episode of Jackass.
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