My Body, Interrupted

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The humming of the road lulls me between sleep and consciousness. My letterman jacket wraps my body to keep me comfortable and warm. I’m on my way to cello lessons, my sister is driving. Usually she’s a pretty good driver. Besides the couple times she’s driven on the wrong side of the road I feel pretty safe when I ride with her. As we turn the corner my body is interrupted. Crash. My eyes burst open to a different world. Gravity is gone. Time is stopped. Physics contorted. Confusion rushes through my brain. Time starts again and all life jolts forward. Sights and sounds blur together. My sister is yelling at me and I’m standing outside of the big red soccer mom minivan that we all hate. Big Red is crushed, totaled. The hood twisted into an ugly u-shape. The sun blaring through my retinas I don’t see much.
Gut-wrenching sickness possesses me. My insides clench together, tighter and tighter. My body falls to the ground, losing all strength, gravity forcing me into submission. What’s happening to me? Something is wrong with the air. I huff and puff lungs full of poison. My head is splitting. Somehow I’m lying on the ground away from the chaos. There are people everywhere. Strangers. From my subconscious or reality? I’ll never know. My sister said something about blood. I wasn’t bleeding. I couldn’t be, right?
**********
Scene two, ambulance.
They clamp a neck brace on me. The EMT’s suggest I shouldn’t move. I know my neck isn’t broken. I may not know what happened, but I know this much. Call it intuition, whatever. Pain. Real blood. Time is not on my side. Apparently I’m injured, badly. My neck is swelling with waves of pain. Can we get to the hospital any slower? It doesn’t help that the EMT’s are making small talk, cracking jokes. My limbs and digits twitch with every hurricane of pain. I can recall the roof of the ambulance with detail. I could’ve burned a hole in the ceiling with my glaring.
Ah, the hospital. I’ve had an irrational fear of hospitals ever since my aunt died. They place me in a room. A strange machine dangles from the ceiling. Some boy screams bloody murder. I feel better now somehow. The x-ray machine flies over my body. They take my contacts and give me an IV. God, I hate this IV. I hate the awkward feeling of a tube stuck in your skin. The doctor shows up and explains the situation to me. There’s no break, not even a fracture. The airbag had burned and ripped a good portion of the surface area of my neck. Slowly they clean my wounds. Keyword, slowly. The bleeding has mostly stopped I guess but the pain won’t relent. Oh boy now we get to the fun part. All the cuts in my neck have to be pulled at to see how deep they are. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling. It’s close to nine and I haven’t eaten since the breakfast. My stomach protests and I want to leave. I want some Wendy’s real bad. The baconator is screaming my name.
Blah blah blah the nurses make pointless banter while we wait on something, anything. The male nurse asks me the usual questions. “What school do you go to? Are you in band?” He tells me something about an oboe but I could care less. They tell me I can stand up. The soft pink room spins and my neck grows stiff. Moving my head is going to be a problem for a while they tell me. My mom leads me to her car. We sit in silence. My sister complains about how much pain she’s in. B.S.! The airbag only hit her finger. I wanna tell her to shut up so bad but I keep my mouth shut. Best to hold my tongue when it comes to Grace.

I lay in bed with bittersweet feelings. The pain isn’t easy to get past but I’m exhausted beyond belief. Looking back, the accident could have been much worse. I could’ve broken my neck or even died. It wasn’t like the movies where you become a better person after experiencing a near death experience. There’s no s***** supporting actress or hilarious best friend. No musical build up as the cast runs off into the sunset holding hands. Just emptiness and a longing for more. The accident showed me why to live everyday to the fullest. Not every story has a happy ending, but the middle is the part everyone wants to read.





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IamtheStargirl said...
Oct. 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Wow, this is really good, and I especially like how you wrote the ending. That's so true.

Thank you for writing this.

 
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