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Showing posts from July, 2020

After the Accident

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In line with Sue at Einstein's Bagels, the place e choed as if to say I wasn't well enough to be there.  I recall the overwhelming  scent of hazelnut coffee. P eople staring. M y cheek out to here.  Which reminds me, what the heck was I doing there?  The day descended overcast and dreary, as it does when you've been pulverized by a pickup. For some reason I'm picturing crutches. Though it doesn't seem feasible that someone with my coordination level would have been navigating them in December anywhere, much less in Chicago. The leg wasn't even broken, just deeply bruised. The huge swath of injury confounded me until I saw a photo of the truck — a Dodge Dakota whose grill nearly scraped the ground. After Einstein's, I went home. I had to take my epilepsy medicine before it got too late.  The Lamictal bottles stood where I always kept them. Next to the toothpaste, enmeshed in the morning routine. I can picture the 25-milligram pills beside the 100-mil

The ER

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Sue would see “Lincoln Park Hospital” on the caller ID and let it go to voicemail, and she did. Who knew if she was even still awake? I left a message, just for the simple fact that when you've been hit by a car, you should probably let somebody know.  It felt strange to be calling this late from a hospital two blocks from home. But if I were going to call anyone, there was nobody better than Sue, a friend who'd been there through everything since the age of 7. When I got pneumonia in fourth grade and missed three weeks of school, it was Sue who brought me up with a stack of People mags. On Pawleys Island, when I zoned out while reaching for the orange juice, it was Sue who ran for my dad on the beach. Still, when she arrived at the hospital at nearly 1 a.m., I couldn't fathom it. I couldn't fathom much of anything, to be honest. I was still in shock. "Yucking it up with the nurses" is how Sue put it.  "Are you sure you were hit by a car?"

Curbside Service

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I sat on the curb, a block from home and so far from it. The man who hit me was there, asking how I was. He was gentle, kind. I couldn't even hate him, and I wanted to. My head hurt out of control. All I could do was cup it in my hands and groan, and that's exactly what I did.  I wondered where this was going. The young woman walking her dog was calling 911. There was a guy next to her milling around, like people do when they want to help but don't know how. Even in this epically sucky moment, there was compassion, kindness. This was the Chicago I knew. The traffic took on a persona of its own. Cars alive and breathing. Exhaust mixed with the frosty air, and it was hard to tell which was which. I w atched in a daze as the bus I was on moments earlier drove off with the Friday traffic. As if it weren't complicit in this. The leg, the one that had absorbed the car's impact, hurt from the hip all the way down to the ankle. It made no sense, and that