Because a week and a half ago, we were biking to the ice cream store on beater commuter bikes at about 10 mph (Steve was on the kind of bike you find in the garage and wonder if the rust will hold it together long enough to get there), when he was looking back at our friends, hit some hole in the road, and slipped. Probably because of the shittyness of the bike, the handlebars swerved and he fell. It was the sort of fall where you should just get scraped up and feel like a dumbass.
But, he didn’t get scraped up at all. Instead, he went straight down and fell just right and at such an angle to break his femur. I don’t know if you could do that if you tried.
The whole thing went quickly from oh shit, a fall, to oh shit, the emergency room, to oh shit, surgery, to oh shit, a week in the hospital.
We’re back at home now and Steve is on crutches — clearly. And, he’ll be on crutches for six weeks. And, he’s fine. And, everything’s going to be fine. And, please don’t make that voice when you ask, ‘ooooooh, how ARE you?’
But, last week was not super fine. I’ve been to a number of hospitals before, so I know that they’re operated in such a way it’s surprising anyone ever gets better from anything, but this one was worse than usual. Nurses came in and out, saying different things each time. Yes, you can eat that; No, you can’t. We need to get you prepped for surgery — oh, are you sure you already had surgery? Every person that came in at all hours had an opinion about everything, whether or not they were qualified to and all those people rarely spoke to each other.
If you had followed every instruction given, you’d probably be dead, because every possibly instruction was given.
So, as the week went on I got increasingly tired. Friday afternoon, after Steve was finally discharged and we got home and got everything settled, I started to drive off the side of a cliff.
No, that’s not a metaphor.
I had to go to my team’s cross-country meet Friday afternoon and I had to park in a dirt pull-off on the side of the road on a hill facing downhill. Because there were so many other people parking, I tried to fit into the very front edge of the dirt pull-off — meaning my wheels were on the edge of the side of this hill with no barrier or trees in between me and the ravine; a good rain would have washed my car away.
I got out and decided that there was more room behind me and I was right on the line. So I redid my parking job. I moved about an inch. I got out again and decided that everyone else had their wheels curbed the opposite direction I did. My wheels were curbed as though there was an actual curb facing down the hill, but there wasn’t, so if my parking brake went out my car would just go right over the side of the hill and into the ravine. So, I redid my wheels.
Except that when I turned the car on I didn’t turn it on all the way, but I didn’t realize that only the music was on and it was in neutral. My wheels wouldn’t turn because the car wasn’t all the way on, but I didn’t realize that. I tried to put it in reverse and go backwards, but the car wasn’t on, so instead it started rolling forward — and which way were my wheels facing? Over the side of the hill.
I tried again, but the car still wasn’t on, so I kept rolling over the side. I was freaking out by then, so I tried to just drive forward and out of the dirt pull-off.
BUT, here’s the kicker — the car still wasn’t all the way on.
Completely losing my shit at this point, because I was genuinely about to drive over the side of a hill into a ravine. My front corner wheel was starting to slip at that edge point. It was going to be a sad way to go: And, then, from a dead stop she drove off a cliff. Was she committing suicide? No, we think she was just tired — or stupid.
Eventually, I yanked the wheels back the right direction and coasted back onto the road. Then, I figured out what was going on and did one of those forced park things in the middle of the road and restarted the car and parked and went to the meet.
Later that night, I was driving home from hosting/moderating/asking questions at a council debate and I had to stop at a DUI checkpoint. The cop who asked me to roll down my window happened to be the same cop who pulled me over for something small a month or two ago. At that time two months ago, I was tired and stressed, been busy, and I lost it, started crying, he offered me life advice, I cried more.
So, at this DUI checkpoint, I roll down my window and the same officer said, “Oh, you look at a lot better today. Glad you’re having a better day. You definitely look a lot calmer. Good it’s been a good week for you.”
Which was so unequivocally, statistically untrue – under no measure was last week a good week or even a better day than whatever had been wrong that previous day – that there was really nothing to say to that besides, “Thanks.”