Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On March 18th, I Am My Own Constant

Everyone knows of the accident, 19 years ago this morning. Same kind of weather, rain with melting ice on the ground. Every March 18th, I reflect on how I've changed from that Saturday. I have more pains from being older, but I'm in better shape than when I saw the 55th Street Cubetia upside down at five feet in the air (a memory etched in my mind like a tear in my brain tissue). I feel as if I'm left behind by faster typists, but I was able to keep up with things in the days of Galaxie Twelves and dot matrix printers. Laying on the ground with the bashed leg, the trashed bones, the bloodied head. I learned to use my right hand for the first time in my life--look how fat that still-broken left hand looked, straight from Bobek's sausage factory!--and now my one right finger can still hit the shift key. When I was standing in front of Sid's tavern, I was wearing everything I had on the following Saturday. The bones tore through the turtleneck, a hooded sweatshirt, and the padded suede jacket in the other photo. Another setback, nine operations and part of my right hip in my left arm, a hollow spot Dennis Etchison once called "deadspace" in a story, and I'm left typing with one finger, my thumb in the air. Like I'm typing with a flesh pistol. So if I need a Constant, something to keep me grounded (or at least something to keep me from taking a dirt nap), I think of myself on March 18th 1989 and then on every March 18th afterwards. Exxon Valdez. Iditerod dog races. Hurricane Hugo hit during my fifth operation. Most days, I'm good. But I never NEVER think about Friday, March 17th, 1989, or any day before that. The days that I was still alive.....Wayne