My client, the comedian, after she had finally caught the attention of my staff, leaned toward me and said, “They are great at what they do but a little, basic first aid?” I laughed at her tone and her expression, it was more geared toward the “comic night at the Apollo.” She had been keeping pressure on my forehead and talking to me. It was a nice “gash” but not life threatening. Deep. The face always bleeds more I kept thinking. Everyone says that. It’s like a given. I’m glad I was told. I think you need to know that early on in your childhood. It made me less nervous.
I could hear the distant sound of sirens. They are coming. I was still flat, lying on the carpet.
When I left my desk heading to the back of the office, I was still engaged with my client. It’s this multi-task mentality we have for feeling accomplished. You never do one, single thing. With less attention on “me,” I was not as focused on the fire door. I had assumed the Duo had found the quick fix as the ladder signaling a possible collision had been removed. No more danger. Impact had let me know I was wrong. With high ceilings, at 5’10’, I was perfectly positioned for the crude, metal bar which was part of the frame for the fire door. And, upon impact proved to be a strong opponent. Looking back now, I realize I never did finish my client’s transaction.
As the street filled with blue and red, reflecting off the ceiling above me, I heard the sound and movement at the glass door. This time, it wasn’t clients. It was the rattle of metal against glass, the EMTs bringing in the gurney. The liquid had stopped running down my head and through my hair. I knew I would need stitches but as I brought the replay forward, I saw myself in what I can only describe as being in a cartoon. When I was a kid, Sylvester & Tweety was a cartoon I watched for hours. I would always feel badly for Sylvester because he never won at the chase. There was an episode where Sylvester was chasing Tweety and going through a Dutch Door; a door cut horizontally which can be left closed on the bottom but allows the top to be open. As Tweety went through, the top of the door was closed and the bottom open. Sylvester, with every step gaining more speed, went crashing into the top of the door and while his head came to an abrupt stop, below his waist did not and kept running ahead. When he was stretched to a point, his lower body came rushing back like a rubber band returning to its form. I had become Sylvester. And at the moment of impact, my head was pulled behind my shoulder blades and when my lower body did finally stop beyond the opening beneath that metal bar, released my head with unforgiving force into my spinal column; Cervical, Thoracic & Lumbar.
“What is your name? Can you tell me what day of the week it is? How do you feel? I can see the laceration on your forehead. You are going to need stitches but we will get you fixed up. Do you have pain anywhere beside your forehead? How many fingers do you see?”
Wrapping my head in gauze with packing, he took my vitals and his partner lowered the gurney. He had asked me to move my arms and legs. I did. He asked if I thought I could stand or move enough to get onto the gurney. I didn’t feel numbness or pain lying there on the carpet. Yes, I think I can. His partner came to my right side, he supported my left and I half rolled toward the gurney. I was almost upright when the cutting, sharp jolt of pain ran through my body. It was like none I could remember. I screamed in agony. Falling forward, I grabbed the wall.