Thursday, July 12, 2012
Oh, Some Days...
...I should just stay in bed.
The day started fine, no drama or excitement. I took the boys down the mountain for their walk, as usual, leaving the car in the shade of trees in the baseball park's lot. We walk around one side and reach this crossroad in the path where you can go in four directions. I start toward the Butterfly Garden because it's cooler (already mid-80s at 10:00 in the morning today), and the dogs like sniffing all the flora and fauna. To reach the Garden, you leave the main path, climb a small grassy knoll, and walk along a narrow dirt trail, then enter the calm, beautiful space, filled with a huge variety of tall, fragrant plants that the butterflies love.
Just as I'm heading to the knoll, this woman I often see walking her dog, comes around the corner from another direction. We talk briefly, and as I begin to turn away and carry on to the Garden, there is an explosion of sound: shattering, breaking, popping. I jump, she jumps, three dogs jump. What the hell???
She's looking over my shoulder, shock on her face. I turn, and there, smoking in the grass not 20 feet from us--and where I would have been had we not stopped to chat for a minute--is the wreck of a remote control airplane. It's big, the wingspan about 6 feet or so, and has done a nosedive into the grassy knoll, broken wings, shrapnel and bits everywhere. I'm just stunned. I could have been hit by this thing, or one of the boys. Just walking in a public park.
We stand there for a minute, not sure what to think, when from across the park comes this idiot man, running toward us. When he gets close, I step right in his path. I will spare you my fury, my outrage, my temper. Suffice it that he knew he'd made a near-fatal error, apologized profusely, bowed and scraped a bit, and begged me not to call the cops (yeah, that was one of my threats--attempted murder anyone?) His excuse for all this: he lost control of the plane. Okay, so I get killed, or my dogs, because this total moron can't fly a frigging TOY..???
So. People gather, others get involved, including the police I think, but I had walked away by then. As we meander along the river, I contemplate the fortuitousness of running into that woman, keeping the boys and I off that grassy knoll, and thank my lucky stars.
About an hour later, I have brought the boys home and loaded the car with some old computer equipment and odds and ends for the dump. There is just one bin/dump site for electronics and there's no one in sight when I pull in. Because the stuff is heavy and cumbersome, I decide to back in. As I'm turning the car, out of nowhere comes Mr Dumb Ass, who cuts right in behind me in his frigging truck and not only blocks my car, but access to the electronics bin as well.
WTF? Yeah, don't mind me, you prick. Really. Who cares that I was here first and obviously backing into the drop-off area. I park the car, which is now about 15-20 feet from where I want to be, but whatever. I just want to unload the car, get an iced coffee and maybe stop in at the used book store before I go home.
Dumb Ass has the entire back of his truck filled with electronics: televisions, old stereos, radios and computer stuff. As I make my 5 trips back and forth from my car to the dump site, he is filling all the available space, making it difficult for me to even find room to leave my stuff. I'm carrying the last piece--a hard drive from Alan's old computer--when DA lobs a vacuum cleaner off the back of his truck onto the pile he's made just as I come around his truck with the hard drive. The vacuum teeters, wobbles, then falls right toward me. I have my hands full of hard drive. I shout, turn my shoulder to the falling vacuum and as it knocks into me, I lose my grip on the drive. Fumbling, I balance it on my leg, reach out to shove the vacuum off me, the drive slips, I grab. And something slices like a razor across the base of my middle finger.
How much do I hate that moment when you so know it's bad, but you keep right on floating down De Nile in blissful ignorance.
As Dumb Ass jumps into his truck and roars off, I drop the frigging hard drive right where I stand, make a tight fist and head for the car, the whole way chanting it's fine, it's fine, no worries, just a scratch, it's fine. 20 feet and the blood is already dripping between my fingers. I jump in the car, grab a wad of Kleenex, close my fist around it, then reach into the glove box for the first aid kit and antiseptic wipes. Then I open my fist, remove the Kleenex, and assess the damage.
Well crap. It's bad. With every flex of my fingers, this deep gash at the base of my finger gapes open like a fish gulping out of water. I figure it's a two-stitcher easy, maybe even a three. Shitshitshitshit. After I wipe the blood off my hand, clean the wound and get a large band-aid compressed onto it to staunch the bleeding, I sit in the car for a minute while I decide what I'm going to do. I know I don't want to get stitches, and the cut is in the worst possible place--right where the finger joins the hand--that there's every likelihood a doctor wouldn't stitch it anyway. Though there could be shots involved. No. Hell no.
I drive to the nearest drugstore.
Ten bucks later, I'm back in the car...my mobile triage unit. I clean the cut with more wipes, then use a butterfly bandage to close the fish gape, and cover the whole thing with a band-aid made for knuckles but it works perfect for between the fingers.
All right. I'm gonna live. Deep breath, and time now for that iced coffee, then it's home before something else goes wrong.
As I'm leaving the drive-thru with my drink, a young guy, texting and not in any way looking at the road, swerves toward me, nearly taking off the front of my car. I brake so hard to avoid him, my iced coffee flies out of the cup holder and spills all over the passenger floor.
Okay, I get it. Three threats, or maybe it's three warnings. I might be a bit slow, but yeah, I finally get it. Time to get back up that mountain, and if I'm really smart, I should jump back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and stay there until tomorrow.