Tonight I got hit by a car.
I spent three weeks in a social coma. I have a vague recollection of taking Diego to the DUI office. We had some inappropriate conversation about synthesizing hallucinogens and it turned out that he didn’t have a copy of his police report. So, we had to plunge right into the mainline of societal authority and stand in the endless lines of the Gainesville Police Headquarters.
I began looking through the Most Wanted pages, and making commentary on the faces that lie within. After some slightly inordinate chuckling, one of the deputies asked me if I recognized any of the people.
I replied, “No, but if you ever get a hold of this one, give her my phone number– she’s kinda cute.”
Other than that, and my mind numbing job, I had no contact with the world. I had not yet forgiven it for making me a monster, and then sending me out into the rain. Or maybe I was just having too many sexual fantasies for Mary Shelley…one of the two. In any case, I am not right yet, and don’t feel that the damage done is revocable. I was never really right to begin with, but I’m sure I felt much better about it.
Tonight I got hit by a car.
We were sipping drinks at the Top, a local hangout for punk rock hipsters and anyone else who wears thick, black-framed glasses. The jukebox seemed to be stuck on a cd of modern-day punk bands covering oldies rock’n’roll tunes. My associates (friends of friends) were drinking Milwaukee’s best, the cheapest buzz in the business. I was starting my first Long Island Ice Tea, which is decidedly my most favorite of night time beverages.
Things were going well…I met an interesting man named after an amphibian. We laughed and even chortled a bit, and then things turned ugly. My girl had me all upset about ideas and the Future. My emotions respond in an on/off switch manner. I’m either overwhelmed by myself and crazed, or completely empty. Like my drink glass.
So I stormed off across the street without looking at the traffic (as I often do when I’m pissed) to enter the Full Circle establishment. Full Circle was throwing down old wave night and was like a slightly drunker, happier, and ebuncular version of the Top. Incidentally, the Full Circle makes, hands down, the finest Long Island Ice Tea in Gainesville, FL.
Sipping my new drink, my girl has found me in this new club, maniacally furious that I had left without telling her. I told her I needed a break. She asked from what. I said from her.
She punched me sturdily in the chest and left.
I finished my drink, taking a last look. On another night, in another frame of mind, I might have been the chaotic messiah to this entire group of tattooed asses. I walked straight out of the club, numb and confident, and took two steps onto the street’s wet asphalt.
First, I felt the bumper make contact just below my knees. In another flash, I felt my arm blocking my face as I slid up on the hood, while the car braked with hysterical fear. I now contained the inertia of the car, however, so when it came to a complete stop, I was thrown onto the previously mentioned asphalt and did a somersault into oncoming traffic.
My mind has some weird logic subroutine it runs in situations like this, in which it determines first: can I move all of my body parts without paralysis or pain…and second: is there any profusive bleeding emanating from my body? A half second later and two subconscious “no” responses I stand up in the middle of the street, in the drizzling rain amongst a dark sky, and flash the hand signal “ok” to a terrified driver.
A dumb sorority girl, having chest pains with staggering gestures, rolls down her window to exclaim, “I’ve never done that before!”
At that I laugh and start to walk away, when she blunders out nervous apologies, insincere concerns for my health, and all sorts of nonsense that amounted to little more than keeping me in the middle of a busy road. Finally, I made her shut up and told her that it was O.K., these things happen. I crossed the road and watched her roar off, disturbed and confused, and I wondered whether or not I dented her car.
My compatriots were sitting on the veranda, in full view of the entire incident, but had only witnessed the verbal exchange after the sordid physical one.
“Hey, what happened with that girl…and how’d you get so wet?”
“I got hit by a car.”
They all burst into mild laughter and the subject was immediately changed to what Jimbo had gotten his last Christmas.
Technically I have brain damage. Although I show no signs of physical trauma under cat scan and MRI, my brain is considered by the medical profession to be damaged in some undefined manner, or else I would not possess a seizure disorder.
While falling down and going into convulsions is the most easily noted aspect of this condition, there are others, actually far more detrimental in nature, that are more easily hidden from public view. In this particular case, I am speaking of epileptic dementia.
The first day, it came on with the sting of a partial complex seizure. Just something to make you take pause and consider the possibility of grand mal activity. These miniature brain wave storms are not terribly uncommon after a tremendous drinking binge and little sleep, but it is odd to have them recur over and over again in a short period of time. By the end of the day, I was locked into the psychosis of it, delusional, detached from reality, extremely unstable, and still having those all too powerful twinges of a partial complex seizure spike.
I went to work, focusing on the road before me, not able to listen to music as it was too distracting; I heard too much chaos in it. At some point, I got completely lost, broke down and started to cry as I could not remember the rest of the way to my work, a road I’ve been traveling for six months now.
Interacting with the people at work went no better. My coherence was so far gone, I mostly tried to not speak, and smile when I could remember it. That damn evil telepath at work knows immediately that I’m completely helpless, and makes moves on me in such a way that I still have no idea what her motives were.
“Ahhh…Jack, what’s wrong today Jackie? Are you feeling sad? Why don’t you try smiling…that’s a good boy…” And she came close to me and began stroking my arm as I continued to prepare the agar I was working on, in tumultuous fear, waiting for her to leave me alone, which she did not until some minutes later when the old witch entered the lab and gave us an awful scowl.
I spent the rest of the day on the edge of tears, desperately trying to conceal my insane confusion and delirium. This is probably the kind of shit I’d get drug tested for, in some sort of evil twist of ironic fate.
I made it home and assumed a good night’s sleep would be the end of this. It was similar to the aftermath of having a grand mal seizure, but with more endurance. And like many people feel on hallucinogenic drugs, you become fearful that this feeling will never go away, that you will have to live your life in perpetual insanity, in which case, would probably not be long. So I went to bed, knowing that I was stronger than this beast, even though it makes psychedelic drugs seem like ice cream. I was confident tomorrow would hold a brighter, saner future.
The experience lasted for four days. I held myself together as much as possible, taking as much seizure medication as I could stake awake with until my tongue turned numb. Nothing seemed to work, and I finally bought into the idea that I might have to exist like this. A friend of mine gave me some cocaine and explained to me that between the full moon, and it being spring break and all, there was a lot of conscious energy communication going on, and what I was experiencing was like echoes from water dripping in a cave. And since I was not used to it, it could seem quite maddening. On the latter aspect of that theory, I agreed.
As it slowly ended, I took appraisal of myself, and decided I looked like an epileptic. Greasy hair, two days unshaven face, dirty, with a sour smell. I was tired, haggard, and lazy. I’m getting too old for this shit.