If I had to pick one moment that began the path that led me to this one more surgery today, it would be this…
Floating in and out of the present. Something in the back of my head really hurts but the pain in my right leg, that's the thing. That light is way, way too bright. I can only see the vague silhouetted shapes of the people talking above me. I feel the shot flowing into my vein and maybe I'm on the concrete deck alongside the outdoor pool trying to look into a sizzling early September sun. Is that Joey? Are we going to do the 4x100? I feel the breeze cross my body and shiver as I try to get up. But I'm way too tired. "Later," I mumble, "I just can't swim right now."
"Do you need something?" A nurse is asking. What is a nurse doing… oh. I hear someone say something about the mix of concussion and morphine. Someone touches my forehead, softly. Now I know I'm naked. Who are these people? I see a cascade of long dark hair and try to reach for her but cannot move that way either.
I dove for him. In a flash, does cognizance come from that sudden pain that sweeps up from my leg? I remember this. On that fire escape on 227th Street. He'd cut Brian with that fucking knife that came out of nowhere and went out the window before anyone could react. I went after him and tried to grab him… Where is Brian? That was one huge slash, but I can only remember falling, there's nothing in between then and this blindingly white space.
Warmth floods my brain suddenly and now I am maybe fifteen and drying naked on the warm granite rocks of an abandoned island after swimming from the park, slipping out of realities then as well, and there are noises around me, boat motors, jets leaving LaGuardia, even a siren but they are far away and can't disturb my escape.
"We've got to start getting into that leg now," a voice says but I cannot grasp where it might be coming from. I feel hands on me, and still wonder where they could be coming from. Then, snap and the meds drop away and in that window I'm with Colin and Mike and Brian in that room on the EDP - Emotionally-Disturbed Person - call, and I do fall, tumbling past the fire escape ladder. It's slow motion in this vision and I feel but don't see myself land on the edge of that dumpster and then the crushing thud onto the alley pavement.
Quiet time in the dark and then the sounds of people running towards me, and the radio barking "two officers down," and then, is there another injection? I think I hear, "calm him down, he's waking up," and the window shuts and maybe I'm on the concrete deck alongside the outdoor pool trying to look into a sizzling early September sun. Is that Joey? Are we going to do the 4x100?
(c) 2005 - 2013 Ira David Socol