Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Tragedy, Part 2

So where was I? I started Part 1 and then found myself clamming up again, but I am going to open up my little clammy shell with my little clammy-shell-opener-thingy. It's not an easy thing to do I'm afraid, it's a bloody tight little clammy shell, but I think it's a good thing to do, hopefully cathartic, and hopefully not too tedious for any of you reading this. It's a disjointed story, the story of The Tragedy, mostly because I've never managed to write it down or sort it into any order. Maybe because it has no order.

This bit is about the hospital, I think. I plan on it being about the hospital but you never know where it'll go. Being in hospital is just not fun. Being in hospital for three solid months is like hell on earth. I was transferred from Small Town hospital to Big Town hospital, where I spent a night, then airlifted to The City Beneath the Mountain hospital where I spent three nights and then to another hospital, which was to be my abode for the next four months, according to the doctor. I made it three months, I was determined (and if I'd stayed any longer I may well have jumped out of the fifth floor window, if I could've... the irony.)

Ok, no, the details, I need to get out the details. This may not, yet be about hospitals. I need to go back to the car, being in the car, waiting for the ambulance. Somebody gave me a sip of coke, through a straw. It was hot, remember, and we were in the middle of the Karoo, waiting as the sun got higher and higher. The woman who gave me the coke spoke to me, gently, telling me about her Tragedy - how she'd broken her neck years before, but not completely, and recovered perfectly. I wondered at the time why she was telling me that story, not for a second thinking my neck could also be broken, just there, at the back of my head.

The car had been filled to the brim with my and D's earthly belongings - four years of university life snuggly packed in the back . In the accident our lives had flown out, scattered about on the dusty red sand between the thorn trees that had also flung their arms into the car, embracing me and planting their thorns all over me (we discovered later). Two Karoo farmers on their way to play cricket in the Tiny Town a bit further down the road stopped too and I heard them trying to gather our scattered belongings, including a large plastic dinosaur, Leonard, who I'd purloined from my First Love's younger brother. They told me they'd 'put him out to pasture' on that lovely red sand (Leonard the dinosaur, not First Loves little brother).

There are so many characters in this story, people I'd not thought of, and this is still within the first two hours. This story really may take a long time. I'm glad I'm starting, I think. Those people, the nameless ones who stopped, I hope that Karma has blessed them with all sorts of good things. They were all so nice. A good reminder of the value of stopping, and helping. I'd love to be able to write them a letter, send them bunch of lillies, if I knew who they were.

The farmer whose farm we had so rudely, and without invitation, landed on, apparently took all of our wordly belongings and kept them safe until somebody (who was it, I wonder?) collected them for us. I had a mirror in there, it didn't break.

And then M, the guy from our university who I didn't know well. I think D knew him quite well. Anyway, it's beside the point. He was there, and he stayed with us, and came with us to the hospital and was, I guess, our own little angel, keeping us together as we unknowingly fell apart, because, really, I guess, I was already starting to unravel at that point, I just didn't realise. Or was I? I was still so sure of everything. Oy, this is all-over-the-place.

The ambulance arrived eventually, from Tiny Town with a fabulous paramedic man, who also, if I remember correctly, was meant to be in the cricket match (I wonder if they still had the match). I got bundled onto a hard wooden board with a neck brace and put into the back of the ambulance. Up until that point I had been obsessively superstitious about 'crossing my fingers and touching my toes hoping to never go in one of those' everytime I'd seen an ambulance... I've stopped that now.

I have to stop this now, too. This disjointed tale. I wonder if it makes any sense at all?


Mud in the City said...

I hope it is cathartic - andI will be reading and crossing anythin relevet. It is mazng, in te idst of confusion and whirling ordinary-ness, ho peple do appar as adian agels and go out of their way and their lives to make the unbearable, bearable.

Angela said...

I am glad you are able to speak about it. Even if it brings back all those memories, yes, I hope it will help you. You sound like such an "alive" and vibrant young woman, full of love for your sister`s babies and the joy your own life brings you. I wish you all the happiness you can hold to make even for these terrible years past.

allie said...

Your telling of your brave journey is making sense.
I wish it were not
If you know what I mean.

But the writing, oh! the writing.
What a gift you have. . .

tam said...

Just keep writing it, Shiny. Just keep writing it. its so important, I think, to write - and goddess knows you can.

Sense? who said it was going to make sense?

Rambler said...

So incredibly vivid... and honest... and truly hard to read...

I look forward to editing your book babe!

Shiny said...

Thanks guys. It somehow makes it feel better (and possibly more cathartic) knowing you're there. This is really strange, because I've always thought this should be something I write in a book, with a padlock, locked in a suitcase, hidden under a cupboard, in a back room... x

mumplustwo said...

Worry not, it makes perfect sense. Well done for letting it out. You are so brave, Shiny. And you write so wonderfully well. x