77 Days at the Bottom of the Ocean

Yesterday was the day I’ve been waiting for. Yesterday I was told that I have a clean bill of health…and it only cost me $90 to get this information. To be honest, I have been having a very hard time writing this post. Every time I sit down at my computer I start writing and then stop. Maybe I’ll get a sentence out but nothing felt right. I sat here and sipped enough coffee to know that there was something wrong with the way I was approaching this (and all of my writing lately) and today I think I finally figured it out. I wanted to convey the despair and the pain, but to be perfectly honest, the memory of this experience isn’t a bad one.

I am as surprised as you are, trust me. Yes, this was a very difficult experience wrought with tears and agony, but when I think back on it now, I actually feel happy…

I remember fantasizing about this day.  I laid motionless in a twin bed situated near the window in my Aunt’s guest room. It was beautiful outside but impossibly hot and humid. Still, it made me think of home. I envisioned the sun coming in through the windows making the wood floors glow. I’d walk slowly on my own two feet and set my things down in the spotless, empty space and breathe a sigh of relief because it was finally over.



It wasn’t anything like that, of course.

It was not a triumphant return. I arrived, washed up on the shore of my messy shoe-box in the Tenderloin. I was still feeling my pain meds, still reeling from the turbulence, happy to be on the ground but emotionally and physically drained. Somewhere during the 35th minute on the phone with Comcast  I just gave up, collapsed, and cried.


I thought back to the day I left for Maryland back on May 3rd.  After my injury everything changed so abruptly, I think I was just in shock. Of course I fought some depression. My life up until that point was entirely dependent on my ability to walk and so was my job. Oh God, what have I done?


So what did my life look like over the past 84 days?

It looked like doctors appointments and x- rays. It looked like telling this story over and over again.


It looked like hopping and crutches and struggling to dress myself. It looked like staring out of windows and writing in my journal. It looked like crying. It looked like Oxycodone.


But it also looked like blueberry pancakes and coffee.


It looked like wearing her clothes to bed, waking up to a hand on my shoulder and turning over to Lauren sitting there with a coffee, or a smoothie, or flowers.



It looked like drawing with Emma. It looked like learning guitar with Elise. It looked like folding laundry and having a very important talk with Lauren’s mother about homosexuality and relationships. It looked like long car rides with the windows down. It looked like me always sideways in the backseat holding her hand from the driver’s seat.


It looked like watching planes land. It looked like reading out loud in the park. It looked like music, writing, movies, laughing, art, and sleeping. And coffee. It looked like lots and lots of coffee.


I guess what I have realized now that I have finally resurfaced, is that this injury was a bad one, but it was also one of the best things that has ever happened to me.



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