Close call

I have lived a bit of an adventurous life. Was kind of an adrenaline junkie when I was younger. As a result, I have had several invitations by cheery Thanatos himself, which I graciously declined. All of these incidents have stuck in my mind … for obvious reasons. After all it is hard to forget a visit by such an imposing dude!

Possibly the most memorable was what I usually refer to as my ‘freak car juggling accident’.  I have often thought I should put the experience into words. Now seems like as good a time as any. It may have been the closest I came to accepting his invitation, with the possible exception of one more recent incident. But that is a story for another time…

I am working technical support for Microsoft. I share an apartment with one of my co-workers, and another occasionally crashes there. Also Steve (the occasional apartment mate) had invited us to play football with some of his buddies yesterday, which I was all for. Of course I am in piss poor shape, so I end up severely pulling my left hamstring. Feeling a little responsible for this I guess, Also Steve invites me out for a few drinks tonight. Not that we ever really need an excuse these days.

The ‘few drinks’ turns into a regular bacchanalia-fest rather quickly. We are having fun. And instead of going home when one bar suggests we have had enough, we of course go to another bar. And then another.

Finally we both realize it is time to go home. The truth is we simply ran out of money. And time. Last call and all. Also Steve is driving, which I am glad of, because I know quite well I am too drunk to drive. Unfortunately I am also too drunk to realize that he should not be driving either. So we get in his car and leave. No seat belt.

His car has T-tops. It is a drizzly night, but warm enough to have the tops off. We are actually pretty close to the apartment, but the road to it is dark and windy. Still feeling in party mode, he is driving a bit fast, and has the music playing loudly.

“If you kill me, I will never speak to you again.” Me jokingly to him.


Machine Head by Bush comes on the radio.  “I love this song!” he says. Steps on the gas.

Car in front is moving too slow, so he decides to pass. “Breath in. Breath out.”

We get in front of the other car. “Oh shit” he says. We are moving to fast for the wet road. He can not keep control of the car.

Trees approach quickly. “Breath in. Breath out.”

A weightless feeling. And the pull of gravity. Like being on a roller coaster. Branches passing by my eyes. I think: This is kind of cool!

“Breath in.” I am on my hands and knees. My left hand in a fist. Jammed. So hard that my nail slices my hand. I look at it. Is that all?

I roll over.

The car is in the air above me. About to land on me.

No life passing before my eyes. Just the thought: Shit! This is going to hurt!!

BLACKNESS! PAIN! I am conscious. Can hear everything around me. Just can’t see. PAIN! In my leg. PAIN! Can’t even breath, speak. So intense, I hit my injured hand into the ground as hard as I can. Make it hurt somewhere else!! PAIN!

“Breath out.”

Someone is calling my name. “Steve!”

Vision slowly returns. Pain! becomes manageable. “I am here!” Gasped.

“Where is here? I can’t find you!”

Blurry shape before my eyes clarifies. It is a tire.

“I think I am under the car!”

“Are you ok?”

“My leg hurts!”

“You hurt that yesterday.”

“No. The OTHER leg!”

“Oh oh!”

Sirens! Good thing, because my injured leg is on a spring or something. Bouncing up and down. PAIN! increasing.

New voices. Calming. Questioning. Assessing. But not moving me. My leg is still bouncing.

“If you don’t pull me out soon, I am going to crawl out myself!”

Finally they move me. Gather a couple of big guys to pull my right leg straight. It is my femur, biggest bone in the body. Takes real strength to reset it.  Big guy holding my upper body. Another has my leg. They tell me to brace myself.

Woooosh. No effort at all. It is not merely broken. It is crushed.