In the world's broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife.
- Longfellow, American Poet (1807-1882)
Falling out of my second story window was really symbolic of how bad the fortunes of the apartment and it’s dwellers had become.
Jane and I were sleeping when The Monster came in and woke us at what seemed like an early time in the morning. He was chugging a four liter wine bottle. “Hey Mike,” in a drunken, raspy slurred voice, “I need you to drink this with me.”
Partially to keep him from drinking it all himself and partially to be a good friend in granting his request, I drank with him. There wasn’t much wine left in the bottle and so it wasn’t all that much that we drank. I also opened a beer, but hadn’t had time to finish it as we began dancing around the apartment to some Jane’s Addiction.
In a random, whirling shaman’s dance, I went spinning and tripped over a surfboard located just under the window Pat had broken a few days before. Out I went. Thankfully, we had cleaned the shards out of the window after Pat had broken it with a random, senseless punch to the window, but there was the open window, and there I was falling backwards through it, and like the action scene in a movie, I can remember so clearly how everything went into slow-mo, this feeling, oh, I’m tripping, I’m falling, oh my God, there’s nothing behind me . . . I can remember those last seven words so clearly as I was falling through the window in slow motion, “Oh my God, there’s nothing behind me.”
Patrick says he remembers a frozen image of my feet sticking out the window and hearing Jane scream.
My next rembrance is of lying on the ground and moving to sit up in a hazy consciousness. The first thing I noticed was that the broken stem of my beer bottle was still in my hand.
. . . people talking to me, myself just saying I needed to go upstairs and sleep . . .
As they strolled me away on the ambulance stretcher, Willie remembers saying to me, “Thank God you’re alive.” He said I just rolled my eyes as if to say, “Yeah, sure, whatever.”
At the hospital the doctor checked me out. I was lucid and no bones were broken, but I’d need stitches in my head. I was then asked if I had insurance. I didn’t. His next question was, did I want to get on a payment plan . . . and then he bailed, and minutes went by, with my head bleeding onto the pillow, and I’m like fuck this, I get a cursory glance at my head and all the doctor is really concerned about is insurance and payment plans. So I said fuck this place and I decided to leave.
We had a hell of a laugh as we walked out of that hospital and we turned the corner and I suddenly saw the name of the hospital right there in bold, blue letters – “Good Samaritan Hospital” and that had us laughing for a while.
Jane and I walked the two or three miles back, and finally after the journey back home, I laid down in my bed, and as soon as I hit the bed, I was done. It was incredible how all of it finally hit me like a ton of bricks – my knee swelled to the size of a grapefruit, I was bleeding out my head and my head was sticking to the pillow, and suddenly after that long walk back, lying down, with all the adrenaline spent, for the life of me I could not even make it to the bathroom with out Jane and Willie carrying me the twelve feet. The part that was most astounding to me was just thinking of how incredible the human body was, the fact that the adrenaline could carry my body all that way back home as far as it took before I hit the bed, exhausted, every drop of adrenaline spent and from that point forward barely able to move for days.
That night I couldn’t sleep at all. I’d lie in one position and be in uncomfortable misery, struggle to change positions and remain in misery. I was only able to drift off once that night, and it was short lasting. a dream about Bo Jackson having a leg injury. My knee spasmed at the words “leg injury” and as I kicked Jane in the bed beside me pain shot up and down my leg. I felt like a comedian was using my dream to be funny about my fall. “Leg injury? Ha ha!”
I didn’t leave as much blood on the pillow the second night, and by the third day I could hobble around. I was stoked to see that my body and I could do just fine without insurance.
I also felt lucky that it was only two stories instead of the three that Greg fell.