Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm not here to annoint you

Wednesday I finished teaching at noon and walked out of the department into a glorious, warm day. I decided to inaugurate fall break with lunch on the square. I was heading up the sidewalk beside The First National Bank of Georgia, which has a luxurious thatch of a lawn. I remember thinking to myself, I should keep this chair out of that. Chairs, all vehicles, I guess, drift as they go, reacting to the terrain, etc; you correct by steering. Well, the Jazzy is lightweight and reacts in ways my old chair would never have done. The front wheel caught and spun me around, out into the grass. I thought, before hitting the ground, what the hell just happened? The old chair would have laughed imperiously at the lawn before demanding its lunch money.

So there I was lying on deep sod, with a blue sky up above and sunshine streaming down. It was not unpleasant, really. It had been how long since anything like this? 21 years. I was pulled from the grass after my accident. But then I could feel nothing. This time, despite the almost picnic vibe, my head had scraped the sidewalk edge. I could feel little threads of blood.

A man from the muffler shop across the street ran over. He had been looking out the showroom window when it happened. He had already called 911. I didn't need it but I thanked him all the same. A mom and her kids came over. Soon, the fire department. A clown car. Shriners in their little go carts peeling about around me.

Ok, I'm kidding about the Shriners and clowns. But the firemen soon saw I was fine and helped me up.

One of them took out a little notebook and asked for my name.

Chad Davidson, I said.


Peter said...

Shriners and Clowns. Hahaha.
Glad you are OK.

John Guzlowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Guzlowski said...

My mother couldn't walk for the last four years of her life.

She got around -- somehow -- in an old rubber-tired wheelchair that she got from some charitable organization.

Every time I would visit her in Sun City, Arizona, I would watch TV with her, and we would see these commercials for electric wheelchairs. Scooters they called them, I think.

I would say, "Mom, you should get one of those things. It would make your life easier. You could go out on the side walk and ride up and down the street. You could talk to your neighbors, get some sun. You could even go to church on Sunday mornings. It might take you a while but you could do it. Imagine church. You haven't been there in 2 or 3 years because you're embarrassed by your old rickety wheelchair, but one of these electric babies would have you smiling and gliding through life."

She never listened to those commercials or my spiel.

She was from the old world and figured that electric wheelchairs were just another con, the can opener the natives bought because it was shiny and had moving parts.

She spent four long years pushing those rubber wheels with her hands, and when her hands in that last year got too tired to push her, she just sat there at her window, looking down at the street and dreaming about walking.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was really sad, but his mother's resistance is admirable. That's why I feel bad as I introduce this really off-topice information: there's a nice cover of Winehouse's Rehab on youtube by a guy named Paolo Nutini. Here's the link:

It's extra bluesy.

bp said...

You seem to be stuck in a bad chair zone right now. I don't have any explanation for it, but I've noticed that sometimes, there might be a week or two where everything involving Subject X just seems to go wrong for a certain time period -- a few days, a couple of weeks. I've had them with multiple things Once with a car, I was ticketed twice, towed once, and had two separate mechanical malfunctions that cost too much $$$ -- all within a week and a half. And it's happened with other things. Alignment of the stars? The universe deciding to have some fun at your expense? No idea. The bad zone will pass. Meanwhile, enjoy the shriners.

Nick McRae said...


Not to the falling. Just the last line.

Anonymous said...

Chad least you have a good sense of humor. I agree with "bp" about a bunch of bad stuff happening all at once and then it's over. Of course, it's still annoying as heck when you're going through it.
Deb at 32 poems

John Guzlowski said...

About luck and bad stuff coming to an end:

I've been playing poker for about 50 years and talking to poker players and watching them for about as long, and what I've learned is that about 30% of your life is spent in what one of the comments above calls "the bad zone."

70% of the time your hand will be good or at least playable. Your wheels will go the way you want them to. Your hair will fall the way you comb it. Your honey will be sweet and clear and smooth as lickety-splits.

The important thing is not to get bumped by the bad hands, the wheels that go wrong.