Tuesday, April 29, 2008


tibial plateau fracture
a grudge to grind
we sculpted the bouquet, after the fire, with dhoop
and sandlewood.
did the krishna radha soapstone sculpture save us,
or is that where the fire started?
under the fertility charm julia, pregnant, passed on to me.


Woodhull hospital a very long dramatic 1-act play in which nothing happens, blood on the loading dock, a man in 3 pairs of pants, a hidden bottle of olive oil, tied to his stretcher, EMT: "ok, we'll call you Mr. Fuck You Bitch, last name Mr. Fuck You Bitch." First name? Mustafa. "Why does he have 2 IDs? Learning how to fly a plane?"-- EMT.
Everyone tells stories of what happened to them in low voices, how they got there (except the ones who are puking or shouting), in low, dispassionate tones, as if talking about someone else. A kind of muffled compliance, the unrecognition of this life as one's own. The yellow and black boots of the ambulance drivers. The low-high tones and island lilt of the doctors and nurses, bits of gauze on the floor, the yellow toenails of the man on the stretcher next to mine, after they had hosed him off in the bathroom. You could hear him hollering from down the hall. Homeboys wander through with their abrasions, their puncture wounds. A man with two swollen black eyes, a young Latino man, no English, thumb wrapped huge in bloody gauze.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tibial Plateau Fracture

Disclaimer: the above is a random photo from Google image search.... my fracture doesn't look nearly this good. I couldn't figure out how to get the images off the cd of my films in their weird format.

Below is the story of my yesterday, 4/27/08, a date which my friend Mike says I should do numerical analysis upon. You will see why if you read on.

It is in the form of an email I sent family and close friends...


First of all, I'm ok, convalescing semi-comfortably with a cat curled up by my side.

I am convinced that the particle accelerator in Cern was fired up yesterday, because I'm pretty sure we approached a singularity...

Leaving my house yesterday afternoon, I was crossing Graham Avenue -- in the crosswalk, with the light -- when a gigantic tan BMW SUV barreled right into me. And I mean I didn't see it -- there was no way to see it -- until it was right on top of me. I had already crossed the center line of the street -- meaning I was already more than halfway across, probably 2/3 of the way, and this giant gas-guzzling monster cut the corner so dramatically that if a car had been stopped for the light she certainly would have hit it. I did a flip in the air and landed on my butt. Tried to get up and walk but couldn't, but luckily the driver had already stopped and called 911, and helped me over to the curb.

Strangely, and sort of comfortingly, I didn't feel frightened or panicked when I saw the car and knew it was going to hit me... there was a kind of calm that overtook me -- sort of a relief to know about that.

After a short ambulance ride I spend the rest of the day at the Woodhull hospital -- which I firmly believe now is one of the deepest circles of hell. Aaron (who met me at the hospital) said that it was like a really, really long one-act play full of drama in which nothing really happens. And there is something particularly weird about almost everything there taking place AFTER the events which brought people there, all these people telling the stories of their misadventures. Except for the drunk homeless people being restrained on their stretchers -- they couldn't really tell their stories, though it seemed they were trying...

After a 4 hour wait I entered the cycle of wait-and-be-wheeled here, wait-and-be-wheeled there -- though I couldn't get anyone to give me a glass of water, an aspirin, or an ice-pack (despite valiant efforts, nor could Aaron) -- and got x-rays, followed by a cat scan, to determine that my tibia is fractured. I was examined by a team of surgeons and they said they were confident that there was no other danger. The orthopedic doctor gave me a leg brace and crutches, and I'm housebound for at least a week.

Upon our return home at around midnight, I hobbled up the stairs to find... smoke coming out from under our door. Aaron had sweetly lit a stick of incense at about 8pm during a break from hospital time to make the house nice for my return... and a tiny bit of smoldering incense had fallen on the couch. We returned home with about 0 minutes to spare -- 5 minutes later and we might not have been able to save the house. The smoke was thick thick thick, though that might have been a good thing because, with the smoke was so thick, the fire didn't have much oxygen (the windows were closed).

Aaron stormed in and doused the flames with the fire extinguisher, then dragged the futons outside... RIP couch. Even the frame was toast.

THEN, once the flames were smothered, we ordered food from the Anytime Cafe (we hadn't eaten all day at the hospital) -- it didn't come for over an hour, when a man arrived and explained to us that the delivery guy had gotten into an accident on the way to our apartment, and this other guy had had to go to the accident scene (everyone was ok) and pick up the food -- leaving us to hope that this was #3 in the day's unlucky/lucky misadventures, and that we are now in the clear -- that is, until Aaron witnessed a semi pulling the bumper off a car outside, not 2 hours ago.

Anyhow, here I am, with the cats (who are freaked out but ok -- Vern has been nesting in my armpit since I got back), and Aaron is cleaning the fire damage. I feel simultaneously incredibly lucky and totally freaked out. I've got a line on a good lawyer (I don't want to sue the driver's pants off, just get my hospital bills and lost wages covered) and it looks like I might get short-term disability from my work.

Aaron says he has been having creepy premonitions for the last week, but hasn't known how to read the signs. I felt something similar, but I dunno... maybe it's something in the stars? Or -- are we accelerating into a quantum tunnel toward -- who knows what? Sure felt like it in that CAT scan doughnut.

Anyway, love to all and I'll talk to you all sooner or later, inshallah. I'll be stuck here on Boerum Street for the next week, bored out of my mind, thanking all the powers that be.



There are a few odd things that led up to this... a couple of weeks ago, a dream in which I agreed to take on a secret project. Then a dream in which I was cast as Marguerite in Faust (the opera), directed by Richard Foreman -- strangely, I was unworried about whether I was able to sing the arias. I woke up from the dream with the conviction that I needed to find a recording of the opera... and instead found a recording by the band Faust and Mahler 3. On the way home I had the conviction that I should simply write what happens to me.

Before that even was the palm-reader who told me that I had a talent which I had a responsibility to share, and that I hadn't done so, and must.

Then I edited two books at work (Ceremony, Out Stealing Horses) which had very odd convergences. Each featured a pivotal scene in which the protagonist comes face-to-face with a large wildcat, and is struck by the awesome wildness of the creature (my Gran, asked to name her favorite animal: "Well, for magnificence, there's the lion."). Each of these books also contained a scene -- in each case, the pinnacle scene of the narrative, the crux scene -- in which the protagonist is forced to choose whether to attack, to strike someone who's wronged him. In each case he chooses not, and that makes all the difference, saves him.

I thought to myself, well, I guess this is some kind of lesson. So if somebody wrongs me, I should choose not to strike or attack them.

That is what preceded yesterday's series of unlucky lucky accidents -- or, as Norman says, "doesn't it seem like troubles always seem to travel in thundering herds."

I hope the donut of the CAT scan machine reversed the singularity plaguing us. I feel that I've been reminded again how lucky I am -- and my duties