Trauma rips words deep within
leaving its victims alone.
There is much to say but
none of it human.
I survived a serious car crash last week in which my Toyota Highlander SUV was hit head on by a Ford F-350 Superduty traveling at 55mph through a red light. Moments before impact, I was aware that there was no escape and thought to myself, well, this is happening.
The light mixture of cornstarch and powder that lives inside the airbags to lubricate them exploded into the air on deployment and made dry snow that peppered the hot summer interior. It reminded me of glitter but it wasn’t shiny like the cracked web of windshield. Life was slow as I exhaled short screams to say, “Come, I am alive.”
I remember everything that day. The EMT moving my long beaded Boho necklace to attach a C-collar, the fireman touching my legs and taking my pulse, my ambulance getting stuck in afternoon traffic, the streaks of dried vomit in my hair and down my neck, brushing tiny glass glitter from my chest in the hospital bathroom, trying to stand up for the first time, and the struggle to put on my sweaty clothes to leave, tainted with urine and blood.
The first 24 hours, I did not sleep, eat, or feel a considerable amount of pain. The bewilderment of my body matched my mind.
As days progressed, pain deepened as cuts crusted and bruises burned burgundy before the healing process allowed them to yellow. I saw the mangled metal stiff and sharp bearing bits of plastic now seeming random from where they fit before.
The illusion of relaxation and recovery time is not well understood. “What are you doing tonight?” 5 days after the accident, “What do you think I’m doing tonight?”
My ribs are cracked and I sleep propped up and guarded by chihuahuas.
The days are quieter than ever.