Monday, December 6, 2010

First of Three

So, after getting all settled in, I had about 5 days to prepare for my first and only visitor in Florida.  It would be the first friend I'd seen since October 6th (also happens to be the last person I saw on October 6th!).  Needless to say, I was pretty darn excited.

I was so excited that I’m pretty sure my nerves got the best of me.  The whole week before said guests’ arrival I had this weird feeling that I was going to get hurt.  I didn’t know how or when, but I had an eerie suspicion something was going to happen.  On the motorcycle I was paranoid.  When I went for a run I would be extra careful not to drag my feet or trip.  

The day before arrival day, not even a mile from the house, I’m casually riding my bicycle down the street and a palmetto bug lands on me.

Now, if you know anything about palmetto bugs, you know they are like giant flying cockroaches and they won’t hurt you.  If you’re me, however, and know nothing about palmetto bugs, you automatically assume the worst case scenario: it's going to bite/sting/plant its' eggs in me and I'm going to die.

It flies toward me and lands directly on my foot.  I panic.  I start shaking my foot furiously, but it’s got a grip on me as tight as a headlock from Mike Tyson.  So I attempt to drag my foot against the foot pedal, all the while still attempting to maintain my balance and continue my bike ride. 

In retrospect, I should have just stopped dead in my tracks and went and rubbed my foot in the grass, but all reason escaped me when that giant bug landed on me.

So, I manage one scrape, but the bug is still there.  At this point I can’t even tell if it’s dead or alive, but I just keep trying to get it off.  By swipe three against the pedal, the bug is undoubtedly dead, and I’m flying toward the pavement.

Instinctively, I clench my fists, so that I don’t scrape up my palms of my hands upon impact.  I land squarely on my left forearm and left knee.  I burn a hole through the knee of my pants, and into my skin, and scrape a solid four and a half inch gash into my arm.  Luckily, I didn’t hit my head, or scrape my face.  Apparently my emergency landing skills are top notch.

I’ve come close fainting only a few times in my life.  When I looked down at my arm, this was one of those times. 

I stumbled to the nearest house and rang the doorbell.  No answer.

I looked at my arm again.  I felt the blood drain from my head, my vision narrowed, my ears began ringing, and I stumbled again, like a bloody drunk, back to the grass where I proceeded to accept my demise.

All I could think, sitting there, bleeding in the grass on some elderly persons’ lawn in a gated retirement community, was, “how am I supposed to walk back to my Dad’s when I can’t even walk 10 feet to a neighbor’s door?”

Now, as much as I give nosey neighbors slack for constantly having their noses perched between their horizontal blinds, on this day, I was thankful.

Sitting in the grass, bleeding away, fearing losing consciousness, I notice a man walking toward me.  Once he gets close enough, he notices my arm and asks if I’m okay (pretty sure if you see someone sitting in the grass, bleeding and incoherent, they’re probably not “okay,” but whatever).  I tell him I feel like I’m going to faint.  He says he’s a former marine and if I ever feel like I’m going to faint I should put my head between my legs, so I do just that.

After giving him the low-down on what happened his wife joins us and said she noticed me staggering around while she was on the phone with her daughter.   So she sent her hubby over to check on me.  God bless and hug a veteran, all at once.

They drove me home.  Needless to say, I was pretty ashamed of the gash considering the circumstances, and the fact that the bike was only a one-speed.

I guess it was just a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Next, I thought about how trouble always comes in threes.  Maybe I shouldn’t have thought that. 

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