Wednesday, September 20, 2006

She smiles when the pain comes

I've been injured a lot.

Ankles, fingers, thumbs, collarbones, back, head, nose...

Thank Bukowski that it has never been my knees.

This one is about my left pinkie.

I used to play a lot of volleyball, before I moved to Montana.

Sand, indoor, co-ed, men's league.

I loved it and I usually played a couple times a week.

My friend, Sherry, and I would occasionally organize a day of indoor sand volleyball at this bar in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Indoor sand, you say?


Yes, indeed.

There was your normal, dimly-lit, Wisconsin dive bar, and attached to it was a huge cinder block structure with two indoor sand courts, thusly allowing the unique pleasure of being barefoot in freezing cold sand in February.

There was an industrial-strength window through which the burly, chain-smoking NASCAR dudes would check out the hotties we brought to play ball.

The coolest part was that the bar jukebox piped into the volleyball courts.

I always insisted on playing "Ring of Fire," which most of my friends thought was some kind of a joke at first... but eventually, they came to appreciate the beauty and grandeur.

Mind you, this was before the recent rennaisance of Johnny Cash bandwagon cool, so seemingly, it was just this strange song with vaguely Mexican horns.


(Don't take your guns to town, son. Leave your guns at home, Bill. Don't take your guns to town.)

We were playing volleyball, and it was the usual light-hearted, shit-talking, Johnny Cash-playing fun time.

I was up front, right side.

My good buddy, Ace, was across the net from me.

Ace is a really good volleyball player, but his nickname doesn't come from volleyball, but rathe from the first syllable of his last name.

Like I said before, anyway...

Ace got a really nice set floated his way, probably from Sherry.

I watched it, timed it, bent low and shot up, both hands upraised to block Ace's hit.

Well, Ace, hit the everloving shit out of that ball.

Directly onto my left pinkie.

I didn't really feel pain at the time, but that was the shock talking.

I tried to clench a fist, but my hand wouldn't comply.

I looked down and what I saw Did Not Compute.

At the second knuckle, my pinkie took a hard, very unnatural left, ostensibly trying to escape the rest of my hand.

I have to tell you, it was one of the more disgusting things I have seen.

(Other than the time I watched my father reduce a compound fracture of this lady's femur which had erupted through the skin.

She was riding her bike in front of Geno's gas station in the pouring rain. The driver of the car didn't see her, and turned into the gas station, and the bicyclist, launching her into the air.

Dad stopped our van, got out & took care of business, grabbing her foot, and pulling it. The bone slid back where it belongs... inside her leg. Simultaneously the coolest and most gruesome thing I have ever seen. I think I was 10 or 11 years old.

My dad is The Shit.

But forget her and her measly shattered femur. We were talking about MY PINKIE.

I am such a Man.)

Fortunately, there was an actual real-life Doctor playing with us.

I pleaded with him to put it back.

He was wary of further injury being caused, plus, you know... I'm a lawyer.

Doctors hate lawyers.

With good reason.

But I digress.

After I politely explained to Dr. Dan that we were riding home together, and unless he wanted to sit for umpteen hours in the Fond du Lac ER, he better put my pinke back RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

That tipped the scales.

Nobody likes ER waiting rooms.

Mind you, I was not yet feeling any significant pain. That came later.

Well, when you fracture/dislocate a finger like that, they can be a bit stubborn.

Dan cranked and cranked on that thing, but it wouldn't move.

I started to get nauseous.

He finally put it between his legs to get some leverage, and it popped back in.

Then with a weird, whoooshing rush, not unlike the Millenium Falcon entering hyperspace, the pain came.

Dan was looking at me funny.

He said, "Dude, you're gonna faint. Lay down."

I did, and the world returned.

But there was no Alderran.

That bitch Tarkin blew it up to test his fully operational battle station.

I stuck it in a glass of ice from the bar and queasily tried to drink a beer.

So that's the story of me and my pinkie.

Got a car, got some gas
Oh, let's get out of here fast
Everyone's confused
So I stay in my room

If I go

I don't want to go


I hope you get this message

Or you're not home

I could be there in ten minutes or so

Oh, I got my things

We can make it up as we go along

Oh with you

I could never be alone.

Never be


Today was gonna be the day
But they'll never throw it throw it back to you
By now, you should've somehow realized what you're not to do

I don't believe

That anybody feels the way I do

About you now.

I have had the most interesting conversations lately.

You should know.

Because I could fill your hard drive with interesting conversations.

How do you know?

Well, because.

I want you to do me a favor.


I want you to hit me as hard as you can.

You want me to hit you?

C'mon, do me this one favor.


Why? I don't know why; I don't know. Never been in a fight. You?

No. But that's a good thing.

No, it is not. How much can you know about yourself, you've never been in a fight? I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve.

Well, kids... how are you doing tonight, or today, as the case may be?

Still afraid to comment?

(Your favorite band probably does suck, just so you know... I know this... because Tyler knows this.)

I am really not quite sure, myself.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I am quite proud of this sequence of pictures.

Because, well, why not?

I walked right up to that bird, sitting in that tree.

There was a dead deer, stripped to the ribs, that he (or she) had been feeding on.

I walked right past that, toward her (or him.

As I got close, (s)he flew right at me.

I was frantically trying to snap a picture, but due to the damn delay on a digital camera, by the time the picture snapped, she veered to her left.

OK, admittedly, that is a cool photo... but imagine that same big fucking bird, flying right at you?


I have some other dandy eagle pictures, too.

(^^That is an eagles' nest, which I discovered during a kayaking trip with Bells, Carp and Stacey....)

It was fucking huge.

There were actually two eagles.

I got too close, and they got pissed. (Scroll right... I refuse to shrink this picture... because how many times do you get buzzed by a pair of eagles?


That's what I thought.)

They should have been pissed.

I had no business getting that close.

So, anyway.

Here in Montana, well...

It's just a different way of life.

I would happy if I died here.

Wouldn't you?

If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?