was to write about an accident that you'd had, as though you were telling someone about it over coffee...
It was eighth grade. I was assigned a project in my "Florida Choices and Challenges" class, which from what I recall was some sort of history/geography class. As for the project guidelines, I have no recollection.
I decided to go all out for this project, and make a documentary about the Civil War in Florida. My partner, Sydney Millet and I organized a weekend trip with my mother to St. Augustine, and to the battle field of Olustee which is right around Jacksonville. There was a small museum on the grounds, privately owned I'm assuming, as the museum was a converted old house.
Out on the actual battlefield there were canons used in the war. I only remember the one that was the cause of my accident. Sydney and I, being 13 and adventurous, decided to use the canon as a see-saw. This made for a great photo opp. As my mother stood around taking photos, I straddled the barrel of the canon and placing my hands underneath, pulling my self towards Sydney so my weight would cause the canon to go from up to down. Well it went down alright...
My hands were right in the gears of the huge machine, and as my end went down and Sydney's end went up both my hands were crushed between the barrel and it's gears and supports. Completely stuck. Apparently there were nails protruding somewhere in the mess, because one of my hands received a pretty bad puncture wound. Both were damaged. One with two fractures, the other broken completely in 3 places. There was severe nerve and muscle tissue damage as well. I was rushed to the nearest hospital which was too far away from what I remember, which is where the truth of my injuries was revealed. All I remember is the doctor recommending I have surgery done on the hand with breaks. Three pins set in the bone. It was my right hand. My mother refused, as she thought this might effect my abilities to draw. Seeing as I was on my way to high school for the visual arts, she felt justified in her decision. I am thankful for her choice that day to refuse the operation, because my hand healed just fine with a cast on for a few months.
Other writings from today:
My mom called. Apparently our kitten back at home broke it's tail. When a cat breaks it's tail, the tail will just hang down instead of being up and will not move. Nothing can be done due to the location of her break, so for a month she will have to deal with the pain. If after a month or so the tail is still down, this means that when the bone was broken the main nerve was also severed, the tail will have to be amputated. The tail is dead.
I just finished up my 2rd Nat Sherman. I've been putting them out on the underside of the armrest of the patio chair I moved into the center of the backyard. It's a perfect day in the eyes of Mother Nature. Mid seventies, mid afternoon. 4pm. Maybe that's late afternoon. I never know the cut off. I've been sitting here for a little over a half an hour. About to light up my 3rd cigarette. Been watching the planes take off. They can be seen from here. The airport is just a few blocks away. There goes the fourth! I had no idea they took off so often until now. Maybe I don't notice the sound as easily from inside the house, or have adjusted to it in the 2 months I've lived in this house by the SRQ airport.
There are so many noises out here, animals moving about. Yet for me it seems very still and quiet. The only intense physical element is the sun beating down on my right side. It feels amazing. It's so bright. Everything out here is so bright. The grass is vivid green, the trees are lush in colour, the oranges a vibrant yellow-orange. Sky is brilliant blue, and all the clouds are absent. Sometimes I forget the blank white colour of my legs until the sunlight hits them.
I just took notice of a light breeze that tickled the back of my arms and neck. Then there's the occasional wind that brushes over the front of me threatening to turn the pages of my notebook.
Another plane just took off! I looked up to catch a glimpse of it as it passed over head. The small little jets always pass quickly, and much more quietly than the big commercial airliners.
Time for that 3rd Nat Sherman I still haven't lit up. After this smoke I'm heading inside. Two small dogs in neighboring yards have begun violently barking at one another and the sprinkler system next door has started going off. These new noises I find to be extreme annoyances...
"Writing is an active occupation, not a passive one...waiting for inspiration is like waiting for friends. If you sit around the house and don't go out and meet them, they will never come. You have to make things happen" -Judy Delton