On December 7, 2009, I was biking to my medical illustration job at McGill University. I left the house at 9:30 am. It was a Monday. It was chilly out and I wore many layers of clothes in order to feel comfortable biking to work.
The day before, a Facebook friend had shared a Youtube link of the Animals performing House of the Rising Sun. In this video, Eric Burdonâ€™s intense gaze frequently penetrates the screen and locks with the viewer. This song was playing and replaying in my head while biking to work and while the paramedics were with me on the street and for days after.
I biked along the Rachel Street bike path, heading west. When I was nearing the intersection at St. Laurent I could see a few cars turning right from Rachel to St. Laurent. The light was green for us. I saw the garbage truck behind the cars. It had its lights on to signal that it was turning right as well.
I slowed down, approaching the intersection, then stopped. When I was right at the corner, the garbage truck seemed still, it seemed to be waiting, giving me the right of way to continue straight across Rachel. I thought the driver had seen me so I started forward. I realized, though, that he was turning after all, just slow to start. I tried to back up but was not able to get out of the way.
The ambulance took me to the Montreal General Hospital.In the ER, they had to cut through most of my clothes. One nurse was shocked at how much I was wearing.
The ER team worked efficiently, each person with their own task yet all of them working as a one coordinated body.
The woman in the bed across from me chatted a little and then fell asleep. She had a porta-vac attached to her ankle.
The nurses came in every couple hours to check on me and to give me pain medication. Later in the night, when the lights were off, they came in using a flashlight so not to disturb the woman across from me.
nd to a p u g ety adin vari a ks le , e t e n e w cide In th e ac nt h t tme ng r i a w p o a foll our g. s in m rkin e o t i w f o ped stop
my leg ia, (my tib fibula, femur and
lar navicu bone).
the shoulder strap of a bag containing a bottle of whisky... which, in turn, spilled its contents into (Eloisaâ€™s) bag thereby destroying her ipod
First, the microwave
then the VCR
Eloisa’s laptop that I was borrowing to type
up my students’
with our comfortable life
grades while lying
together disrupted by the
in bed with the CPM
accident, tension began to brew
in our apartment and Eloisa and I started fighting like crazy. We worried that we could break up.
then the power adapter to Claudio’s laptop which I borrowed after
the DVD player
killing Eloisa’s laptop
There was a video online of a woman who had been in a bike accident who was suffering from PTSD. It was a reality show called Human Whisperer. Todd Bockman, the human whisperer, would visit and help people through psychologically challenging moments in their lives. Todd observed that, every time Tiffany talked about her accident, her eyes would become shifty and turn upwards and to the left.
I donâ€™t know if my eyes would get shifty but I did feel that the psychological weight of everything that had happened was manifesting itself physically into my body. I felt like I had a knot of tension that existed somewhere right between my eyes, behind my eyeballs.
Printed in Canada ISBN
B & D Press, Montreal