“It doesn’t matter how low you get,
There will always be someone worse off than you,
Someone who wished they could have what you have;
So appreciate everything good in your life,
However little - for some have nothing good at all!”
This is actually where we came in at the start of my story. I didn’t mean to give you quite so much of my life history, but we ended up taking the scenic route. Not scenic like a drive through the Canadian Rockies, with huge snow capped mountains towering over the landscape, creeks snaking there way through the country side lined with pine trees and maple trees, and Moose, Elk and Grizzly Bears playing in the fields. Not beautiful scenic, my story is more humiliating scenic. Like watching a baby hit his father in the balls with a hammer. Everyone loves laughing at other people’s pain, I don’t know why, but we do, human nature I guess.
It’s really quite hard to explain how I felt, but the closest I can come up with is this, I felt my life was like a bloody fetus lying in the corner of an operating room in an abortion clinic, while the thirteen year old mother sits on a bench crying over her forty eight year old lover who had promised her he loved her, and promised her he would leave his wife for her, and promised that pregnancy wasn’t possible for a girl her age, and had dumped her the minute she came to him with news she was pregnant. I wasn’t just covered in blood, and completely unwanted by anyone in the world. I was unwanted from people whose lives were fucked aswell. I was the epitome of unwantedness. I had absolutely nothing in my life to be happy about.
What do you do when you hit a point like this? I lay in agony in deep thought trying to come up with some answer, any answer, to that question, I didn’t think of anything else for days on end. Then I finally decided that I could keep feeling sorry for myself for hours, and days, and weeks, and months and years, but if I wanted more out of life I had to actually go out and find it. No one was going to do it for me, and I was never going to do it myself if I didn’t stop being such a wimp and start doing something with my life.
As I described this epiphany earlier - I had had enough of living that way. I needed to change. I needed to find love. I needed to set goals and achieve them. I needed to find something to be passionate about. I needed to find a reason to wake up in the morning, rather than lying awake all the time wishing I could sleep. I needed to find a reason to leave my apartment and my neighborhood and go to where good things happened and good people frequented. So that’s what I set out to do.
I have heard people say that the hardest step of a journey is the first step. This is especially true when you have a fractured shin bone. But what’s the first step when you’re where I was? This was not an easy question to answer. For me the answer came with one simple decision.
I decided that from that moment forward, from then on, all the time, for ever more, that at what ever moment I was in, I would think to myself, “what is one way I can improve my life right now?”, and then no matter how hard or scary a thing that would be, it was something I would do.
So for me the first step was deciding that even though I had a major fear of doctors I would go to one to see to my injuries. My fear of doctors went back to when I was fifteen and had to have a blood test, and the doctor taking the blood kept missing the vain, he did it three times in my left arm, then said “sorry young fella, not going to work in that arm today, give me your other arm” and then he tried three more times in that arm. Still no success! Then he had me go back to the other arm and squeeze a ball for five minutes or so to get more blood pumping. Which he was finally able to extract from me, and then proceeded to drop the vile of blood on the floor, where it broke and splashed disgustingly across the tiles!
This of course meant that he had to suck more out of me! So back to squeezing a ball again, while a nurse mopped up a puddle of my own blood off the floor, which for some reason was a process started by smearing it all over the place. Then finally after extracting another vile of blood I was told I could leave.
Of course you all know the kind of luck I have by now. On my way out, with a gush of relief flowing over me having come to an end of that ordeal there happened to be a loose nail protruding from the wall, which I of course scrapped up against, not just ripping a gorge of flesh from my upper arm, but also causing the doctor to say “going to need a tetanus shot there now aren’t you”. So I got to get my ninth and most painful injection for the day, at least my arms got a rest, this one was in my ass!
My fear of doctors might also have something to do with when I was twelve and had a stomach ache and a doctor decided the best way to try and figure out what was wrong was to fondle my penis. Although it wasn’t until blood day, as I referred to it from then on, that made me declare I would never go back again.
However with my new attitude I knew that to heal fast and well I needed to see a doctor. So off to see the doctor, the wonderful doctor at the free medical clinic I go! Fortunately it was just down the road from me. I hobbled my way down there and joined a line of people waiting to be helped at the check in counter.
There were two nurses working the counter. One of them was a really pretty brunette who looked about seventeen. The other one was a short stubby woman, who looked one hundred percent like a man except with a pony tail and a small tight white nurse’s dress on. I waited in line thinking to myself “please be served by the cutie, please be served by the cutie please be served by the cutie, etc etc”. Until eventually the man woman with an equally manly voice took my details and told me to take a seat. Meanwhile the guy in front of me in the line who I had heard say was in for a sore throat was being walked over to a seat by the cutie nurse who was rubbing his back and saying in a very, very sweet voice “there you go, you poor man, we’ll make you all better, promise”. Damn luck!
I sat for about an hour before I was taken into a doctor’s room. And I spent that hour studying all the other patients to try and figure out who was the worst off. I widdled it down out of numerous unwanted possibilities until I had my top three, in no particular order
1. The man who decided to sit just opposite me who had a nail still lodged right though the middle of his hand and blood all over himself.
2. The mother and about seven year old girl, who were both almost completely covered in very chunky looking vomit, I wasn’t sure who had vomited on whom!
3. The man who stood in a corner with tears in his eyes and his hands over his bottom, with eyes darting from side to side, back and forth, like he was watching a tennis match, left right, left right and in every direction, non stop, and who responded to several offers for him to sit down by just shaking his head wildly. I didn’t know what he had done to his ass, but what ever it was I didn’t want to do it ever!
I finally got into see a doctor, who was a very old looking Indian man, with the thickest accent I have ever heard in my life. I spent about forty five minutes with him as he dabbed some red liquid on all of my cuts which felt like a white hot spear was being thrust into me over and over. Then he spent sometime putting in stitches in about seven places in my body. Then for some god only knows reason decided to poke every single one of my three thousand seven hundred and sixty three bruises. Finally I was able to leave and after breaking down his language code I’m pretty sure he told me something along the line of “yu of tree bwoken wibs, a fractured in yu shun bone, many, many, many hurted bones in yu hol if de body, and ov had to ov t-hurty sevone switches”. There was one quite good thing I left with. A prescription for the most powerful pain medication on the market!
Thus I was able to spend the next several weeks lying in bed tripping off on some legal fantasy chemicals. They took away most of my pain which was wonderful, but they also made me very, very sleepy which was heaven. It felt to me like I slept more in those four weeks on those drugs than I had in the whole year before.
After four weeks I didn’t even want to sleep anymore so I would try and fight the drowsiness for as long as I could. This to my surprise caused me to hallucinate, and was lucky enough to have some wonderful times playing with oh so cute cartoon bunny rabbits, and was able to have a long chat with an alien about the meaning of human life. It has something to do with marketing apparently!
After five weeks of being a government sponsored drug addict, doing nothing but sleeping and eating - my prescription ran out, which meant I was supposed to be relatively healed and would be required to get back to some form of normality. What I wasn’t expecting was the strange way I felt about that prospect. I think normal people call it optimism. Certainly not something I had felt before.
I had faced up to one fear so far in order to improve my immediate situation, and it had paid off handsomely. The old me would have sat in that apartment for months in complete agony and ended up with scars all over my body from poorly healed wounds, just to avoid a visit to a doctor. However the new me went, and I had a very much needed five weeks of great rest, my stitched up wounds had already all healed to being almost no longer visible, and the only pain I had left was my still sore ribs and shin. But overall I felt the best I had in as long as I could remember.
I started to really look forward to what my next risk would be to improve my today. What could actually truly improve my day though? What did I want? After much self deliberation I finally came to the conclusion that even though the thought frightened me to death, what I most needed were other people in my life.
How does a person like me even try to introduce other people in my life? I had never really had a friend, not a true friend, and my sex life to date included one fat old ugly woman! I didn’t even know one single person I could call to go to a movie with.
I ruled out the ‘looking for love’ newspaper section straight away. No way I was going on that haunted mansion ride again. So what other methods are there? I could only think of one other sure fire way to meet lots of people, and the fact I made this decision still shocks me today. I was going to re-enter a world which I had dreaded and hated and failed miserably at the first time around, I was going to go back to school.