fatty. no good for you.

24Feb/125

“Blame, Deny, Betray, Divide….

...A lie, the truth, which one shall I use?" - The Afghan Whigs, "Blame, Etc."

On October 21, 1996, 6 days before my 17th birthday, I was run over by a truck.  According to the police report, it was 6:51 PM.  I was on my bike, trying to make a left turn to get myself to the motel I was staying at with a friend while we were trying to figure out an apartment situation.  I had 2 CDs with me - The Afghan Whigs, "Black Love" (from which the above quote was taken) and Iggy Pop's "The Idiot".  Music history buffs know the Iggy Pop album as the one on Ian Curtis' record player as he hanged himself.  I guess I'm lucky I only brought the CD version.

I had figured life out by the time I was 16, or so I believed.  I lived modestly, as I had little choice.  I was fiercely independent, renting my first apartment as soon as I had enough money for the expense.  I was focused, forcing myself to graduate high school a year early to hit the working world a year earlier.  I was in ridiculously good shape, biking 20-40 miles every day.

I lost it all in a matter of seconds.

While I wouldn't stay with my parents after the accident, I went to stay with a teacher who had heard about what happened to me.  She was an amazing teacher, probably the single biggest influence on my way into the world of employment.  She directed me into Future Business Leaders of America, where I found improbable success.  I stayed in a spare room, paid a token amount for rent and food, and tried to figure out my next moves.  She encouraged me to get my driver's license.  On my second try, I passed the exam, and started looking for full time work.  I was reluctantly assimilated, with the faith that I was doing what was best for myself.

I never felt like I was quite right for this world.   I had very few friends, and I mostly didn't like the ones I had.  Even the one I was staying with at the motel was a spoiled piece of garbage and his mother was footing the bill for his stay.  I never wanted to learn how to drive; cars were terrible, polluting monsters.  I was never concerned about money, just as long as I had enough.  Some days I wish the 16 year old version of myself would come over here and kick my ass, reminding me of who I really am.

Instead, I climbed "Honky's Ladder" (another Afghan Whigs reference, because I could) and got the car, the job, and a life that could be the envy of many.  I've never dealt well with this.  At first it was guilt: the thought that I had any entitlement to a good salary without a full education made no sense to me.  Then it was self-loathe: I found nothing I liked about the person I was anymore.

I was never a big consumer of alcohol until I had a fairly devastating relationship failure in 2005.  I've done an awesome variety of drugs, but alcohol was the one that allowed me to fully forget my life and loosen me up.  This week it reminded me that trying to escape my life through the abuse of alcohol just makes it worse, and puts unfair burdens on the people I care about and love.

I woke up Wednesday morning in a hospital with no idea how I got there.  My shirt no longer had buttons.  My keys were gone.  I had $10 left in my wallet.  I called a friend, who happened to be drunk herself at nearly 7AM, begging her to come get me.  When she wouldn't, I became verbally abusive and threatening.  I left another friend voice mails with an awkward combination of tears and whining.

I took a cab to my car, called roadside assistance, had the car towed to a dealership where they made a new key and alarm fob for me, and then took a long drive of shame home, knowing I could never do this again.

I'm sure I still had alcohol in me when I made an inflammatory public post extending a "fuck you for not caring about me"-type message.  If everyone cursed me out, or if there was no response, I surely would have deserved it.  Instead, people have reached out to me.  At some point, I've made friends, and I owe it to them and myself to get better.

I started this blog with self-improvement in mind.  This changes nothing.

Comments (5) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Somehow I never knew you were hit by a car… must have been oblivious or I completely forgot.

    • Not a lot of people knew. I don’t even recall how the business teacher found out about it, to be honest. The physical injuries weren’t even that bad, all things considered. It just took a couple months before breathing was easy again.

      I didn’t even finish out at our school – it was AIM. My diploma still came from our school, and I did graduate with the rest of the Class of 1996. Keeping in touch with people from school wasn’t even a consideration until I broke down and got a Facebook account.

      • I remember you were sitting out of gym at some point. Was it then?

        • This happened after I graduated.

          Oddly, I was also hit by a car in a separate occurrence during my sophomore year.

          The main reason I sat out of gym through large chunks of school was because of a rare blood disease. Not a lot of platelets. I fixed that by getting my spleen out in 2004.


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