Last month, on Seattle’s first night of snowfall, I found this snowman waiting for me at the bus stop as I was heading out to sell. I completely ignored this creepy, retarded, omen of danger. I sell Snarky Cards: Brutally Honest Greeting Cards, in bars. From a box that hangs beneath my boobs. It was a slow night. The snow keeping most people indoors. Luckily, my friends at 22 doors were having their holiday party. We sang karoke until 2, (I sang The Rainbow Connection, since I practice it in my shower every day) then we all trekked to my friend Greta’s house.
On the way to Greta’s, I fell down 3 times. A few years ago, I fell of my bike, and broke my leg. So, falling freaks me out. But I kept getting up, and all of this successful falling left me feeling pretty awesome about my ability to walk. 6 hours later, I stumbled out of Greta’s. I was crossing the street, in front of her house, I stepped off the curb and my left foot swept out from under me. Black ice. I looked up at a woman passing by “Are you OK?” she asked. I smiled through the tears in my eyes. “I’m pretty sure my leg is broken. I need to go to the hospital.” I said. I handed her my phone. “Can you call someone? A taxi? An ambulance? I don’t know.” She called 911. And I tried to crawl out of the street, so that I wouldn’t get run over while I waited for the ambulance, and practiced not crying in public.
The ambulance guys were kind and cute. “Yup!” they agreed with me “It’s broken!”. Not as hot as I’d expected. They were cute, but I’ve been watching a lot of Third Watch lately, and I kinda expected a Bobby Cannavale look alike, or, you know, Kim Raver.
They gave me something for the pain, and then strapped me down to the gurney and loaded me in the car. I hate that feeling. I hate being on a hospital bed that’s moving, and not having any control of where I’m going next. I mean,, the reason that you’re on the hospital bed is already scary. Whatever it is. And wherever they wheel you, scarier things are waiting for you in the next room. At least in my experience.
By the time the ambulance doors closed, I was totally freaking out. I couldn’t do anything about the gurney. So, my mind wandered to other things. Like how a broken leg completely fucks up my life. The Snarky Cards Chick Act doesn’t work in a wheelchair. “How am I going to make money? I make all of my money with these,” I moaned, gripping my tits. I peered down at them sadly, shaking them and muttering to myself.”Don’t worry, you’ve still got it going on,” He said as he took my pulse. “I’ve got a boner right now!” he reassured me. He let me feel his chubby as he kept taking my vital signs. I checked. He did. This actually did comfort me for the rest of the ride. There was something reassuring about feeling a guy up in the back of a car. Even if that car was an ambulance.
After the cute boy with the chubby walked away, leaving me with the doctors, I let myself melt down a little bit. “Oh my god!” I gasped. “I can’t get into my house!” I had just moved, two weeks before, to a new house. Homoasis is a crumbling old craftsman, in the U District. Full of some lovely young gays. My room in the basement was small but I had just figured out how to fit all of my stuff into it. And I was starting to learn to live with the fact that all of the cats of the house liked to congregate in my room. All six of them. And I couldn’t close my door. So, I couldn’t keep them out.
But none of that really mattered because Homoasis has sixty-five narrow, crumbling steps of doom. Leading up to it. They’re hard enough to negotiate when I’m stone cold sober in the middle of a bright sunny day, but there was no way I was going to make it up with a broken leg. I’m pretty sure that a few of the people I explained it to didn’t believe me. Also: I have no insurance. And I’m poor. I mean, if I had money, I would have gotten insurance. Right? So, I guess that’s redundant. So, they sent me a social worker, who called my sister for me. And who reassured me that they wouldn’t let me go home until I had a safe place to go.
And so my sister came. Apparently she’d been awake all morning, with a psychic feeling. And she was annoyed that I didn’t call her in the first place. She should get credit, for her psychic feeling (which no-one ever notices when she tries to put it into the story) and for wanting to be my first call. I have a lot of people on my call list. Some of them would run me across the state, barefoot, strapped to their backs, with zombies chasing us. Those people are all in California.
So, her wanting to be my first call really touched me. And her look, that look of determination on her face, when she realized that my leg was broken soothed me. I’ve seen her calculate like that before, usually before she does something hard. And she always gets it done. Whatever it is, once she gives it that look.
Last time I broke my leg, I was really scared. I sobbed in the E.R. for hours. I was sure that Snarky Cards was finished. And I would starve. And me, and my cats and my broken dreams would be homeless and destitute. And the nurses then, let me cry, and then they looked at me, unimpressed, and told me I’d be fine. I called 5 people to come get me. None of them came. I took a taxi home. And I waited for 3 days, terrified and in pain, until they were ready to do my surgery.
This time, I called my sister. And she came. And the hospital staff was kind to me, and my sister’s boyfriend, Eric, who I love, also came. And my best friend Colin. And Sparkle Pussy, a friend of Joy’s and mine. Joy called Arlette, Stephenie (our brother) and my Aunt Judi for me. They were all worried. And relieved that I have Joy. The doctors decided to do my surgery immediately. Joy said I could come home with her to recuperate.
So, I gave in. And let The Universe do what it does. And this time, this broken leg, instead of weeping, I just trusted that I’d be OK. And that something good would come from it. I told Judi that, after the surgery, while I was still groggy, and nervous, but trying to be brave. “Good.” She sounded so sure. “Then you’ll get the lessons.” And relieved. Like my mind would be in good hands.