Posts Tagged ‘Non Fiction’


Ligaments love it short,

As short as they can be.

So if you do not stretch them,

they’ll tighten up you’ll see.

Then when you go to use them,

They’ll complain vociferously.

There is no way around it.

Stretch them you must do.

Or else they’ll never work for you.

Once you think you’ve stretched them,

They’ll trick you wait and see.

For when you are not looking,

They revert most happily.

So stretch them to your will.

Do so continually,

It takes a couple weeks I guess,

until they acquiesce.

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Whose Idea Was It Anyway?

I thought  those days when I wished time would pass were behind me.

But I find myself thinking:

If 4 hours were up, I could take my next pain pill.

If 12 to 24 hours were up, the nerve block would wear off and my arm wouldn’t be so flippity-floppy.

If 12 days were up, Doc would get me out of these dressings.

If 3 to 6 months passed, all those days of painfully stretching ligaments, and muscle aches from exercising would pass behind me.

Whose bright idea was time anyway?

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The Fall

I don’t remember the fall, only bits and pieces surrounding it

I remember the impression earlier in the day that I should keep my cellphone in my back pocket in case there was an emergency.

I remember just before, being on top of the 22 foot ladder and leaning to the left trying to carefully rope it around the tree to secure it.

The next thing I remember was coming to, laying on the ground and seeing my left wrist before me with the jagged bones sticking out of it. I was able to place my right hand  under it and flopping it up an inch and thinking, “Yep, it’s broken.” Strangely it didn’t hurt. Nothing did.

I thought of my cell phone in my left hand back pocket and thought, it wasn’t going to be easy getting it with my good right hand.

At that point I passed out again.

I came to in the ambulance. I asked the EMTs if they would please call my wife Laurie and let her know what happened. They said yes.

I passed out again.

Forward to a month or so later, I remembered trying to decide if I should call my son David who was playing video games in the basement.

And having thoughts that I didn’t know if I’d be able to make more than one phone call, as he may not hear me and I didn’t want to risk him move me and injuring me further while trying to help

So I apparently called 911.

Sometime during the ambulance ride I had asked the EMTs to call David and ask him to look around the base of the tree to see if he could find my glasses. (This would be the first time he heard anything about the accident.)

He said that when he looked where I lay, all of the clothes I had been wearing had been cut off me and were lying at the base of the  tree.

It would not be until after the surgery that I would wake up in the ICU.

A couple months later I would finally learn the extent of the damage:

Broken bones in my left forearm.

A broken rib.

Two fractured vertebrae

A fractured sacrum

A fractured Coccyx

Pelvic open book fracture.

Hematoma  in my right leg

And some elephant man type swelling of man parts that I won’t go into.

The moral of all this?

Always have a spotter when using a ladder.

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July 25th

July 25th,
was the day I almost left this Earth,
and you behind,
after falling most heavily upon it.

Who would have thought
that a mere accident
could claim the life of an immortal?

I look around the garage,
this house,
my den.

And see tools,
and things,
that only have meaning for me.

What a mess
I would have left
for you to clean up.

And all the additional responsibilities
you would have had to assume.

I am so, so sorry
that I put you through all this.

And cry,
embarrassing both of us,
with tears of gratitude
for your tender kindnesses since then.

And smile/grimace through tears,
when you in anger say,
that if I ever did  something  like that again,
you would kill me.

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In the Spring

even poison ivy looks pretty.

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The following is a non-fictional writing exercise on perception:

I ask my wife what she sees when she closes her eyes in a totally lightless room. “Black.” She says.
“Anything else?” I ask.
A boring “No.” is her response.

What I see when I close my eyes is… complicated. It’s different depending on the situation.

Color-wise the elements are muted flourescent greens, the kind you see on a glow-in-the dark watch face after a few hours into the night,

and muted flourescent purples; the color of dust on velvet under a black light.

Speaking of black, I see that too. Rarely is it ever the rich perfect vibrant black seen on an OLED color TV screen but is almostly totally muddied, washed out by the overlay of the previous two colors.

The picture is complex.  As I describe this I have to alternate between turning the light on in my room to write, and turning the light off and placing the palms of my hands over my eye sockets to return to my interior vision. When I do, what I see has no boundaries save it be how far I can turn my eyes left and right, up and down. If I had 360 degree vision, I suspect  the picture would be spherical. In fact that is it. It’s just that my viewing arc is more restricted. And “I” am in its’ center.

When I say picture, I mean both senses of the word. The “picture” is what I see, but it also has movement. There are elements which are static for an instant when I focus on them, but change, either when I move my eyes to another part of my visual field, or shift into something else when I concentrate on them.

There is no horizon. There is two and three dimensionality. It is sometimes like looking into a microscope and seeing what you have focused on a two dimensional plane and then turning the dial and seeing the focus of a nearer or farther plane.

The elements are multitudinous, minute.
They comprise my whole visual field. I suspect it is part after-images, but I know upon experimentation that they also are physiological manifestations. For instance, if I roll my eyes as low as I can, I see two arcs/ circles flashes of light which I suspect might be photons silhouetting my retinal disks.

And the elements sometimes strobe. I wonder if this is due to microsaccades generated by my superior colliculus. You know, those little jerky eye movements that keep things from disappearing  if you stare at them too long.

I’m getting sleepy but there are three other things I mention off of the top of my head. Sometimes the picture is cross-hatched. I don’t know where that comes from. Sometimes I see typeface. That comes from reading too long before bedtime. And sometimes it’s like looking through a sponge of neurons, which makes me wonder, since eyes, optic nerves, optic chiasm, right and left lateral geniculate nucleai, and right and left striate cortices are all connected; whether the visual seat of my consciousness is looking from the outside in, or inside out. Perhaps it’s one of those things that’s dependent upon your choice of view.

Am “I” actually able to peer through the cells in my visual cortex? I kid you not. It’s food for thought.

So, what do YOU see when you close your eyes? I’d like to know!

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