Thursday, December 30, 2004

Take my face, please

It was a hot summer day in Southern California. The kind of blistering heat that could fry an egg on the pavement before noon. The air thick and stifling. Weak whiff's of wind choked with oppressive warmth.

The year was 19seventybeforeyouwereborn and the neighborhood daredevils had assembled late in the afternoon to see what kind of trouble we could get into. This was long before the days of parents knowing every move their kids were making, thus none had any indication of our impending plans to tackle, The Hill.

The Hill was north of our street, but in plain view from all of our houses. A giant marker of doom. It was daunting and mysterious, seemingly looming to the heavens, and most of all steep. Very, very steep. Steeeeeeeeeep.

This was our quest for the day. Not only to brave The Hill, but to have a little contest to see who could travel the fastest on our respective and beloved bicycles down The Hill. I blame Evil Knievel. Him and his sexy American flag leather suit. Only later did we learn he was loaded for every jump across the Grand Fucking Canyon. Asshole.

Me and most of the Myers kids pushed our multicolored bikes to the top of The Hill, or at least to the point where our lungs gave out and was far enough to have a decent go at our competition.

We looked like a Boogie Night's rainbow nightmare. Me with my yellow girlie bike with the flowered seat and white wicker basket. (Thanks mother, that was so not my style. I was a lover of all things black, even at 6 1/2.) Karen with her coveted blue sparkly number with the tassled handlebars. Her younger brother Jim sported a hot red Huffy and their older sister Kristy had a green big-girl's bike.

We lined up like thoroughbred's at the gate. Our houses far off on the horizon looking like pin-prick's in the distance. It was like another world up on The Hill. I took a deep breath and readied myself, bursting with anticipation and primed to conquer not only this makeshift racetrack but also crush my opponents in sweet victory. I was blissfully clueless to my near and bloody future...

First went little Jim, zoom, no problem. Then his older sister Kristy, woosh, again, no problem. It was now between me and Karen. She just sat there, clutching her fringed grips, eyes wide with fear. Her mouth pursed with pussosity. It was obvious she was chickening out. Wuss.

I climbed aboard my bike, squared my shoulders and started working my little legs at fast as they would go. My light-blue corduroy pants making a high-pitched zip-zip sound. (Don't ask me why the hell I was wearing corduroy pants, with a bikini top no less, when it was 190 thousand degrees outside in the middle of the summer. I was a kid, thus brain damaged.)

Shwing! I was literally soaring down The Hill at a dizzying speed. Suck it Myers! I'm gonna win! And hmm. Funny thing about gravity, I really didn't need to assist my bike with any peddling at all, but by the time I discovered this scientific fact, it was too late.

My bike started to shake, then wobble. The handlebars were wrentched from my sweaty grip and then, CRASH. I went flying. Then tumbling. Then OOF. The next thing I remember is sitting on the molten lava-hot curb holding my face in my hands with blood pouring out from between my fingers. Jim was starting at me and I guess Kristy had already left to get her mom. Karen stood about 10 feet away, useless as usual.

In what seemed like 5 years, I lift my broken head to see our brown fake-wood-paneled stationwagon heading up The Hill towards us and what was left of my noggin. My dad gets out of the car, collects me and takes me back to our house. Wait. Back to our house!?! Not the hospital, the house. Sigh, poor dumb dad. He proceeds to put a paper towel under my bloody chin and asked me to open my mouth. After some coaxing, I complied, and when he saw the bony tip of MY SKULL, he finally decided the ER would be a good place to go.

I had literally ripped the flesh from my face when I hit the pavement with my cheek and they had to sew it back onto my jaw from joint-to-joint. And luckily for me, they did this from inside of my mouth. I had broken my chin horizontally, but thankfully not my jaw, so I didn't have to get my head wired shut, to the chagrin of everyone who had to listen to my constant little girl chatter, I'm sure.

Things get sketchy after I arrived at the hospital, I recall something about an x-ray machine, visiting my dentists office, and having wheelchair races with the doc. I think that last image is a result of minor morphine. Go drugs!

My face looked like road kill and I had a small rock embedded in my right hand. But it could have been much worse, since I really wasn't wearing much above the waist, and that hill would claim many a victim after me who didn't fare half as well. My chin was numb for about 2 years after that and my need for speed was permanently squelched. I have no idea where my mother was throughout this ordeal.

I spent the rest of the summer healing and it pretty much sucked. No swimming. No slumber parties. No solid food. But since I was so young, you can't tell a thing by looking at me. No obvious scars unless you get right up in my face and take a gander really closely. And you need persmission for that. I do get a crooked little smile every now and then, but only when I'm drunk. It's fucking charming. Just like the rest of me.

My fruity sissy bike survived the accident so I still had adolescent transportation until I was big enough to inherit my brother's 10-speed with the straight bar that crushed my cootch more than once.

But that's another story.


Ginny said...


Now I don't feel so bad I was always too chicken to try the hill behind Ralph's Taco House. Well, that, and my mother told me that if I lived through it she would kill me.

whitey said...

Evel Knievel was a Montana boy, you know.

Also "pussosity" is one of the best words I've ever seen.

Dr Rocks said...

Everyone has their "The Hill"...I didn't fall off mine though, I save that for the edge of a waterfall. Narrowly missing falling off the bugger.

Mr. Math said...

Hey nice blog. I hope you have a nice weekend with whitey.

Bitter Betty said...

ginny - I've heard about you and that taco house.

whitey - Yea, I'm fond of those boys too. You don't happen to own a white leather jacket do you?

rocks - I imagine you're still falling down hills.

mr. math - Thanks for stopping by!

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