Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Balancing Minuses and Pluses of Life


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In the spring of 1975 Anna was pregnant with our first born son, Rocky. One weekend we went to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, which is booth after booth of arts and crafts.

There was one display of some kind of the things about the same size and as eggs. Out of each one, was a little carved human baby prying him/her out of the cracked egg. I think each one was home made. Anna really liked a certain one and I was going to buy it for her but the one she wanted was reserved for someone else who already paid for it.

The lady told me she also sold them at Tuxedo Pharmacy in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. And if I came there Monday morning I could buy one there. OK.

While looking at the arts and crafts I noticed a strange woman standing at a distance smiling at us. Why? I thought I would pretend to be looking at some art near where she was standing so I edged myself over to get a closer look at her and she wasn’t there. Then, about five minutes in another section of the festival there she was again, looking at us smiling. Again, I pretended to be studying a good photo shot with my camera and backed up to where she was. Only thing is, again she slipped away.

So much for that. I just thought it was mysterious and strange.

The next Monday morning after I got off work at the Post Office in Atlanta I drove to Tuxedo Pharmacy in Buckhead and they did have the little egg/baby that Anna liked so I purchased one and went home to hide it.  I gave it to her later on Mother’s Day.

A day later, Tuesday morning I was driving on my way home from work and I was going through a busy intersection , going under the green light and WHAM!!! A pickup truck rammed my car in the side at full force. It ran the red light part of the same traffic lifht. It knocked the car out of the intersection and onto the edge of a McDonald’s parking lot. The car, a Gremlin, was turned over on its side.

I did not have my seat belt on. The driver’s side of the car was caved in. If I had my seat belt on, I would have been crushed, but luckily the force knocked me on the other side of the car.

The man that hit me also didn’t have his seatbelt on. He went through the window which was the caused of his death a few hours later.

There is an argument here for and against seatbelts in the same wreck.

I remember being in a strange awkward position on the shotgun side of the car, turned over, glass over me, blood oozing out of glass cuts that showered me, and Bob Dylan’s “Blood On The Track” was playing on the car radio.

I found out later the man who went through the windshield lived nearby. He was an aged man, about 65. He was driving to his drugstore to get a prescription refilled. It is believed he fell unconscious while driving, so probably never knew about the accident.

With “Blood On the Track” playing I was pinned down but managed to pull a cigarette out of my breast pocket and light it. What I didn’t know, gasoline was pouring out of thecar onto the ground.

People were gathered around and I heard sirens getting louder. Before I had a chance to take over two good inhales on my cigarette a paramedic reached in and grabbed the cigarette out of mouth.

As they got me out of the crushed vehicle and loaded me onto a stretcher I got a lecture on smoking near an overturned car. I also received a lecture on smoking period – “Smoking can kill you.” one said as they loaded me into the ambulance.

We went to the hospital. Somehow I told somebody to call Anna at work. She and a couple of co-workers arrived shortly after I arrived.

I was x-rayed and looked over and the glass picked out of my hair. Aside from a few scrapes that was solved with bandages the doctors declared I could go home. I had a painful headace. There was some kind of mix-up about transportation, I forgot the details.

When Anna came to the hospital she was too nervous to drive, so a co-worker carried her. Then she had to get back to work and for some reason which I don’t remember I could not be released for about one or two hours.

We called Marie, my mother-in-law to come and pick me up and carry me home.

They wheeled me in a wheelchair to a waiting room and told me to wait for my mother-in-law there. They said that is where she would drive up to, under that drive through awning. OK.

I was sitting there. An older lady was also sitting in a wheelchair near me. Over, behind a round pillar was a tall lanky teenager with long hair, sitting, looking bored.

The older lady asked me was I waiting on someone. I said, “Yes, I am, somebody is suppose to come and pick me up.” She hollered over to the teenage boy, I forgot how she called him, but she said something to get his attention, then once he looked up she said, “Is this the person you are waiting for?”

I said, “No, no. I am waiting for my mother-in-law, it will take her a while, she is coming from north Cobb, between Woodstock and Kennesaw.”

The teenager got and stretched and walked over to be attentive to our conversation because he probably wasn’t sure it concerned him or not.

The older lady went on to explain why she got the boy’s attention was that she didn’t know I was waiting on a female and she was thinking I might be waiting on him, but because of the big pillar hiding us from each other we might not have know we were in the same room.”

That made sense to me. I have seen many comedy of errors that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.

The tall teenager walked behind her then folded his arms, like one might do to imitate a bird and started to pretend to peck the top of  her head. It reminded me of a big bird standing over her pecking her on the top of her head.. I don’t remember if Big Bird was known yet or not, but if so, that is what he looked like. Why was he doing this? Acting crazy behind that old lady’s back. Was he on drugs?

I don’t know why he did it, but it got me trying to swallow my giggles. I was probably high on some sort of pain medicine.

I took off from work ten days or so. I had a pounding headache. The other man’s insurance company gave us book value for my Gremlin and paid me a small amount for my pain and suffering and reimbursed monetarily what sick leave I used.

Still happy with American cars, we bought an orange Pacer that looked something like a big pumpkin.

Just after I returned to work I put my motorcycle up for sale. I had a Honda CL350. It was the type of motorcycle that was good for road or off-the-road. A man came and was really impressed with the Honda and complemented me for taking a such good care of it. I was asking $600.00. He didn’t try to talk me down. He wrote out a check and told me would I please wait until Friday to cash it until Friday, and if I didn’t mind he would predate the check for Friday. No problem, I told him.

The check bounced. I went to his house and the house was empty. He and his family moved. I went to the Post Office and paid a fee for them to look up the man’s forwarding address and he did not turn in one. He and his family just skipped out. I went to the local school and talked to the kid’s teachers and she said the boy told his classmates they were moving to some town in Oklahoma.

I went to the County D.A. office and talked to an assistant about how would I go about pressing charges against the man for giving me a rubber check and riding off in the sunset.

The assistant D.A. is now a prominent lawyer and also owns two barbecue places in town – his barbecue is the North Carolina type, delicious! He told me that when I accepted the predated check from him I was accepting his credit, with risks that come with such. The act of accepting his credit made it a “non-criminal matter”. Credit problems is a civil matter.

I tell these two incidences of bad things happening to me because I wonder if it was something the gods worked out, a kind of “give and take” or maybe a Karma, of a plus causing a negative to back down? Or put it this way, I suffered a bit, to prevent anything negative happening during the birth of my son. He was born healthy and wise.

And, if you recall the smiling dame at the Dogwood Arts Festival…. Was she someone dealing out the cards of life?

It is just a thought.

But if that was the case, what did the guy that went through the windshield get?



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