Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad

            If you are an intimate friend of mine, or now that I think about it, just know me in passing, you probably know that I am accident-prone.
            When I was two I pushed myself down a flight of cement steps, which brought my bottom teeth through my bottom lip. A year later, I decided to surprise my mother and jump on her, to which she responded by instinctively kicking, catapulting my body into our coffee table. My dad had to sew up my head in our living room. I’ve been flung out of gulf carts, hit by cars, bitten by horses, fallen UP stairs. Before I moved to Baltimore, I went to jump off my friend’s roof into a pool and missed and instead hit the side of the pool and bounced in (a whole separate story).
            Then, in 2011, I got a job, which allowed me an unlimited supply to free booze. On my first week, I tried to bike home but instead hit the curb and had a large scrape/bruise on my cheek for two weeks as well as a slight concussion.
            Let me preface the rest of my story by saying that I never broke or even fractured a single bone throughout any of these misadventures.
            So, now that you have background, here is the rest of my story: I must have really messed with the dynamic order of the spirit world because my luck has been completely fucked lately.  It started at the beginning of January. I tried climbing on some rocks down by Fall’s River, a river in Baltimore that is comparable in disease-ridden sewage to the Hudson River in New York, and fell in.
            The next morning my car got broken into. Not to steal, I have nothing to steal in my car, just to ruin my day. I also managed in this time to accrue two separate parking tickets. A day later I went biking with my friends and my brake went out while crossing North Avenue, a major road in Baltimore, and got hit by a car, injuring my right wrist. Then, that weekend, I went roller-skating and fell on that same wrist pushing it to the limit and forcing me to spend the entirety of the night carrying my hand. This didn’t worry me and instead of going to a doctor to have it x-rayed I went to Rite Aid and bought a wrist guard and a shit ton of Ibuprofen and took off two days of work. After that, I went into work for a mandatory meeting and found out that the restaurant that I worked at was closing. I then spent the next two weeks working as much as possible with my bum hand, which incidentally is my writing hand, therefore I was practically useless. Got good tips out of sympathy though, “sympathy tips.” Ok, so I lost my job, I was low on money because I spent it on the tickets, my replacement car window, and taking off work and ultimately losing my job. I figured it couldn’t get worse. Mistake.

            Now, a few weeks after the fact, I have a hand that still hurts and not much money to spend on fixing it. But still have a pretty great attitude on life. I’ve hurt myself too many times to get too bogged down with bullshit.
            And then I sprained my knee. Actually, more literally, I dislocated my kneecap; I felt it jump around in my knee before twisting it back into place. That wasn’t fun. It was after performing a particularly awkward dance move at a friend's dance party. Soon afterward I flew home to South Florida. Half for my dad’s birthday and half to be taken care of and shed off some of this bad voodoo.
            Getting on the plane was hilarious alone. As my readers should know, I HATE PLANES. I had to go through security in a wheel chair with a wrist guard, knee brace, and my crutches balanced across my knees. They let me skip out on the metal detector and instead subjected me to an in-depth pat-down. Then they tested my various braces for explosives. Both came back positive. That is when two cops appeared and escorted me into a private room for further searching and interrogation. Explaining my injuries only made them more suspicious of me, “Roller skating and dancing? Seriously? So then how would you roller skate after hurting your knee while dancing? Ok, so let me get a timeline? So you hurt your wrist before your went dancing? So then why did you go dancing? Are you sure you want to stick to this story?” Despite the fact that my respective braces continued to test positive for explosives they let me go, realizing that I was not a bio-terrorist, just an idiot.
            In Florida, my mother freaked out when she saw me, not knowing how bad off I actually had been and quickly jumped into action finding an appointment with anyone with an x-ray machine.
            So the next morning I went to the doctor, a friend of my father’s and incidentally the very same doctor that treated my back when I fell off that roof.
            They asked me to fill out a form with questions like social security, address, and occupation. For occupation, I put down retired (it sounded better than destitute).
            After my x-ray, the first thing the doctor said to me after hearing me out was, “Roller-skating and dancing? Really? You don’t have a better excuse than that?” Then laughed at me for at least two-minutes as he went over my chart and was reminded of my last reason for a visit.
            This was the last straw for my diminishing pride and so I interjected with, “Well, I was also hit by a car!” Forgetting that I had chosen to omit this detail along with a few others to my hysteric-prone mother, who immediately interrupted his sustained laughter with a falsetto, New York- Jew “What??”
            Then, he looked at my x-ray and told me that I had broken my wrist and required surgery because I had waited too long to treat it, to which I responded with my own falsetto, New York-Jew “What???” (Three question marks instead of two).
            He told me that I was tough, which reinstated my pride then pulled out a huge needle in order to drain my knee and watched me slip into a panic. I admitted that I hated needles; so to distract me he asked me what I wanted to do as a career. I told him that I planned to become a professor. He said, “A professor, eh? Well be prepared to always vote democrat, then.”
            “Oh, don’t worry, Obama definitely has my vote.” I thought that his comment meant that he was on my side.
            “Are you kidding me?” Nope, that comment was actually meant to be translated as “be prepared to be poor the rest of your life.” And so we fought. We fought while the man had a needle in my leg draining about 60 CCs of blood out from under my kneecap. I couldn’t feel a thing over his over-confident accusations, “See? You’re totally brainwashed!”
            After yelling back that I watch Fox News as well as the other sources, he passed me off to the nurse so that he wouldn’t have to deal with me anymore.
            His nurse whispered in my ear, “We like you,” referring to the rest of the doctor’s staff (apparently they’re all democrats) while putting my wrist in my first-ever cast. I used my good hand to pick up the cup of all my blood and asked if I could keep it to which my mother responded with an adamant, “No!” 
            The doctor then began his dictation which turned out to be a 10-minute excuse to make fun of me, his laughter filling the pauses after period and comma.
            Afterward he called my dad to tell him that I was going to need surgery, finishing the conversation with “Oh, and happy birthday Paul!”
            At some point in all of this, his wife came in, the daughter of a former Hitler-youth, and consistently reiterated how much she loved the Jews as a sort of penance for her family’s history, her adulation climaxing in “I wish I was a Hassidic Jew.” To which I could only respond by laughing. 90% of this woman was make up, breast enhancement, tight, revealing clothes, and oh yeah, a Jew-hating father (I guess that’s technically just 50%).  She also gave me the worst metaphor for why Obama shouldn’t be re-elected, “Imagine you had an ‘A’ in school and a guy that was slacking off decided to trade his ‘D’ for your ‘A’ so that he got your ‘A’ and you got his ‘D’. So you guys switched grades. That is what our economy is like right now.” That isn’t how our economy works. I didn’ t correct her however, knowing that she actually was incorrectly citing a famous article from a professor at Harvard.
            After my appointment, my mom brought me to my dad’s office, in crutches, a knee brace, and a cast. He introduced me to his patients as his daughter that just got back from Afghanistan. One of the women actually believed it and patted me on my shoulder and whispered, “Thanks for serving us.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her how I actually got this way.
            Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

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