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Thursday, June 05, 2008

THE FRAGILITY OF THE BODY

I've been toying with the idea of getting another Harley. I had a custom Sporty in the 90's that I sold to pay for my first year of graduate school. Spending time in the outlaw community and with my fellow executive producer, John Linson, who rides his Dyna more than his Beamer, I've been jonsing to get back on two wheels. I even test rode the black-on-black V-Rod at Bartels two weeks ago (unbeknownst to my wife). I fucking love that bike. Fast, versatile, badass. I actually put a hold on one coming in. Tuesday night, I was in my home office and needed to get some supplies out of my attic loft. I'm waiting for a library rolling ladder to be installed. In the interim, I've been using an aluminum straight ladder that my contractor left behind. While ascending the ladder, the base slid out from under me and I dropped nine feet onto a hardwood floor. I landed on my left hip, heard multiple cracks, couldn't breath and was in excruciating pain. Katey and the kids were at the video store, so I crawled to the phone and dialed 911. After a bumpy, painful ride to Cedars, I was x-rayed, poked and prodded. I was extraordinarily lucky. No damage to my spine or neck. No critical broken bones. I fractured a couple ribs, dislocated a finger (picture for your amusement) and tore ligaments in my back, chest and shoulders. I'm pretty fucked up, but fuctional. I'll head back into work tomorrow. I don't believe in a punishing god, but I do believe in a communicative god. Walking away from this fall relatively unscathed, gives me insight I perhaps didn't have three days ago. That at 45 years of age, my body is not as quick and responsive as it was at 25 -- when I first got a motorcycle and rode cross country. Perhaps my vain machismo would best be served by a speed bag or a new power drill rather than a vehicle that puts nothing between my semi-broken body and the limb-tearing pavement. So for today, I'll let go of the Harley dream. Of course, I reserve the right to completely ignore this insight a month from now.