A Tale of Seven Stitches

14 Jun

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  It was August 14th, 2003.  A date that shall live in infamy (at least in my own mind) until the end of my days.  (Believe that.) I had just been collected from JC Penny by some friends and we were on our way to Detroit to see the legendary Iggy and the Stooges. (JC Penny functioned as my work place at the time, and I had arranged for myself to not have to return there for almost two full weeks.)

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SPOILER ALERT:  Things would not go as planned, but of course we didn’t know that yet.

We soon found ourselves entrapped in what I always refer to as “The Worst Traffic Jam I Have Ever Seen In My Life,” but we didn’t know why.  Eventually I noticed, as we slowly crawled past several small towns along I-94 that there seemed to be no functioning traffic lights anywhere. Something was clearly amiss therefore the mix cd we were listening to was turned off and the radio was turned on, and through this action we quickly discovered the cause of the calamity: a power outage that was affecting the entire Eastern half of the United States and Canada. By this time we were three quarters of the way to the concert venue.  A brief debate ensued about our course of action.  I suggested just going ahead to the venue anyhow.  I envisioned an amazing adventure in which Iggy himself would show up, having nothing better to do, and play an acoustic show for us. Everyone agreed this was almost certain to happen so we forged ahead.

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This appears to be the only image in existence of Iggy Pop with an acoustic guitar.

We stopped for gas somewhere, only to realize as we pulled into the station;  we wouldn’t be able to do so without electricity, and we didn’t have enough to get home, though we did have enough to travel the rest of the way to Pine Knob.  (That’s the name of the concert venue.  I refuse to call it by it’s current name, which it happens to share with a gigantic corporation of questionable moral values.)    So there it was.  We were going on an adventure, whether we wanted to or not. Hooray!

im-going-on-an-adventure1

This guy also went on an adventure that turned out to be not so much fun.

We did not find the hoped for impromptu acoustic Stooges show, but what we did find was a motley collection of other disappointed concert goers, hanging out in a gas station parking lot, many of them in the same situation as us.  (Some had ventured all the way from Canada, in fact.) A small party store nearby was open for business, allowing customers to come in and purchase items by flashlight.  We acquired 2 cases of Labatt’s Blue and a fifth of Jagermeister.

For about an hour I was having a great time.  We were drinking.  We were making new friends in this gas station parking lot full of fellow Stooges fans.  It was kind of like what I imagine Woodstock may have been like.  The situation was surreal and marvelous.  Then, as I was running across the parking lot chasing after an airborne Frisbee, I ran smack dab into one of those dome shaped rain water vents they sometimes have in parking lots, and fell straight down into the gravel, knee first.

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Fuck you dome shaped drainage vent. Fuck you very much.

I can still remember how I skidded about five feet across the gravelly parking lot, first on my left knee, then twisting my body around so that I could go ahead and peel off a layer or two of skin off my right arm for good measure.  The pain was blinding.  This was without a doubt the single most agonizing moment of my entire life.  Friends and strangers alike gathered around me, wondering what they could do for me as I lay there on the ground, clutching my knee.  I informed them, as politely as I could in my current predicament, that the best thing they could do was back the fuck up.

My right arm had road rash all along the bottom of the forearm.  My right hand, near the wrist, was also gouged up pretty good…but these were the least of my worries.  My left knee literally had a giant hole in it, from which I was losing an alarming amount of blood.  There were strips of flesh hanging from the sides of the wound, and I’m pretty sure you could see down to the bone.

(Did I mention it fucking HURT?!?)

Eventually I somehow managed to get up.  I grabbed a bunch of blue paper towels from one of the gas pumps (the kind you use to wipe down your windshield) and wrapped them around my knee.  In spite of my makeshift paper tourniquet blood continued to stream down my left leg. Before long I had one white sock, one red sock.  One normal looking black and white converse tennis shoe with white laces, one not so normal looking black and red one, with red laces.

Someone handed me the bottle of Jagermeister and I chugged some of it down, chasing it with a beer.  Someone happened to have some Vicodin and I took a few of those, chasing them with another beer.  What I should have done, of course, was called for an ambulance, but that was completely out of the question.  (I ain’t going to no Bellevue.)  So I continued to drink.  From time to time someone from the parking lot party would supply me with another pain pill, and I continued to drink.  Slowly but surely the pain began to fade.  My spirits were much higher than they should have been, and as the day turned into night, the situation became weirder and weirder.  It was a clear evening with plenty of moonlight, but there was no artificial light of any kind, save for the continuous stream of headlights parading by on the nearby highway.  There was very little noise otherwise.  It was eerie.  (And I continued to drink.)

I actually came to the conclusion, with much conviction that my day was today and somehow accepted it with unnatural calm.  I figured I should call my roommate, but she didn’t answer her phone.  In my drunken stupor I left this ridiculous message on her voicemail, (cheerfully I might add.)

“Hey Carie, it’s Dom.  Just wanted to call and let you know I’m in a parking lot out by Pine Knob, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to bleed to death.  It’s been nice knowing you, and uh…you know…do whatever you need to do with all my stuff.  ok Bye!”

I was so far gone by this time it never even occurred to me what kind of panic this was going to cause her when she got this extraordinarily bizarre message.  Several of the other parking lot people and I then went on a 5 or 6 mile hike down the road towards a rumored golf course, where there was supposedly a swimming hole that suddenly seemed like a great idea.  (If I was going to die, I was bound and determined to have a blast while doing so.)

We found the golf course, but, thankfully, not the swimming hole.  I remember sitting alone under a group of pine trees on the brightly moonlit golf course, contemplating the silence and the neatly mown landscape all around me for some time before our group recollected and began making it’s way back to the gas station.  It was incredibly surreal, and in spite of the alarming circumstances of my situation, that particular moment remains as a pleasant one in my mind’s eye.

night-golf-course-photography1

I was really not feeling much pain at all by this point, but I was getting tired.  Behind the gas station were a few cars, probably left there for repairs, and most were unlocked.  I climbed into the back seat of one of them and fell asleep, no doubt leaving blood and possibly bits of my flesh all over the back of some poor soul’s vehicle.   (Who knows what they thought whenever they came by to reclaim it.)

It was around 8 am when I climbed out of the car.  Now I was beginning to hurt again, badly.  It was very hard to get around.  A couple hours passed and suddenly, miraculously, around 10:30, the world sprung back to life.  Lights came on unexpectedly.  Some sleepy looking gas station employees appeared and opened the store up.  I bought bandages and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, which I dumped into the wound.  (I now know that I shouldn’t have done that, but it seemed to have worked out all right, since, as I sit here writing this, I do in fact have both my legs, still attached.)

We got gas, and I climbed into the back seat of my friend’s automobile, still convinced I would just go home and clean myself up in the bath tub.  The trip home was agonizing and long.  I managed to get a hold of Carie finally, and assured her I was all right, and would absolutely not be needing any medical assistance.

At last we arrived home, and when she saw me being helped out of the back of the car, she said, with no hesitation.  “You are going to the hospital, get in my car.”  I tried to argue, but it was no use.  I was going to the hospital.  I have always wondered what would have become of me and my leg had I not had Carie for a roommate at that particular moment.

I was taken to the hospital, thoroughly convinced they were going to cut my leg off.  I waited on a hospital bed for what seemed like hours, running through all the horrifying possibilities of what was going to happen in my mind.  I vividly remember Oprah was on the television in the room. To this day the sight of Oprah Winfrey gives me a panic attack.

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They had to use a sort of vacuuming device to remove glass and bits of gravel from the inside of my knee, which was in fact thoroughly infected.  (By this time it smelled a bit like hamburger that is just starting to turn.)  They used what looked sort of like a brillo pad to scrub the road rash off my arm.   They gave me a tetanus shot and pumped me full of antibiotics.  They gave me a prescription to more antibiotics and some pretty heavy duty pain meds.  I received 7 stitches in my knee.  I was informed that if I had gone to the hospital immediately, like I should have, I would have gotten around 30 stitches, and the scarring, which would be with me for the rest of my life, would have been a lot less severe.  (I didn’t really care.  In fact the scars on my knee make for a good ice breaker at parties.)

I spent most of the next two weeks on the couch. When I returned to the rescheduled concert, a couple weeks later, I was hobbling along on crutches.  It was still fun as hell though.

The moral of this story is:  Don’t be an idiot.

012

The knee in question…12 years later.

2 Responses to “A Tale of Seven Stitches”

  1. Elyse July 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    Ouch. As a fake medical expert who knows waaaay too much what happens when drugs (even Tylenol) are mixed with alcohol, I worried that the outcome was going to be much worse. A scar and a story? That’s OK

    I was driving to Maine from DC when that power failure hit. Luckily we had just gotten gas when everything went out.

    Thanks for the follow!

    • domingosaurus August 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Wow thanks for commenting! I missed this somehow, and I ALWAYS try to reply to every comment! So yeah, I like to think I’m a little wiser nowadays. I think about this incident and shudder a little. But, as they say, whatever doesn’t kill us…makes for great blog material. 😉

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AlyZen Moonshadow

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AlyZen Moonshadow

The words and works of AlyZen Moonshadow, digital mixed media photography artist, designer, musician, poet, philosopher, mother, muse, Goddess!

Are You Finished Yet?

I like to write about stuff. I usually try to be funny. Take it or leave it.

Michael Rios

Sherlock unlocking the past

anewperspectiveperhaps

This site is about everything from my philosophy on life to the little things that make me laugh. IIt is about living, and breathing, and pausing long enough to take it all in. I hope it makes you laugh, sometimes makes you cry, but always makes you want to come back for another visit. It is your words, and your likes that inspire me to keep writing. And it is through my writing that you have a very large window to my soul. Relax awhile, read, and enjoy!

Be Free 2 Love

Soaring through Life, Love, & Happiness: One story at time.

PotatoPen

That's right! I write!

Forty, c'est Fantastique !

La vie est belle !

Mr Tookles

tee hee

The Dependent Independent

TV, movies, books…rants… just trying to put skills to use.

Fictional Kevin

Cigar Fueled Creative Writing

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Elizabeth Conrad

True stories from a recovering asshole.

jenny's lark

the beauty of an ordinary life

Skinny and Single

Single and Over 40 and Not Suicidal About It

BunKaryudo

Lovingly Hand-Crafted Humor Blog

Life After 50

Life at any age can be amazing! We only need to grab hold & experience it!

Lessons from my daughter

Although all doctors agreed she would do nothing.....

lindaseccaspina

remembers the invention of the wheel

Fiction Favorites

with John W. Howell

Retro Girl & the Chemo Kid

Superpower: love. Adventures through childhood cancer, grief, healing and happiness.

What Rhymes with Stanza?

Words at rest, words at play

Life and Random Thinking

A old dog CAN blog

Fred in Wyo

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Our next Chapter

NestOfSquirrels

Acorns. And scurrying.

The Falling Thoughts

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heretherebespiders

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Mental Defecation

My mind poops here

emmakwall (explains it all)

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