“GGGFAAOWWNNUUHHH!” is roughly the sound that issued from me before my face smacked directly on to the sidewalk.
I went DOWN. DOWN DOWN. As if poleaxed! If you translated that sound, it would come out to be:
“WHY THE FUCK ARE MY ARMS NOT COMING UP TO PROTECT MY FACE? THIS IS GOING TO HURT! I AM GOING TO HURT MY FACE! THIS IS TERRIFYING! TERRIFYING!”
As I lay there stunned, not even in pain yet, I heard two cars pass me. Two cars. Neither of them slowing. There’s a man lying facedown on a sidewalk in broad daylight. And not in the sort of area where people lying facedown on the sidewalk (whether dead, dying, high, drunk, lazy, or just plain fatigued) is a common occurrence. And he’s hoping to hear someone’s power window slide down and a tentative, hoping-to-hell-he-answers-in-the-affirmative-because-we’ve-got-little-Shenandoah’s-soccer banquet-to-go-to voice ask if he’s alright. Nope. Two cars drove by. “What’s that man doing?” “Bleeding dear. Take a pic and Facebook it.”
When I took my face off the cement and noted the pretty drops of blood that were starting to pepper the sidewalk, I was pretty scared. I didn’t have a compact in my purse, so I had no idea of just how bad the damage was. Had my nose been reconfigured and pushed to the side? Was my eye hanging out? I could have answered that one for myself because my vision was fine. What little deductive reason I possess tends to fly away in the face of sheer panic. And my teeth – were my teeth all there? I know people with gaps in their teeth. People automatically assume you watch Duck Dynasty when you have one of those.
The worst part of it, after all was said and done, was that my husband was at the movies. With the car. And I was two blocks from our apartment. And I looked like Bloody Face, I assumed. I was able to deduce that from the pain and the blood. From my face.
Alone. I was utterly alone. No cars had stopped and I probably had a skull fracture and part of my brain was probably leaving (I hadn’t seen it on the sidewalk yet, but who knows – maybe it had fallen into a shrub or something) and I had to walk home alone.
I took my hoodie off, and held it to my face like people do when they’re trying to prevent smoke inhalation. I was trying to prevent unnerving people. Which is odd seeing as I was still resentful about the TWO CARS THAT DROVE BY, PROBABLY SAW A MAN LYING FACEDOWN ON A SIDEWALK, AND KEPT DRIVING TO SHENANDOAH’S SOCCER BANQUET.
It was a long two blocks. I passed three people. One was a small Asian woman. One was a young white man getting into a car that had been idling waiting for him. And one was an older white gentleman walking a dog. Apparently they had been invited to Shenandoah’s soccer banquet as well. Cuz’ not one of those assholes asked me if I was ok. And the sweatshirt wasn’t covering all the damage. That patch on my forehead you see is post-initial clean-up. It was bleeding pretty heavily at first. So the three people who saw me would have been able to see THE BLOOD STREAMING DOWN MY FOREHEAD. Wow, that must have been some fucking soccer banquet. Maybe they had a DJ.
What did people think I was doing? Converting to Muslim but had gotten confused about which gender wears the niqab? A stupid Muslim who was gender transitioning and couldn’t work her niqab correctly? Concerned about the smog levels in Quincy, MA? Really?
Now that I look back, I honestly think the general public’s apathy towards my plight had something to do with the marathon bombing. It was probably a case of “Look, guy. We’ve all had enough of the death and maiming and we’re trying to get back to normal. Can you swing this one on your own? KTHANKSBAI.” So the One Fund won’t be supporting my recovery. I’m ok with that.
The only damage I really did was give myself a non-displacing fracture in my nose. Which means I broke it but not in the way where you need surgery to point it back in the right direction. This is good news, because I have that modeling career to get back to and Ford Models demands that your nose go in the right direction or you can kiss that Marie Claire cover goodbye, darling.
My face hurts.