The first one sounded like a boxcar was dropped from the sky.The second one sounded like a boulder hitting a washing machine.
I honestly don’t remember what exactly mine sounded like; but it was a car built of steel, versus a cast iron ditch culvert. So, people in alternate universes probably heard that collision.
It was 1985, I was 21, and far too big for my britches. Petey and I had been married two years, and were buying a little piece of land near Okisko, a tiny little community about ten miles from the bright lights of Elizabeth City.
I was managing a clothing store at the mall, and after we’d closed up one Sunday night, I was kind of at loose ends. Petey had an overnight shift at the hospital, and the only thing I had going on was a load of dishes waiting in the sink at home. I asked my friend Robert if he wanted to take a ride in our recently purchased 240Z out to see the land we were buying.
He had even less going on than me. So, we hopped in the car, turned south and headed for Okisko.On our way home I was trying to get a new station on the radio when the road in front of us curved to the right.
Which is how the engine block ended up where the gas pedal had been mere seconds before. And how my face bent the iron steering wheel into the dash. Luckily, Robert just bumped his knee on the dash.
The driver’s side had partially buried itself into the ditch, so we climbed out the passenger side. I climbed out fine, but when I got out of the car and tried to stand up, I found my right ankle had become something akin to wet cardboard.Not long after, another car came along. It was a couple of kids and they asked if we needed help. We would have said yes, please, but the man who lived in the house we wrecked in front of, came outside and said he’d take care of us. As they drove off, I heard the passenger say to the driver, “Oh my God, look at her face!”
I must admit, hearing that was a tad unsettling.
Our rescuer called an ambulance, and we sat in his kitchen to wait. I called Petey and he let the E.R. know so they could call him when we arrived at the hospital. While we waited, I started to wonder what the kids in the car were talking about. I asked the home owner if he had a mirror I could use. By this time I knew the problem was in my bottom lip area. I’d also noticed a brand new, very pronounced lisp.
He and Robert looked at each other, then he told me no. But, I kept wondering. So when the paramedics arrived, I asked them if they could “fixth” it. I swear, these guys could have taught a college level course in smooth.
His answer to my query?
“I don’t know, did you find a piece of meat in the car?”
I shrieked, “A peeth of meat!!?!!”
It seemed my lip had ripped through, all the way down to where it attached to the inside of my mouth, like someone had cut it with a pair of scissors.
The doctors sewed it back together (there actually was no errant “meat”, it just looked like a chunk was missing), and bolted and screwed my ankle back together. The only lasting effects are an ankle that aches slightly in bad weather, two small scars on my face, and the inability to whistle or spit on a competitive level.
Thanks for your time.End of Part One- Tune in Next Week for the Exciting Finale. Same bat time, same bat station.