Do you want to know exactly what waking up from a major concussion feels like? Then watch the scene in Pulp Fiction where Marcellis Wallace is waking up from being hit by a car and Kathy Griffin is all in his face trying to help him wake up. That scene captures exactly how it looked to me and how I felt when I woke up. Whoever directed that scene or did that camera work has been knocked the fuck out before, I promise you.
I woke up in the street laying on my back. Yes, I told you earlier that I fell asleep in a ditch? So how did I wake up in the street? I can't tell you, yet. That's a great story that will probably be best saved for maybe Part 9 or 10. It maybe my favorite story inside this giant story. So let's just get back to me waking up in the street.
I was on my back and there was a girl with curly hair in my face standing over me gently trying to wake me up. She didn't know my name. And she wasn't a medical worker. She was just a 19 year old girl. (Yes, I knew exactly how old she was, just be patient.) When she woke me up, her voice was so soft and so comforting almost like a mother's voice when she wakes you up on a Saturday when you're nine and tells you that there are no chores and breakfast is ready whenever you want it. (Oh my gosh, my face is trying to cry for the first time right now. Holy crap, why is thinking of that girl's voice making a tear rest on my right eyelid right now? I'm not going to wipe it, I'm going to let it live a minute. It's blocking my vision a little, but I don't mind it. There's a little one on the inside of my left eye now, too. It's been almost sixteen years, and that's the first time a tear has come out of my eyes related to this. I just don't cry much. These two dots on my eyes have felt like a sobfest and they didn't even run down my face.) OK, back to the story, this girl was in my face and being very soothing and asking me if knew what happened and if I could just promise to lay still.
I wasn't really listening to her though, because all I could think was, "Man, Shelly DeWese sure did grow up to be a lot prettier than I thought she would." Yes, I knew who the girl was. I hadn't seen her in years, but I knew her. She was my sister's best church-friend for a few years when I was little. Her dad was our choir director at this old-timey Southern Baptist Church that I went to until I was ten. He also owned a head shop called the Oasis. Yes, the man sold bongs, and the man sang songs. I see no conflict there. I know other people do, but I don't. The guy loved weed and the guy loved God. What's the big deal? I doubt God hates weed. He made it. Then again he also made cancer. So what do I know. I know that a lot of people with cancer smoke weed. I also know that they think weed can CAUSE cancer. God gave us a funny world. And God also gave me Shelly.
I could tell Shelly had no idea who I was. So I decided to fuck with her. Yes, I was laying there in the road with what I didn't yet know was a broken spine and a major concussion and I thought it would be a good time to play a little game. Wow! Now I see why my friends had thought I would impulsively fake my death during a tragedy. I have no line. So here's what I did:
When Shelly asked me that question about how I felt and if I would promise to lay still for her, I recognized that she didn't know who I was, and I knew she didn't think I knew who she was, either. So when I answered her I said, "My back hurts a lot. And I think I hit my head. But how are you, SHELLY?."
Oh, man! You'd have thought I said, "Hello, Clairice." She was freaked out. But she tried to stay calm and matter of factly said, "How did you know my name?"
I could see her wondering if maybe my time in another place had returned me to Earth with special powers that enabled me to know everything about people I had never met - because as far as she knew, we HAD never met.
I remember smiling at her and stalling just to let her keep being freaked out for a few long seconds. Then I gave up the trick.
I said, "Shelly, I've known you since as long as I can remember. I just haven't seen you in a few years. You were my sister's friend. Her name is Hannah.
"Oh my gosh. You're Roth Wriscey, aren't you?"
"Yes, I am. And I hurt really bad. But I can wiggle my feet. That's a good thing, right. I can wiggle my feet. That's means I'm gonna be able to walk right? I'm not gonna be paralyzed am I? Can you move your feet when your first hurt and the become paralyzed later in the day? Do you know? Why aren't you answering me, Shelly? Do you know if I'm gonna be able to walk? Am I gonna be paralyzed forever?"
"I don't know, Cory. I think it's probably a good sign that you can wiggle your feet. But how 'bout not wiggling your feet? I'm glad you can do it, but you need to be still for me, OK, buddy."
I tried to follow her sweet directions, but every few moments, I had to wiggle those feet, they were the only think telling me I wasn't going to live in a wheelchair.
Once my conversation with Shelly concluded, I looked over my body towards my feet as I was still laying on my back in the road and I saw about thirty people. There was an ambulance and paramedics and people I had never seen before. And I heard Ginger trying to get over to me and say she was sorry. (I don't count this as an apology. It was just words at the scene. The last sixteen years, I haven't heard shit. And you'll hear more on that cunt later. Yeah, I called her a cunt. And I'm not sorry. Oh, don't worry. She's forgiven. She's been forgiven. She just doesn't know she's forgiven, because she never bothered to ask. She's not just forgiven for the wreck, she and her whole family are forgiven for what they were going to soon do to me. They are forgiven for what they are not sorry about.)
As Ginger screamed her "I'm sorrys" at me while I was laying in the road, she was pulled away by people who were trying to explain to her that my medical treatment was the top priority at the time, not her agressive "apologies."
Then I heard Holton talking to me while I had my eyes closed, he was talking to me like a man. We were men. We weren't boys. At least not when the situation called for us to be men. That's why I liked Holton, he could flip his switch from "retard" to "maturity" in the same way I always could. I remember him talking rationally to me about how we were gonna deal with this, and how we were gonna get me healed, and how he was there for me.
The paramedics must have just arrived when I woke up to Shelly because they were on the scene but they still weren't on to me. As I looked at all these dozens of people that were there, I thought to myself, "All these people on the scene sure are making a big fuss over me, some guy they don't know. I know it's necessary, but I don't like all this attention. Wow! When have I ever not wanted attention. I just wish they would leave, or at least throw me in an ambulance and get me out of here."
Then I looked over towards the ambulance and thought, "Hey, I didn't know my old assistant soccer coach was also a paramedic. Man, I hated that guy. He was a dick. I remember begging Coach Lacy to fire him and he wouldn't. But everytime he told me he wouldn't, his eyes looked like they were saying that the real reason was that he "couldn't." But why? Had the mob told Coach Lacy that the only way they'd forgive a gambling debt was if he hired that douche-bag as his assistant soccer coach? That doesn't seem plausible - even for the mob! And I don't think Coach Lacy even gambles. Man I don't like that dude. I really don't want him treating me. What if he knows I tried to get him fired? What if he now gets his revenge? What if he kills me?"
Then I realized he didn't fucking recognize me. It had only been three years, how did this little pencil neck motherfucker forget me? Me! The guy who hated him! I thought about playing a trick on Shelly again, by calling this guy by his name in front of her and doing the whole bullshit clairvouyant routine again, but I was kind of sore.
As they loaded me into the ambulance to be taken to the hospital in Charlotte, I heard screaming from about 30 feet away. I knew who it was. And I could hear what she was screaming but I really didn't care.
"OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! MY CAR! LOOK AT MY CAR! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! MY CAR IS DESTROYED! OH MY GOD! IT'S RUINED!"
I later found out that Holton lost control and tried to punch her for yelling all of that crap out of her mouth right then and there, but he couldn't get to her fast enough, because his ankle was twisted from the car wreck and as he tried to hop on his one good foot down the street to hit her, a group of people easily restrained him from doing what everybody wished he would do. There were men and women there who didn't even know Ginger except for the last half hour who were telling Holton that they completely understood why he was trying to punch her, but that they unfortunately had to stop him. She better thank her vagina every day for the fact that she still has a face, because if she had a dick, that mob of people would have let Holton destroy her. They did the right thing, for a girl who was always so determined not to.
I don't remember one second of that ambulance ride to the hospital. Maybe I was drugged, maybe I was just knocked silly, maybe I slept. I have no idea. I do know that Part 6 begins at the Emergency Room.