You have seen the winter coming – it hasn’t been sneaking this year. The snow has come down hard several times,and every morning you have to scrape the ice off your car.
But now it’s a full blown, bat shit kind of blizzard and all you can do is watch it come down on you. No one is working, no traffic is on the streets and everything is closed up tighter than a drum.
As you stand on the steps outside your front door, smoking and freezing like any addicted fool would do under the same circumstances, you notice a burly guy walking down the street heading for you with a snow shovel. Before you can get back in the house – because you know he’s looking for a few bucks to clear your sidewalk, and your too broke to say yes, at least until it stops snowing, you see him wind up like he’s playing softball, then swinging like the fences are a possibility.
You hear the swoosh of compressed air and then feel the impact of the flat aluminum shovel as it hits your face straight on. Your nose is pushed in so far that the broad face of the damn thing actually cracks both your eye socket bones, and even tingles a bit off your ears. You can fell your teeth, but they're hanging a bit.
The first thought is: I’ve been hit by a fucking snow shovel.
That thought lasts for minutes until you hear the crack of bone and feel the coldness of the metal on your face.
Then you stagger back inside and ask the wife, through broken teeth, to call for help.
As your wife bundles you up for the wait, dismay and just a slight revulsion on her face that she tries to hide, you think, it's not so bad -- I can move everything and it's not really swelling up too bad, maybe it'll just be some bruising.
They let you out of the hospital a week later, loaded up on pain killers, bandaged and sort of stupid. You go home, knowing your life and face have been changed forever, but stunned, don’t care. It’s going to take years and pain and never, ever will it be the same.
That’s what going on now. The disbelief, minimizing, and distraction; all the yammering and wisdom of the self obsessed; all the stoppage and standing as if waiting for god to point his finger. All of it, just the denial of a truth of damage that only time will heal, and history look back on.