I don’t talk much about my work here. Most of that is by design; it’s a kind of ‘keep work separate from something’ thing. But it’s also because people who blog about their work, for the most part, bitch. And that’s not the kind of job I have. If I’m going to complain about my job, I usually do it in person, with my co-workers and my bosses.
I don’t usually have much complaining to do about my job. With the exception of the feeling that sometimes I have to travel and be away from my family too much (in which case I usually end up switching travel gigs with another co-worker or with a contract staff person), there’s really not that much for me to whine about. In fact, our three staff members regularly choose to hang out with each other outside of work hours, and we really enjoy each others’ company. At least, *I* enjoy *theirs*…
And my boss does things like call me up out of the blue and say, “I have about 15 feet of surgical tubing left over from a wedding*, and I’d hate to throw it out…so I figured I’d ask you if you wanted it because you could probably figure out some kind of thing to make out of it.” (PROPS! PROPS! COSTUMES! PROPS!)
I don’t remember whether we were at a Professional Development Session or whether we were at a book sale way far away; I just remember it was taking place in New Orleans. Which was really cool. It was my first time there. So B-licious and I played host at the venue, and we all talked about books and publishing and there was a lot of laughter and a lot of smiling. On the way back to the hotel, B-licious got a bit mixed up, and we couldn’t find our ‘home base’ (if you know B-licious and/or some of our stories about going to PD clinics in another town, you know this to be true). It’s not that we were *lost*. We knew where were *were*; we just couldn’t get to where we *weren’t*.
At the top of a low rise of cobbled streets, Something Happened. And in fact, by ‘low rise’, I mean ‘incredibly steep hill’. I was sitting in the back seat, for some reason without a seat belt, and B-licious wasn’t sure she’d make the hill in the rental car. So she floored it. The hill was so steep I rolled into the rear window bay and lay there giggling like a schoolgirl. I’ve always liked fair rides.
But the Something that Happened was that B-licious lost control of the vehicle. We slammed into an embankment and rolled. I remember the moment the vehicle’s tyres lost traction. I shouted “Oh SHIIIIIIT!” B-licious shouted “oooohhhh SHIIIIIIIT!”. And then we hit the kerb. The car flipped over, and tossed me into the back of the front seats. I smashed into the rear seat again, and the roof of the vehicle, and then the rear seat, and then everything was chaos for what seemed like forty minutes, but in reality was only about four seconds.
When the dust settled, and the car landed back on its wheels, I kicked open the door and crawled out. B-licious was moaning in the front seat, so I knew she was alive, but there was a lot of blood. An awful lot of blood. Blood was dripping from the driver’s door and pooling on the cobbled street below. The driver’s door creaked open and I could see B-licious’s hair and her hand waving weakly. She moaned again. I ripped my phone out of my pocket and called 911 and had to figure out where we were (a matter of walking five feet and sussing out a street sign). Some passers-by had seen the accident and were helping to keep B-licious still (because, if you know B-licious, you know she can be a little stubborn sometimes, and if she wants to move, by god, she’s going to move).
Eventually, the EMTs got there, but not before I’d had time to go over and help keep B-licious from further injuring herself. Her face was already swollen and blue. One of her eyes bulged from its socket, and her nose was smashed. There was a serious dent in her forehead, and blood caked her hair. She’d lost some teeth and was having difficulty speaking. When the EMTs finally got there, I told them she most likely had a head injury, and gave them a bit of her medical history. It was horrible.
They took her to the hospital, declared me ‘mostly serviceable’, and I returned to the hotel to get our stuff, not knowing if B-licious was going to live or die. So then I got to make all the really fun phone calls to her family and friends.
Then I decided I didn’t want to dream about that anymore so I got up and changed beds.
And in this dream, my father had asked me to help him move some furniture and things up at mum’s house. To this end, he’d brought one of the grain trucks up and we were heading through the back yard to the detached garage. The garage is on a bit of a hill covered in loose gravel, and when Da tried to negotiate the corner, the truck just…tipped over. I looked up at my dad, my face inches from gravel, and said, “may I get out your door?”
Then we had an EVEN BETTER idea. Da got out and started rocking the truck back and forth while I threw myself around in the cab in perfect synchronization. After a minute or so, the truck tipped back up onto all four wheels.
So I don’t know what all of these dreams about rolling cars is about, but in both of them, I caromed around inside the vehicle. What does it mean when your body is completely out of your own control, and is at the mercy of Inarguable Forces (like gravity and centripetal)?
*Okay, technically, it was oxygen tubing, and yes, it WAS that sort of wedding. I bet. I wasn’t there.