As he sang along to the pixies in a tune every punk knows by heart, he lit another cigarette and threw the match out the window. Alex doesn’t believe in using disposable lighters, not today, not likely tomorrow. He was on holiday in the least likely place of places the Florida keys, he was there solo on the motorway as he was about to take a drink of coffee fresh brewed and hot when a big rig going the other way comes into his lane and hits him head on.
The loneliness is what bothers him the most that and he isn’t able to smoke a cigarette in the hospital. He looks at the calendar, he scratches his chin and feels the stubble, two days since he last shaved. It was twelve weeks ago that tragic day he was driving to see the oil slicks in what was once a beautiful place. He thinks it must have been a damn stupid idea now. He hasn’t had one visitor since he checked in, besides having broken ribs, a fractured arm and two broken legs things are fine. At least it was all a clean break.
He remembered in a past life that he had been on vacation to the keys most of it was hell, not much different than being here in traction; except he flew home and had a safe trip. He gets a bit of mail from time to time, a get well card from another person who is some three thousand miles away. He checks the calendar again where the circle is through a two day stretch, his expected release date. “Damn!” He’s thinking he’s going to be happy to be back home. He looks at the week long area between where the days are marked off and where the days are circled.
He counts the days down, looking forward to his first drag on a cigarette in almost fifteen weeks, that and the trip home in a wheel chair for another two weeks before he can walk again. Somewhere between the airport and home is another hell waiting for him. Somewhere fear creeps in and makes you think about what could happen next.
July 10, 2010 @ 15:31:02
Alex is working on his second cigarette in ten minutes. A complete stranger among mortals who have never known what it’s like to be run over by a peter built at sixty miles an hour. the cafe isn’t packed, it’s the usual crowd most of the people who knew him, pretend not to know him now. He doesn’t look the same, not to mention the isolation of laying in that hospital bed had upon his psyche.
Alex flicks another match and lights up, throwing the burning match to the ground where it goes out in mid air; he wonders if anyone is going to join him. As it turns out no one does, he sits in silence for the better part of an hour and packs it up to head back home. There are no new messages in his in box today, the voice mail system shows no new messages. He thinks back to before the accident and remembers he didn’t really have any friends to start with.
Alex thinks, “after thirty five years of life a person would have some friends with some deep roots”. Those that care about each other through it all.