Chapter 11


the way up the steps leading to my front porch i realized i was in pain. fuck. make that holyshitmuthrfckrrr pain! i could only place the least amount of pressure on my big toe. if i tried to place weight on any other part of my foot it resulted in sheer serious shocking sharp shooting pain.

i unlocked the door; gave a friendly wave to let Jeanie know id got in. i winced. i set down my bag. i frowned. i put my phone in the charge. i hobbled and hopped my way to the hallway mirror which spanned the wall from just beneath the ceiling down to the baseboard.

“move it,” i said sweetly to my soft sleek and sometimes sneaky cat Cortez.

i pulled down my pants.

uh oh.

the whole side of my doubly engorged knee was purple. there was a great big white-pink goose-egg bump formed in the center of a black-purpling bruise.

i looked at my hip, found a slightly smaller but still astounding bruise and noticed even the good knee had its own sizeable dark purple black one.

i went to my phone, still charging, and texted Brian:

‘hit by car, very bad pain but i am ok.’

he did not immediately respond. Brian was at work tending bar on the busiest night of the week. i could picture him racing from table to table with smooth cool. a measured speed, measured by a speed demon.

he liked me to text when i got home from work, nights, so he knew id made it home safe. he was bound to check fairly soon.

i dialed my dad while i waited. no answer. i looked to the clock. it read 1:20 a.m. my two sisters live just a block from the restaurant, not six minutes from my house. they were young. for all i knew they partied late. i rang them.

neither sister picked up. the two were snuggled up, fast asleep, as any good citizen would be.

i called my friend Junior.

after id pressed send, i realized it was funny to call him. Junior lived a good half hour away. what on earth could he do for me? altho i would surely benefit from any old voice of reason by this point, and his was quite reasonable, but Junior didnt answer.

i called one of the numbers on the card.

“Cleveland Heights police,” a mans voice barked.

“yes i was just hit by a car and i was….”

the mans voice cut me off, “hit and run at Cedar and Lee?” he asked.

“yes, exactly,” i said, “i didnt know till i got home but ive got these giant goose-egg bruises and think id better go to a hospital after all.”

“where will you go?”

“i dont know. wherever they take you.”

“are you saying you want the medics to take you?”

“can i?” i asked, but before he answered i said, “ill go there myself.”

i was thinking how costly an ambulance can be. and meanwhile this part of me who talks me into believing something is not a big deal even when it truly is kicked into gear. and in perfect timing Brian called on the other line.

“so where will you go?” he asked a second time.

“the university clinic” i said, because it was closest.

i got off the line and said hello to Brian.

“whats going on!!!?” he exclaimed.

“im ok. i was hit by a car in a crosswalk. someone drove into me. i have crazy bruises. they drove off. i cant walk but i can move everything. i told the cops i would go to UH. but if you cant get out of work, i can have the medics take me.”

“no, stay right there, ill get off.”

“are you guys busy?”

“like crazy,” he told me.

fuck, i thot.

“fuck,” Brian said out loud, “ill work something out.”

“sit tight,” he told me.

“well, i cant stand,” i quipped.

twenty-eight minutes later an ER valet guy opened my door. Brian told me to wait. he got a wheelchair from a row of them outside the hospitals entrance. he lifted me into the seat. we wheeled over to a front desk marked ‘intake.’ a Cleveland police man and a woman in scrubs took my name and birthdate. then i signed a form with my social. the officer asked me if there was an accident report. i gave him Jeanies card with the info on it.

“we were supposed to call the station when we got here. they will come down and get pictures, for the case file.”

he got on the phone.

“have a seat,” he told us, sternly, with his hand blocking the mouthpiece.

the poor prick never broke a smile.

i took the card back and Brian wheeled me to the waiting room.

in the waiting room was a black couple, girls each, holding hands. plus a hetero couple of overweight whites. the overweight white woman was also in a wheelchair. to our left sat an extra-overweight black guy with half a box of bloody Kleenex shoved up his nose.

Brian and i talked about the accident. i guess we were loud enough, because the woman in the wheelchair asked from across the room, “it was a hit and run?”

“yeah, they just drove away.”

“oh my god, how can you live with yourself? i could never do that,” she clucked.

“i know, its crazy.”

“was it a guy driving?” she pressed on.

“no a woman. it was two women.”


“one wore a shower cap,” i added, for a little humor.

everybody, including the nosebleed laughed at that.

“this one cop took off after her, but who knows.”

“anyway, its not that bad. it doesnt hurt too much,” i reasoned.

“well it will,” nosebleed said with authority, staring at my oversized knee. i had changed into a short skirt and some clean panties for obvious purposes. i had not used the restroom or washed off the worksweat and it added to my overall discomfort.

just then a black woman came out into the waiting area. we all watched her make her way to the valet. she walked with dignity and purpose. the woman had on these ultra-short, ultra-tight black pleather hot pants, and on the top of her head was a shower cap.

“it aint her is it?” grinned the big white guy.

oh we all laughed again, big as big.


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