Examining My Close Calls.
Examining my close calls.
Lately I have been re-examining my close calls
all those many wrong numbers
where death spent a small fortune
dropping change, in the slot of my fate
and putting the fear of God in me.
Each one carried profound questions
that have never been adequately answered
not the final Y of a man's life of course
that "Y" that they cut into the grey flesh
of your upper and lower torso during autopsy.
But rather bone chilling, teeth chattering
mind bending whys?? that haunt the soul like....
"Why was I spared??" "Why me when others fell,
never to rise again?"
"What purpose have I yet to achieve??"
the list of my many close calls confounds me:
A.-Rickets as an infant
B.-a compound compressed skull fracture
chrome bumper induced
at the tender age of three
C. a tumble from some monkey bars-
severe concussion- full recovery
D.-holes drilled in my skull,
exploratory surgery for a tumour at ten
E. baseball bat to the side of my head
in the projects-gang related
F. assaulted by a Hell's Angel
at 14, resulting luckily in
just a busted nose, and a bruised ego
G. nearly asphyxiated by a
mistakenly swallowed jaw breaker
lodged in my throat in 7th grade.
Saved by an unknown angel
who vanished before I recovered
enough to thank her after giving me
a hard slap on my back
when I was inches from extinction.
H. a fall through the ice,
followed by a frantic clawing scramble
from a frigid lake to the later
warmth of an angry dad's arms
I. an accidental slit wrist
from a friend using a box cutter
at work with me, blood spurting skyward
all over the inside of his mustang
as we rushed to the hospital.
J. U.S. Marines,
club riots, racially motivated,
our job ...to invade, divide and control
to reinstate peace, dodging broken bottles,
fists and professionals trained to kill,
drunk and in a rage to do just that.
K. bullets that whistled by me,
playing a tune that wasn't yet
bugled taps for me.
L. a naked strangle hold
that rendered me unconscious to
the brink of being discharged from life.
M. out of control on black ice
in a Galaxie 500, spinning into the path
of a Greyhound bus, the driver and passengers
faces frozen in terror,
then just as suddenly sliding the opposite way,
as I took out two mailboxes
and a large chunk of real estate,
in an unreal last minute save.
O. pneumonia twice, once so bad in boot camp
that I almost drowned in my own fluids.
P. a near drowning due to hypothermia
when capsized in the frigid waters
of the Connecticut River.
Q. food poisoning twice
once from Las Vegas Nevada Buffet,
seven days on an N.G. tube,
after emergency exploratory surgery.
My recreation was being allowed to
only eat lifesavers and watching the
colors come back up the stomacher tube
as it was pumped out continuously.
R. gas leak in a marina apartment,
electrical fire in the walls of my parents home,
my shirt also once burst into blue flame
from chemical fumes combusting with a Newport.
S. a heart mummer from birth,
a left bundle branch blockage,
and a tiny mitral valve leak...
but my ticker beats on
in spite of all the cigarettes, booze,
and drugs I abused in my ill spent youth.
T. lost in the wilderness twice,
in extreme weather conditions,
U. -brakes failed twice coming off mountains,
V. 57 hornet stings across my abdomen,
non allergic thankfully
W. a fully loaded logging truck
slamming into the left front
corner of a Dodge Caravan
I was a passenger in,
bouncing us in a flight of 150 feet,
horizontally spinning in slow motion,
then landing in a mountain drainage ditch,
all of us whip lashed, but alive,
though the van was demolished.
Every time I emerged from
each fray with death,
life took on a new persona,
enticing me with its sight,
taste, smell, and touch.
Like a wanton virgin bride,
and whispering only my name,
I lusted my life after!
I re-pursued it with intensity,
seizing each moment,
savoring any yet to be inhaled oxygen,
praising God and fate,
and swearing off stupidity forever.
I danced, leaped and cavorted
with the nows which were then granted me
until I forgot the proximity of what
I had almost been destroyed by.
Life went on and I followed it gratefully
like a wounded puppy, ignoring
the ringing in my ears from each close call
as well as any 911 buttons still unpunished.
Oh, sure there are other close calls
yet to come that's a given
plus many other wrong numbers,
for death is persistent.
He's a smooth operator
who will connect with me eventually,
and who'll be calling collect
and then I'll pay the toll.
I'll hear that strange white noise
and know that I am about to be cut off
as I at long last experience
eternal silence, forever disconnected
from the lifelines we all are hooked up to.
but for now.................
there's a song I want to share
a love I want to encourage
a picture still unpainted
some clays to mold
some poems to pen
and summer is waiting to sizzle my sweat
as I am cooled by those Jumbo Margaritas.
My precious son who needs his Daddy
and a whole lot of living to savor!
So would YOU mind taking the next call??
please??? and if it's for me
just tell 'em I'm stepping out for a while,
and if it's for you,
hang up and run like hell!!