Monday, May 19, 2014

One step

Ran into one of my salsa brothers, Paulito, at the club last week.  When I recognized him, I realized I hadn’t seen him in a while, probably since the first of the year.  He looked paler and thinner than I remembered.  He smiled and waved, and came over to chat.  I asked how he was, and where had he been.  With slightly stumbling speech, he told me he had fractured his skull in an accident back in January.  Taken aback, I asked what happened.  Come to find out, he had been drinking after work with some co-workers on a Friday night, as they usually did.  When it came time to go, he walked down a grassy hill, half-gassed, and as he approached the bottom, he slipped on wet grass.  He fell backwards and his head bounced off the concrete sidewalk like a ripe cantaloupe.  He got back to his feet, and walked about a half a mile before collapsing.  He woke up several days later in Intensive Care, with a neck brace, a splitting headache, and no memory of how he got there.  After two weeks laying on his back immobilized in the hospital, they released him.  He said he had lost his sense of smell.  Apparently, the impact to the rear of his head damaged, if not severed, the olfactory nerve.  The doctors were non-committal as to whether it would ever return.  He also had difficulty with word finding,  typical for head injuries.  I hope he'll be ok.  He told me he quit drinking for two months after the accident, but when I saw him later that night, I couldn’t help noticing he was getting his drank on.   Makes you wonder about the value of drinking.  

As Robin Williams famously said, describing his life as an alcoholic, "You would do things where even the Devil would say:  'Dude...' ".

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