So apparently, I was wrong, b/c according to the several email messages, comments, and Facebook Pings that I got following Wednesday's blog, most of you don't "already know all about" CH's bone-breaking accident. So here's a condensed (as I'm capable of writing given my love for the sound of my own typing) version of what happened ... in six parts.
Starting with Monday:
After hitting all my work-related writing goals for the day, I dutifully updated my Facebook status to let everyone know that "Ernessa is getting rehydrated for the bike ride home." Said hydration, led to a quick restroom pit stop before I left for the day, which was fortunate, because when I returned to my office to pick up my pink helmet, the red "message" button was lit up on my phone.
I thought about not answering. Having already talked to my boss several times that day, I couldn't really imagine an emergency that would actually keep me in the office a minute longer, when I had a new audible.com novel waiting for me on my I-Pod -- don't ask me what it was, I'm too embarrassed to tell you.
But as many of you know, I have an almost O.C.-level thing about checking messages, so I pressed the message button. It was CH, saying that he had just missed being hit by a car, braked hard on his bike, and tipped, because he couldn't get his clip-on bike shoes out of the pedals in time to prevent a fall. He thought that he might have broken his arm. He sounded chagrinned.
I called him back in a panic, which immediately stopped when he said that he needed to be taken to the emergency room, but none of the nearby friends he had called were answering their phones. I'm not the best decision maker in the world or even a person that most people would call in a crisis, but one of the side effects of being a (hopefully) good writer, is the ability to disconnect from your emotions and decide What Needs To Happen Next.
I was an hour's bike ride away. Everyone I knew who could give me a ride home had already left for the day -- also it would take to long to get there if CH needed attention now. There was nothing left to do but call down my list of Silverlake-Los Feliz friends. It was 5pm, which would mean most people were just getting off of work in most places. But in L.A. with our constantly changing entertainment work hours, you can usually find someone to help you out in a pinch (as long as it doesn't involve holding the boom mic for your no-budget short) -- one of the many benefits to living in our great city.
I called down my list in order of the people who I had known the longest, lived the closest and who I thought might actually be home. The List for those of you who love the details:
1. Clark from Clarkblog and my CMU programmate, who lives within walking distance in Los Feliz.
2. J.P., my CMU programmate, who also lives within walking distance in Los Feliz.
3. Gudrun, my animator friend from Writing Pad, who lives right around the corner.
4. Janice, my costume designer friend who lived in nearby Glendale.
Clark went to voicemail, but J.P. picked up. I stated the situation. He said he was on it. I called CH back to let him know that J.P. was headed over. CH said, "Okay, thank you."
"Are you in pain?" I asked, b/c he sounded so laidback.
"Yes," he answered in the same tone of voice that someone would say "Of course, my arm is broken, silly."
So unlike me, CH is definitely the kind of person someone would want to call in a crisis, because even under the worst circumstances, he stays like crazy calm.
I hung up and biked home as fast as I could. When I got in the door 37 minutes later, there were two messages: one from J.P., saying that CH was at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. And a second one from one of CH's best friends, saying that he had gotten CH's message and was now waiting with him at the hospital.
It occurred to me as I drove to the nearby hospital that this was another stage of marriage. You realize just how much you love your husband, when he has a near-accident.
I was incredibly grateful that CH hadn't been hit by that car. Because my mother died much sooner than expected, I have always been generally scared that other people I love would die, too. It's just one of those things. But I would've been destroyed if anything happened to CH. I thought I loved him before the wedding, but boyo, now I knew that I loved him so very, very much now.
I fluttered into the hospital on a gentle wind of love of gratitude that it was only a broken arm -- that wind was pretty much dead by the time we left the hospital almost four mind-numbing hours later. We were both tired, hungry, trying-not-to-crank and ready to go home already.
As it turned out, it was CH's shoulder that broken, not his arm. So he had been given a mostly fabric sort of double-belted sling, which is called (in a rather overdramatic turn, I think) a "Shoulder Immobilizer." CH also had a broken finger. And he was not happy, because the nurse had put a poorly-wrapped bulky cast on his left arm, only to realize that it had to go on his right. "Do I really need all of this," CH asked her. "It's just a broken finger."
"That's what the doctor ordered," the nurse answered flatly. Stepford style.
"This is coming off as soon as we get home," CH muttered as soon as she was out of earshot.
A small argument ensued, at the end of which, I had (barely) convinced him that he needed to leave the cast on until he saw his regular doctor on Tuesday, just in case the E.R. doctor was somehow right about him needing a full arm cast for a broken finger.
Later that night, another small argument bubbled up. CH refused to let me cut him out of his Obama T-shirt, which is his favorite right now, even after I pointed out that we could get him another one. "Remember how long it took to get the first one?" he reminded me.
He had a point. So that's how we learned to get him out of a T-shirt with a broken shoulder.
The E.R. doctor had told CH that he had to sleep on his back, which interestingly enought, is how I started sleeping right after I met CH, but almost never how CH sleeps himself. I felt bad for him as I turned off the light and rolled onto my back on my side of the bed.
I imagine we both stared up into the dark for a bit before we feel asleep.
Tuesday Preview: If you don't work in government, you should be insanely jealous of the Motion Picture Industry Health Care Plan.