My stupid ramblings.
My nickname is Mr. Graceful.
To cut the long and boring out of it, it was coined by accident one day at work and I knew instantly that resisting was futile. I embraced it instead and it stuck. I own it, although it is a bit antiquated these days.
I do have intriguing stories, however. Plenty of them. Some that even continue to make me deserving of the nickname. For instance, the one and only surgery I have ever needed was because I broke my collar bone. I hit a dog while riding my bike on Central Park West. I went flying over the handle bars and landed on my left shoulder. I almost didn’t wear my helmet that day because I was only riding a short distance. Of course, my head hit the pavement and the helmet shattered as it’s supposed to. I was disoriented, but no concussion. It was my one and only ambulance ride, as well. The big, burly triage nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital asked me if I had ever been to that emergency room before.
“Yes,” I said, always wanting to be truthful.
“What was it for?” Very clinical. No personal interaction whatsoever.
“I hit my head and needed twelve stitches,” I said. “My ER doctor’s name was Dr. Washio.”
“When was that?” Still, nothing out of him. No eye contact, no notice of me as a human being whatsoever.
“May, 1973.” I smiled. It was now April, 2005.
That got him. He looked up at me for the first time; absolutely no humor in his eye. None. In fact, he looked at me with scorn and disdain.
“Don’t fuck with me,” he barked! “Have you been to this ER recently?”
“No, sir.” My smile and humor were gone now, too.
I tried to break his monotony. I was trying to keep my spirits up. I was trying to throw some humor into a very depressing room. Next to me was a child on a backboard with his parents hovering worryingly above him. He must have been about ten or twelve years old.
I was in pain and they weren’t giving me anything for it yet. I was trying to give myself a distraction. He would have none of it, and took it away from me, too.
To this day, I still can’t say for sure whether the dog was a Dalmatian or a German Short-haired Pointer. I only saw it for a split second while I was in mid-air and upside down, but I know it had spots.