It’s the morning after and I’m yet to find some sleep. I sat up and thought over everything and somehow, I found myself reading what I’d just written. I’m not even sure how I ended up sitting down here but sure enough, I had words on the screen in front of me. Why I wrote them exactly, is still unclear. Writing, ( I use the term very loosely in my case ) can sometimes help to get the thoughts put into some semblance of order, rather than leave them jumbled up in my squash. I don’t know why I want to put these thoughts up here either. Maybe sharing will make it all go away somehow?
12 minutes with Matt….
I left the car right there in the middle of the intersection. It’s a quiet spot in the evenings, maybe a dozen or so vehicles an hour. There was another car headed right for me, as I ran towards the fallen rider.
Hey, you OK?
There wasn’t any reply from under the bike. I had a CB just like it back in the day, a CB750F to be exact. Picking the bike up myself wasn’t going to be easy I thought, but I moved it off of the guy somehow. I forgot how much extra weight those full fairings can add to the already 500 plus pound machines.
I don’t know if the fuck was said out loud, or if it was contained between my ears. Either way, the sight wasn’t very pretty and worst of all, he was just a kid. Maybe my daughter’s age or just a bit older.
I heard a voice just a few feet away mentioning 911 and I asked him to tell them to hurry. The kid had a pulse and I could feel the quickened pace of his heart, but the blood. All that blood seemingly coming from everywhere. How do we hold so much of it inside us? I wondered.
It was obvious by just the freakishly unnatural shapes, that both of his arms were broken bad. If you try to imagine an arm with three elbows below the natural one, you’ll get an idea of what kind of shape his left forearm was in. The right arm was separated at the shoulder for sure.
You with me kid?
It’s going to be alright Matt, you just hang on son.
“How fucked up am I?”
Is there a right way to answer that question? I’ve said it myself in almost the exact same context twice. Neither of the answers I got, made me feel a whole heck of a lot better.
When I went to loosen his helmet to ease his breathing a bit, I realized that we had another little problem. I not only found out where a lot of the blood was coming from, I was also pretty sure that his neck was broken as well. The first thing I thought of was, one of those bobbing white Chihuahuas in the back window of a low rider. Being a warm evening and coming home from golf, I just had sandals, shorts and a shirt on at the time. I took off my shirt and wrapped it firmly around my hand as I told Matt, this might sting just a little. My fist didn’t quite go into the giant gash between his neck and ear, but the majority of the shirt and three of my digits did. Applying as much pressure as I could, seemed to reduce the bleeding substantially. This was a good thing I thought, as surely he must have lost three quarters of his store by now!
You like Metallica Matt?
At first despite asking the question, I had no idea why I did. When the other guy turned the key off on the bike so we could talk better, I realized that I couldn’t hear End of the Line anymore.
End of the Line I thought, irony’s a bitch.
We’re out in the country a ways so with the stereo now off, we could hear the sirens in the distance. Help was on its way.
Where were you coming from Matt?
“Dude seriously, it was an epic ride.”
I’ll assume that means the edge of Georgian Bay then, right?
I told him I rode too and always have. It was a bit of a white lie since I don’t really have a bike right now, but riders talking to riders is just how it’s supposed to work for a rider. I figured it might help sooth the pain.
“Do me a favour?”
Can you picture anyone saying no to that?
There was a look between us. It said something for sure, yet was painfully incomplete. Then there was a convulsion in his body. Not violent like an electrical charge, not a mere sigh like on television either.
Matt was still looking me right in the eyes, but that was just Matt’s eyes. The Matt I’d just met, wasn’t hanging around with me anymore.
Through the wound on the side of his neck, there was no more feedback in my hand. The faint message of thumps and ba-dumps had now gone. I used my other hand right at the source, Matt’s heart wasn’t moving. With his upper body and head against my chest, I got no sense of breathing either.
Paramedics may not know it, but they say the damndest things sometimes.
“Can you keep your hand there for me please sir?”
I’ll give them full marks for trying. I’m positive that if there was anything that they could have done to bring Matt back, they were going to give it their all.
It was hard to let go when they asked me to. I’d just met Matt, literally by accident. Why did I feel like taking my hand off his neck was going to make it all so permanent? It was permanent damn it! Death’s like that right?
“We’d best take a look at that arm of yours now.”
Now who the hell was that cop talking too?
I asked the Paramedics if I could steal one of their towels at the back of the ambulance. I just needed to ‘clean up a little.’
“After we take care of that sir.”
“That” apparently being something on me.
I have no clue how, when or where, maybe it was picking up the bike? But sometime in my 12 minutes with Matt, we were bleeding together.
Ironic, once again.
The prick put 3 stitches in my arm right there. One at each end, and then one in the middle. Just to “hold it together” until the hospital. I drove myself there and as I did, I was saddened by the fact that Matt didn’t rate the siren, high speed trip and flashing lights of the ambulance. I had the feeling that Matt would’ve kind of liked that trip. My next thought was, I would’ve loved to have heard all about it from Matt afterwards.
Eleven stitches, one police report and a couple of sponge baths later and I as it were, was free to go.
They were all there for Matt, of that there was no doubt. There’s just no getting used to the sobs & moans of a mother. You can’t filter them out either. Mom’s have some kind of radar like device that locks on to a son’s heart. It doesn’t have to be their son either, have you noticed that? Moms are really good at that shit!
He could have been me, or I him. Same age and basic body build, same receding hairline. He looked like he understood back pain and the effect that a low pressure system can have on arthritic joints and bones. Yep, he could have been me, or I him.
The hand shake really is a gateway to your soul.
“The police told us what you did for my boy, I wanted to say thanks.”
I don’t know what Matt actually wanted as a favour, when he asked if I could do him one.
His last words were of his love for you and his Mother and he wanted me to tell you, “thank you for everything.”
As the handshake reveals the inner you, a hug will always share your heart.
I hope I did the right thing Matt.
It felt like the right thing to do at the time.
Drop the hourglass of time
Spilling sand we will not find
As we gather here today
We bid farewell...
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....