In June, I was in an accident. A funny sort of accident if there ever was such a thing. I left the cafe like any other day as if a 90-degree mid-September day were any other day. Greg, my new boyfriend, glided behind me in his own wheelchair as I descended a small hill.
My fingers vibrated as the aluminum handrims spun freely beneath them, the sun making the friction warmer than preferred. It is a beautiful day. It was; with the sun shining, the mood light, and a handsome new companion to share it with, I feel alive.
Until I didn’t.
I don’t recall a lot from the accident, but this is my best recollection:
The sky was frosted, going white on the edges as if the image were freezing to my mental cinema screen. The roaring of the world swallowed the birdsong, swallowed the color, it swallowed me. A lightning bolt pierced through my left eye, and the scene cut.
“You veered to the right, for some reason, hit the edge of the sidewalk where it begins, and you and your wheelchair were launched about 6-10 feet straight onto your neck and shoulder,” Greg whispered behind the thin veil separating us from the Emergency Department.
“You were unconscious and seizing, so they life-flighted you.” He brushed away my matted bangs and gently caressed my face, avoiding the plastic brace around my neck.
Long story short, I face-planted after having a seizure while going decently fast downhill in my wheelchair. It was a challenging experience as I don’t remember anything except for a few minor details. The annoyance of wearing that uncomfortable brace whilst attempting to muddle through my three in-person courses was, well, not ideal.
The accident is still tumbling at the forefront of my prefrontal cortex, swimming like a shark just offshore. I know it happened; it haunts me, but it happened, and it is over. Why can’t it just go away?
I was slightly elevated as Greg, and I were leaving the dining hall yesterday, and being the phenomenally responsible 29-year-old that I am, I played “Slalom”. I was purposefully weaving around on the sidewalk, avoiding sticks with my wheelchair.
“I want what you’re on!” is the usual response.
Goodness, I enjoy being a wildly energetic human being, sorry!
As I was weaving around sticks, mud globs, and college trash — I remembered something.
You were doing this before you crashed! In the same exact space. Maybe if you take the other route, you can avoid a crash. You know, the Butterfly Effect.
I took the other path. The thought still lingered when Greg suddenly spun around and pushed back towards me. He looked down and pointed,
“Look, a butterfly wing.”