Friday, August 28
Had a really great sleep for a change! Sitting in the restaurant listening to opera stirring cappuccinoit with a tiny silver spoon. I have a new egg and we are heading to the Vatican and the National Gallery. There is a lot of graffiti here, so when in Rome! Yes, I am going to vandalize Rome with my tag.
Wandered around museums of sculptures by the 3 B's, Mike and Rodin. I have wanted a giant block of marble since I was a teenager. I am so arrogant I think I could do something pretty fancy. I wonder where they get it. I will ask Joel to buy me a hunk of marble for Christmas. I will ask for a chisel as well.
The bust of Constantine was incredible to see as was Caravaggio's Head of Medusa. I am not a big fan of snakes, but I enjoy a good Medusa.
It is so hot I don't even care anymore. Thank you God for inventing air conditioning and awnings.
Got in a taxi and managed to slice my foot open on some jagged bit of metal under the driver's seat. I don't know how to say I am hurt, so I say "Mi scusi, sorta di morti." The driver looks at me as though this is not important information. In retrospect, he may have suspected some terminal condition I felt the need to brag about. I try again. "Mama Mia Attenzione!" Nothing. Because I cannot raise my leg over my head to show him, I get what I feel is an adequate amount of blood from the wound and hold up my hand. "ATENZIONE!"
The cab stops so fast we almost smash heads or have the best kiss ever as he cranes around to see and I lurch forward. I hit the head rest instead then check for blood. Yes. There is much blood and I am horrified.
The blood is not from the head bump, but the forgotten blood of the pantomime which has now been transferred to my face and which stays there until I get back to the hotel much later in the evening. I suppose Italians feel no need to mention things like bloody fingerprints on your face, but I don't know how to hear that in Italian anyway. I make a mental note to look in mirrors more often as this has happened to me before. I shall now digress.
My son has a massive entertainment centre which has a small ledge about 3ft up. One fine day, I decided to dust it and though smart me said "Get a step stool," Brilliant lazy me said "Nah, you have long legs, you can do it." I went up with one grand step and once perched, dusted all manner of stupid things. Smart me suggested I turn around. Idiot said a reverse dismount was in order.
I had used the same legs for my descent as my rise, so it made no sense they seemed shorter going down and that the ground had somehow vanished. In my split second of airborne panic, I assured myself it would be okay as there was a lovely plush red rug below. I also reasoned no one plunges to their death from 3ft, so I let myself fall.
In an instant I hear an amazing bang, followed by a scream, a thud and then silence. I lay on the floor staring at a light which immediately turns to darkness. I know I did not die, but I can make no sense of what just happened. Smug smart me reminds me the massive new coffee table arrived this morning. The top did not. The base was solid,the edges sleek and sharp. The perfect tool for cracking a head open.
In the darkness I tried to take inventory of my injury. I could feel blood pooling around my head and already wanting to pass out, the smell of it marinating with boy carpet was almost enough for me to call it a life. Confident I had broke my neck and these were my final moments, I did not want to move lest moving end me. I lay there for a good 20 minutes until smart me mentioned something about blood loss and those shows where people do amazing things and save their own lives just in the nick of time. I am in no mood for smart me, but after a few attempts, roll over and crawl to the furthest point in this ridiculously large condo where my phone is.
I get my phone and after trying to sop up blood with a towel, I resort to just letting it drip into the sink while I call all three of my beloved children. I then call Carl.
I will digress on my digression and say I am not okay with the whole I need a cell phone for emergencies argument. No one I call answers. I always have to wait for the call back. ANSWER YOUR DAMN PHONES PEOPLE!
I am in no mood to explain so I leave incoherent messages then call a taxi. The hospital is only a few blocks away, so it seems more practical. Besides, I can stand and walk so I am probably fine. I am concerned about the partial blindness, but feel my way out the door and to the elevator. The elevator is not working. The elevator always works. Walking down 11 floors in the darkness is dizzying on it's own, but this head trip makes it surreal. I accept the notion someone will find my body in the stairwell around 2017.
I get to the street and Carl is there. Startled and concerned, he takes me to the hospital, pulls right to the door and refusing escort, I tell him to go park. All is well.
It's the wrong door. The right door is around the block. As I navigate my darkened world, people step aside and stop to stare as though Jesus has arrived. I am sure it is the bloody towel and appreciate the compassion. Within minutes of being inside, I am wisked into a room and told to lay on my stomach. I wonder why people complain about waiting. Impressed by the efficiency and all alone, I feel safe. I need to pee so I get up and find the bathroom.
I open the door and want to scream, but I have no voice. There is a long haired man standing in front of me who looks like something out of a horror movie. His hair and face are thick with blood and his eyes and teeth look so white I can only stare. He holds a crimson towel to his head just like me. He dresses like me. I need to stop listening to idiot me. No wonder the seas parted as I walked.
I try to wash my face, but it makes me dizzy. I go back to the bed and decide to feel my head. How bad could it be? Everyone knows head wounds bleed a lot. I may need stitches and I am reluctantly okay with that. I put my fingers through my crusty hair and lose two of them in a deep hole. I am so grossed out, I can't measure the wound or the gross out level.
In comes Carl and the doctor. "I need you to hold her down." he says as if I am not present. I hear Carl's voice but as usual hardly listen. Suddenly and without warning, I feel a knee on my back, hands on my legs and shoulders and experience the unbelievable shock of having a nail gun shot straight into my already damaged head!
I scream, swear and kick. "It's okay, I need to staple this. Just 6 more". I am yelling "Three is good and all manner of pleas. He completely ignores me, apologizes and I feel the knee retreat. I glare up at both of them. The doctor then says what people love to say after an injury. "Another inch and you would have severed your spine." How about saying, "That's a bad cut and nothing serious came of it." What is with the need to always mention how close you came to something that didn't even happen to you! " I fell off a roof and almost landed at the bottom of an empty concrete swimming pool." BUT YOU DIDN'T! IT WAS A SHED AND YOU FELL 5 LOUSY FEET INTO A DAMN LOUNGER!
Thus ends the digression. Back in the cab, we have a meeting of the minds and I am wisked off for repairs, pay everyone handsomely and find a cafe in which to regroup. I tweet to my children and friends how I am having a wonderful time and the stitches are healing nicely. I get a few stars from strangers, but no one in my world responds to said tweet. My maternal instincts kicked in and I immediately wanted to tweet something mean about my each of my children. Perhaps some Joel baby pics or the story about Jen photocopying pictures of the girl who stole her boyfriend in high school. She wrote all manner of nasty things on them and posted them all over the halls and lockers. So mean. I decide not to post anything else. I will shun them with social media silence and omg will they worry!
I go to the ruins, wander for a few hours, photograph a seagull as though they are some unknown species to me, and then head to another gallery. I see nuns and priests, handsome men and fat babies. I paint my egg and sketch out the vatican and call it a day.
Rome made me cry twice today. I wish I had more time here.
Also, the media ban seems completely ineffective.