Friday, July 20, 2007

Weird Omen

This morning I got into work and turned on The very first song was by a man named Dan Rockett. I turned to my officemate and said “Wow, the first song Pandora served up is by the man who ran Todd over with his car when we lived in Boston.” I wasn’t sure what kind of omen that would be, and what kind of day I’d have after that.

It was June 1998. Todd and I had just moved in together in May in this great apartment in Brighton, Massachusetts. I had moved there from Melrose, MA—where I had lived for 2 years. In those 2 years I had found things like hair dressers and doctors that I liked in Melrose, so I kept doing those things there after work. It was convenient seeing as how I worked north of the city in Andover, too. Melrose was right on the way home.

I was getting my haircut on that fateful afternoon, the phone rang in the salon and the receptionist said “Beej, you have a phone call.” I took the phone, and it was Todd. “Beej, you have to come home now, I was out on my bike and got hit by a car.” I glanced in the mirror at my half chopped off hairdo. I told my stylist “OMG, you have to finish cutting the rest of this hair, I need to go, NOW!” She swished the scissors 2-3 more times, just to make the hair even then I ran out the door.

I raced home, and found Todd lying on the couch, clutching his chest. His arm was bruised and scraped up. His bike was leaning against the wall by the front door, mangled and tires flattened.

“What happened?” I asked.

Todd was riding his bike on the sidewalk by the Bread and Circus supermarket. He was crossing the driveway for the store, and was hit by a car, and launched ass over teakettle into the air. Witnesses later said that he’d had about 6 feet of air, and then he crashed onto the pavement. One of the witnesses called 911, and he lay on the pavement while first the police, then the ambulance, then a fire truck arrived.

“Why is the fire department here?” Todd asked.

“I think they just come when someone calls 911,” someone replied.

“Maybe I should set my bike on fire, you know, to make it worth the trip for them,” Todd laughed, then clutched his chest.

The EMTs walked toward Todd, with their gear and a stretcher. “Do not touch me,” Todd said, “I cannot afford you. I do not have health insurance.” The EMTs stood by while Todd painfully stood himself up to give the police officer his statement.

Todd told the cops what happened, and then the officer asked “Do you want to press charges?”

“No,” Todd said, “I don’t. It was an accident.”

“You’re not from around here, are you?” the police officer asked, and chuckled.

The fire truck left, the ambulance left without giving Todd any medical assistance. The police officer left, the crowd dispersed. Todd and the driver of the car exchanged information. The driver was a man named Dan Rockett.

Todd walked his mangled bike back to our apartment, arm bleeding, his chest on fire with pain. On normal conditions it was a long-ish walk back to our place, and it was uphill. I cannot imagine how long it took for him to get there, in pain and dragging the bike.

I got home, and convinced Todd to go to the emergency room at St. Elizabeth’s hospital. “What if you have a broken rib or something?” I asked him.

He was x-rayed at the hospital, and sure enough he’d broken his number 1 and number 2 ribs. There really isn’t anything you can do for a broken rib—just make sure it’s lined up and wait for it to heal. The doctor cleaned and bandaged the road rash on his arm.

Over the next few weeks we went through the frustration of settling an accident. No matter how amicably the parties behave, there are the inevitable speed bumps. Todd and Dan agreed that Dan would buy Todd a new bike, and Todd would pay for the hospital visit himself—seeing as how they were both broke 20-somethings. Over the course of settling the accident, we learned that Dan was in a band. He gave us a CD of his band, called the Rockett Band. This CD is actually in our CD player at home right now. It’s a great CD, and it often finds its way into the player. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than track 5, “Shake Your Ass for Jesus.”

Just recently I learned that Dan has put out a solo album. I’ve only heard it on, but it is a ridiculously well done song. Beautifully written and executed. I look forward to hearing the rest of it.



Blogger Tina said...

Ouch. I hope there was no omen for yesterday!

July 21, 2007 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

That's pretty cool. I wonder if he'll write a song some day, "I ran down a biker..."

July 24, 2007 at 9:16 AM  

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