Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, April 9, ~11:00pm: A Clean Getaway and the Police

I am given ice to apply to my mouth and as the feeling begins to return to my face I notice that my tooth is in the wrong place. I try to remember what it felt like to loose my teeth as a child. It's almost the same feeling. I want to wiggle it, see if it really is loose, but there is too much blood and too much pain. "Ma thuth dis en da wong pathe." That is all I can get out. I say it over and over again, trying to make him understand.
"He must have knocked a tooth loose," Jesus explains. "That's why your bleeding from your mouth. Just hold the ice there and press the cloth to your ear tight."

From my chair in the middle of the driveway I watch all of my neighbors rush to get the man's truck out of the ditch. They are muttering something about the police, shouting at one another, knowing they must hurry. Just as the truck emerges from the ditch, we here the sirens around the corner.

Jesus runs toward the first squad car to arrive and points to the truck, explaining that it belongs to the man who just assaulted me. He tries to explain that the man is no longer in that truck, but in another vehicle, and to give them the license information for the correct vehicle, but they will not listen. They chase after the truck.

Another squad car arrives, then another. Suddenly there are police everywhere. They want to ask me what happened. They want the details, my name, my social, and all I can tell them is "I cammot muv ma muth, I cammut" before leaning into the grass and letting the blood run from my mouth. I cannot spit the blood out. My mouth will not move. I can only lean over and pout, waiting for the bloody saliva to spill.

A policeman assures me that an ambulance is near as he examines my face. "Guess you ripped off an earring," he determines non-nonchalantly. "No, Ith wuv nah verring erring." I try to find the words, but they won't come out. I want him to know that I was not wearing any earrings; that the blow hit me with such direct severity that it ripped my ear with only a fist. I can't. When I receive the police report weeks later, there is no mention of any injury to my ear.

There are so many of them trying to ask me questions that I cannot answer and Jesus is too busy with one or two to stay with me. Frustrated, I begin to cry. I don't know what else to do.

A tow truck arrives with the man's white pick-up. The police have brought the driver, one of my neighbors, back to the scene and they are testing me for drunk driving. As he struggles to walk the straight line, one of my neighbors shouts at me from across the lawn, "It's not even the right guy! You got the wrong arrested, you stupid bitch! It's not even the guy who hit you!"

Now it is the siren of the ambulance I hear and there are two men lifting me into the back. Their voices are calming and reassuring. Maybe they will give me something for the pain. It is growing so intense. Or maybe something to make my ear stop bleeding so, and stinging. Something. Anything.

An officer enters the ambulance and asks to take pictures of my injuries. I try to show him the tooth, but my mouth won't open. I struggle to remove the piece of torn t-shirt from my ear where it is sticky with blood. I point and moan, hoping they'll understand that I want to see the photos - I want to know how bad it is, what is wrong with me, but Jesus will not let me see them.

They close the doors and start for the hospital. My face is throbbing now, the ear stinging sharper, and the ride just up the street to the hospital is too far away. When I point to my mouth enough they give me a bag that I can let the blood drip into. Jesus asks them to give me something for the pain. They offer Tylenol. I look up at them in heartbroken dismay and shake my head. To swallow now is beyond impossible.

Things are beginning to blur now. Time is standing still or moving too fast. At last we arrive at the Emergency Room but I'm not sure I can stand it any longer. I just want them to rip out the tooth. I want them to knock me unconscious. I want them to shoot me in the leg just to take the pain away from my face. I want to sleep. I'm tired and just want to sleep...

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