This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.
Progress and recovery are measured in such strange ways. Whether it be a blown knee, a broken heart, or a head injury, the small steps months, years, and decades later are the true signs of progress.
I noticed a few signs of progress the other night, the night before my birthday and two nights before Halloween. A friend rented a party bus to go to a nearby bowling alley for Karaoke -- yeah, I said it, a party bus and a bowling alley, those are signs right there of improvement. The nights leading up, and the day of, I had my normal desires to stay at home, turn off the lights and escape into some action thriller or lame reality show. I knew that wasn't possible. Aimee was way too excited to dress up as Mindy to my Mork.
Despite my reservations, I felt good, I even felt all right driving Aimee's car dressed in a red jumpsuit with a silver upside triangle on my chest. We arrived at our friend's house. I had a few beers. The party bus pulled up and we get in. The driver turns the volume up on the stereo. It was loud dance music. I drank and laughed. The sounds weren't piercing, my head wasn't pounding. Progress.
I made it through the entire night, without incident, without having to go outside, or leave because the noise was too intense, or because I felt overwhelmed from the day's events.
So that's progress, at least a sign of it.
In the early months after the fall, I didn't know what recovery would look like. I doubted myself. I wrote of fears that I would turn into some aggressive, temper-filled person, ready to cry or smack my head against the wall at moments notice. One thing is for sure, I never thought recovery would look like a party bus, Halloween karaoke at a local bowling alley, and I sure as hell never thought I would be dressed as Mork for it either.