That is what the problem is. Because I can now and I won’t write it. I will not write it now.
The final information it exposes, I won’t write now; yet, I must write the first answer or lose the return path. The voices, the voices within my head are plentiful. So many blended together into a low dull hum between my ears. I wish there really were voices with clear instructions for my every next move. Though, I’m not that lucky to have that much real assistance in that department, rather I’m left with my imagination.
Apart from a thousand memories other memories I choose to let fade, my second stepdad had pulled me aside on day, out at their new house. I can almost picture the shirt he was wearing, mostly white with blue stripes. “I know we’ve had our problems, but you need to get a few things straight.” That statement alone could be the understatement of all life. Oh, five hundred memories that still need to be reseen, from a perspective of my new life. Mostly though, it’s pretty simple. In my memory I was just barely more than a man child.
Like a cow chews its cud, swallowing it down to save for later, the same with our memories if we hope to learn. Sure, hopefully we all learn in the moment, from whatever we allow in the world around us. Past that time we can take a second turn if we like, you just need to spend some time in contemplation. A quiet room, a relaxed atmosphere, a few minutes of peace and calm to think and remember. What did I learn then from that? What could I have? What else was there?
Of course that is just the first half of the game, then you get to change roles and compare to your present life. Whew, if you’re still with me we now have six versions of this single image/concept/thought spawned from that single memory. Six from your point of view, now imagine a later conversation about that previous moment from their point of view, another set to make twelve. Past, present an future of your own thoughts in your memory and the past present and future your projected thoughts that you call “theirs” in your memories.
So when two people sit down and fully debrief their two way skydive, there is a lot going on there. There was only one event and one reality- well, for each and every skydive occurring worldwide at any given second! Can you imagine if there was global ticker of how many times a human achieved body flight? What’s the number, four or five millions skydives per year in the us? If so, that would be five hundred and seventy per hour- another human freefall event every tenth second, if evenly spread each hour of the day for a year straight.
One of my favorite things about my first skydive happened after it was done. Travis filmed my landing and my heart was going a million miles a second. For being the “type of person”, or at least being a person that thrives on stimulation, nothing compares to what happens in my mind when I let go of gravity. As an amazing videographer he captured and allowed, maybe even teased out a bit of my raw exuberance when my feet first returned to earth. Which that was great I love that part of me, the full speed version with all my circuits pumping.
Next though, was the special part for me, a unique first. The second in the lineup of my first jump, my main side instructor Todd. Walking back I tried to tell him everything, everything that had just happened. Shh, shh, stop. I am sure I made him repeat that another time as he told me to go sit somewhere quiet and away from even my family (my then wife and both my sons then three and eight, and my mother and sisters all gathered on the ground.)
Somewhere on the grass I sat, twenty feet west of the southern of two long hangars. Just breathing deeply as he said as I tried to figure it all out. I remembered the count, a steady cadence- the only reason I got out. I repeated the act another two thousand five hundred and eight five times, and I still cannot describe the first ten seconds of freefall- because I don’t have enough words.
Because I don’t have enough words.
Many times in my life have taken my want to speak, some situations have rendered me speechless, though seldom and very few. Only two things I can think of right now though, nope, make that three. Three topics that I don’t have enough words to describe: God, myself, & freefall. Everything else I could summarize sufficiently at my current speed in just a few weeks- quicker, the more I am able to relax and go full speed.
I’m not going to talk about my second and third AFF Instructors without mentioning the reason I’m alive: Brenda. Brenda and a First Jump Course taught straight from the SIM (Skydiver Information Manual.) Every bit precious and a perfect model that I could every only hope to duplicate. Towards the end, the critical part after the horizontal trainer and maps had been put away. Preparing to meet Mother Earth was a phrased coined in my head several years later, yet this was my first and most thorough training on the technique that saved my life, a PLF.
Drilled and repeated to my instructors satisfaction. In my mind still it was two hours jumping off that picnic table, yet in my experience now I can see that students fatigue. Promptly as the class ended on the eight hour mark, I know it was just another ten or fifteen minute segment. Practice, practice, practice your PLF’s and always be prepared to use it!
Okay, back to the voices, the voices in my head, all my Instructors are there- at least as the best duplication of them that I’ve been able to achieve in my head from my memories of them. Together, a sum of their teaching a voice rises up, my inside AFFI. A voice that began to grow that very first jump, then as a student I knew nothing that day, I had to be told how to prepare for the event of my life. That is how I remember that voice, as one of the rare few I let tell me what and how to do: my in person real instructors.
However, an instructor does not first tell the student how their skydive went. No, we let the studnet try to figure it out and tell their version first, let them learn how to think and draw out a linear thought. Their experience quickens the process as they hear and correct the students often errored recollection of the event. That voice they use, when they tell you what you did. That is a voice you learn to listen to.
I recognized the voice, or the tone you might call it, when I wrote yesterday. From the tone I used in post of the post, look how it changed when I as a coach wrote a log entry for my student’s jump that day. When I read it back I could tell the difference from my debrief part of my jump, speaking through my own first hand experiences in the event, to speaking with a different voice when I spoke as a coach, describing my students jump.
Remembering back to the time between writing my first and second updates on my initial incident, a few things changed in between. The first I typed in my second ICU step-down room as I prepared for my first voluntary surgery the next day. Laying down to go under a knife used to be one of my worst years, now I’ll complain as I can’t get those services fast enough. I could just barely type and that was the first thing I had written.
Over the next week my level of drugs went down and I could begin to think, and I started trying to piece everything together. Starting of course with watching the video, and documenting as best I could. At that time, I couldn’t remember yet how to work this website- I really have had to relearn a lot of things that I used to know- so I posted my first few updates directly on Facebook, and later copy and pasted them to this site.
I’ve clicked those links at re-read my own words- and something did not seem write, like I was looking at a forgery of my own thoughts. There it was, a time had been changed- from what I first wrote, to what is now published in this blog. I had to think back and wonder why I had changed my ‘student’ first version of events; then I had to remember to voice that had told me my timestamp was wrong.
And I’m not going to write it down right now, but now I know that error. A student spoke with the voice of an Instructor, telling me- something I now know he must have been ‘told’. For that voice had a confidence that it should not, at least not at that stage of a debrief, even if they were an instructor, qualified to tell me anything.
I think I know why my head hurts now, and it’s been growing in the last few weeks. There cannot be two realities, one in here and another out there that everyone shares. The one inside my head is split, split in two. One side agrees with the current ‘world view’ and the other side of me fights to prove that I know Shaggy was there. Now, I am past all doubt, I know I have figured it out. So why the pain in my head.
Well, it’s the cascade effect- all this pent up pressure to prove a single fact: I messed up because I let someone push me into a bad situation. Okay, whew, now what. Well, the ripples start with there with the coverup.
Who knew what, when? How many people have known for this long, known and tried to help me forget.
I really was almost dead, beyond almost any chance. I wonder what I would have done, if I’d been there at the incident scene, standing and watching over some other dumb fuck. Hey guys… this guy is toast, and Shaggy is a real great guy.
This is the part that makes me want to cry, the plot I’ve laid out in my mind, only makes sense if there was group decision- to decide that #ShaggyWasntThere. Things like that are every brothers oath til the end of days, for they only hold water if not one is found out. To each and every one that hid his lie, he betrayed them all when he published his very own lie.
My head and heart now hurt as this really sinks in, the true depth of my solitude. The rush of two imaginary realities colliding in my brain, a single fact proven now combines, and points out so many more lies. Not one thought my memory should survive, better a false story that just another swooper had died.
Today I got to see my Doctor, the first time since last December and a good visit it was, the kick off of me and Henry working together against the system for healthcare round two. Up over the next.. well, we’ll see how they do, surgeries to remove my two six inch hip bolts and all the screws from my knee. If that goes well, the cage from my back next on that list (or held off for round three.) A referral for the ankle doctor, another referral for PT (we’ll see if insurance will cover this now, now that I’m not on the County plan.)
The nice part of my day came from riding the bus. A nice lady across from me asked if I knew who I looked like. A picture on her phone she showed me, I think it was the drummer. I told her I am usually told that I look like Keanu Reeves- she said that who she thought to, but her google lens had pulled up the drummer! Then she said, actually you look like Jesus- can I take a picture?
No greater honor to be bestowed I happily obliged. Terry, I and another lady had a brief conversation. I had been reading an article I wrote months ago, about meeting a hot doctor at a bar, and as soon as she started speaking, I put my phone right down- I’d much prefer to see a person- one sitting right in front of me.
I’d told how happy I was to be compared to Him, and that I hope to have a lot more of him, and lot less of me. She nodded along and smiled while looking right at me. I asked if she knew what I thought the difference might have been, back when Jesus walked and spoke. Her still smiling in my eyes, I said that I think that Jesus always spoke to people and never at them. Every word, the bread of life, delivered straight into your soul. Okay, I just added that last sentence now, though I was thinking it at the time. She agreed, she said “yeah, he would.”
The bus just then stopped in front of Kroger, my stop to get off. A few blocks walk to the doctors office, an hour or two there, then more walking back for lunch at Wendy’s and finally back to Krogers for the return trip home. No progress on the banking issues today, and a new plan for tomorrow. Time to open a new account, though in my name for now still, I’m gonna call it my trust fund. Starting with my birthday gift, then to figure out how to make it grow. I know.. book sales.
Time to rest.