by Lynda Green
Back then I was fit but not much to look at. I’d been sailing that day with Keith. A green one had almost flipped us over, we’d used all our sailing skills to stay upright. We felt like giants, went for a drink at the Feathers, retold that wave hitting us to everyone who would listen and each time it got bigger; me and Keith, what a team.
Anyway, I crept in the house, Josie was in bed feigning sleep; we were not getting on. I thought I’d have one more beer, went to get a glass from the wall cupboard over the sink. They were stacked up and as I pulled the top beaker free, the one it was stacked in stuck momentarily and then fell. Well, I’d got a can of beer in the other hand so lurched forward to catch the glass between my thigh and the sink unit. Bad move, it shattered and a sharp jagged point impaled my groin. I pulled it out and arterial blood spurted. I applied as much pressure as I could and shouted to the wife:
“I’ve cut myself bad!”
I knew she was awake, could hear her listening.
“Serves you right, you shouldn’t drink so much,” she shouted back.
Well, I’m an independent sort of guy, I just picked up my car keys and set off for A and E, only down the road.
So now, I’m driving one handed, blood’s seeping but not pulsing down my leg.
I hobbled through the swing doors at the hospital, left the car on double yellows, keys in it. I was heading for the desk but there was a young man with two little boys, one a toddler, so I backed out. I didn’t want to frighten the children, blood all down me, so I got back in my car.
I thought I ‘d wait a bit, let family man get sorted; but then I came over all sick and faint and thought I’d better get back in there, kids or not.
That’s the last I remember till I came to in a hospital bed, a big bloke towering over me.
“Ah, welcome back, Mr Steele,” he said, “you are the luckiest man alive.”
I had, as I thought, punctured the artery; they couldn’t believe I’d driven myself to hospital.
But here’s the thing.
Apparently, they got me up to theatre but by that time I had almost bled to death and my heart, having nothing to pump, was threatening to stop. Blood was being rushed up, but not fast enough so the surgeon hooked up a Rioja, given to him earlier by a grateful heart transplant. A 2000 Reserva 14%, was decanted, all 70 cls, straight into my veins. Then the blood came and they topped me up.
I am now an elegant, full bodied man, mellow, with a hint of vanilla and tobacco, long finish and a small scar in the groin. You can’t miss me.
Lynda Green is an occasionally published writer of short stories and a taxi driver.