The last thing I remember is the car headed for the telephone pole. Now i’m being put in a Grady Hospital ambulance and my jeans are soaked with blood. Every time my heart beats more of my life blood gushes out of my torn face. A guy in white is applying pressure to my face,
I look at him and say, I’m dying, right?
Stay still, he says. Please stay still.
Know what? I say. Dying sucks.
I pass out again.
When the world comes back I am on a gurney and doors are opening and slamming into what I recognize as the Grady ER. The doctors are coldly efficient. They put some kind of sealant on the cut arteries and the bleeding stops. They give me Demerol and whole blood and tell me to keep my hands away from my face.
I vaguely remember a flap of flesh hanging from my face. Will I be disfigured for life? I look around. Nobody bothered to close the curtain and I see a middle aged black man sitting in a chair holding himself like he’s been kicked low. No, more like he’s been gut shot or stabbed.
A young black man in a suit who walks like he likes himself a lot strides into the room and flashes a gold city detective badge at the man and asks him what happened.
Ah doan know, the elder says. I be talkin to her and den she go cutting on me. Doan know why.
The cop says, She said you were trying to get her to sell herself.
Oh, no, no, says the elder, shaking his head emphatically.
The cop pulls out a paper and hands it to the man. Here’s a subpoena, he says. It tells you when to appear in court. Have a nice day.
As the cop goes out I cant help wondering if he likes himself so much he sticks a roll of toilet paper between his butt cheeks so they wont get dirty. The weak, hysterical thoughts go on until I pass out.
Hours later the surgeon comes in and they give me more Demerol and a local but it still hurts as the surgeon puts in a hundred stitches. When Mom hit the telephone pole my head had gone through the windshield and come back in the windshield, cutting my face twice. She’d had such a death grip on the steering wheel both bones in her forearm had snapped in two.
Hours later they bandage me and dump me in a room. Later on grandma would tell me the only reason I’d gotten Demerol was because I was white. And I do not doubt it.