I rounded a corner. A Toyota pickup turned left in front of me, and I hit it at 45 mph. I ruined my bike, a CB750 I was lovingly restoring, and the freshly painted gas tank I’d just picked up and installed.
Broke the front forks and the triple-trees. Bent the front rim.
Shattered my right thumb, dislocated my shoulder, and got a nice piece of road rash on my right shin that would bother me for years. Still does from time to time. No one is sure why.
I was asleep October 12th–asleep at the wheel of life. The next day I woke up.
Thirteen years ago this coming Christmas day, I asked my wife to marry me, after we dated for almost two years. I told her she would have to wait until I was ready. She did. We married the following July.
In October 2009 we separated for six months. In March of 2010 I was 40 years old and napping again. By April, I was awake. We nearly divorced, so when we reconciled, we rededicated our vows. We said I do again. That summer, I got serious.
I’m a writer. Always have been. A dabbler though, a pretender. This time the shit got real.
Did I want to be a writer for real? Did I like the idea of being a writer or actually writing? It was time to shit or quit: I woke up
A collection of short stories. Broken Bones. The wisdom at the time. If you are going to be an Indie writer, release a collection of your short work before your novel.
Write other stuff. Write what you know. Hundreds of articles on Motorcycle Maintenance for eHow.
Research and write new stuff.
Tons of articles for the now evolving Suite 101. Stuff I knew. Didn’t know, but researched.
Edit. Use your talents and hone your own work.
Create your own job. Oh, yes. Found research and papers that needed to be written. Found technology to do it better. Learned. Geology. History. Hydrology. Environmental science. Use these to write short films, do fun projects.
Three published novels now. That long ago scene on the motorcycle written into Temptation. Two more in the hopper, one complete one nearly so.
All the boxes checked. On the way to a career. A career, not a job I hate yet tolerate. Not something of fleeting interest. Writer. Editor. Researcher. Doing what I love. Five year plan: I’ll be working at home.
New location. New opportunities for me. For both of us. Five year plan, accelerated. I look around my home office, look at my keyboard, typing this. Dream realized. Opportunity knocked, we answered.
Last night, a strange show. Pins and surgery for the man on the screen. Suddenly I feel it again, beneath the scar on my right thumb. My shoulder aches. I see the hospital. Feel the pain, the need for drugs to quiet it. Rub my fingers along the lumps that were once protruding pins. Remember the physical therapy. It is a flashback. Suddenly I crave nicotine, a cigarette, a cigar, something. If I had one in the house last night, if it had not been so dreadfully cold … I might have ventured out, bought a pack. Or two. A new lighter.
A flashback. It takes time to pass. My nerves calm. My hands steady.
If it had not been for that day, if I had not woken up when I did …
The music starts and I begin to type, the words flowing faster as I pen the final scenes of my newest novel, the last in a series.
The flashback is over.
Wake up. Before someone, something