June 13th, 2006 Deya and I were on our bikes headed to Mexico. Deya was riding her 500cc Suzuki and I was on a 750 Katana. We had just left San Fransisco heading South East when I hit a rather large hole in the road. I was pulling off the interstate at a well marked pull-out to wait for Deya in rather extreme rush hour traffic when I hit what looked like a trench. I impacted the top of the bike hard, I looked up thinking that the bike was definitely damaged, I may be injured but I'm still up and have a chance at controlling the stop. I was wrong, there were more.
By now I'm about one foot off the pavement and I see the next trench, my last though was to hit the gas and try to lighten the front tire so I don't nose dive, I never made it. I flew through the air, I don't recall seeing anything but I remember landing. I could feel my left hand being dragged across my stomach from left to right and I thought calmly that my fingers were being broken or torn off. I rolled forward, head over heels, and heard my legs flop loosely to the ground with a thump, I thought, "I'm okay, now it is time to rest."
I opened my eyes and the world came into focus, more alive, more vivid and more real than it had ever been before. I was surrounded by people and dear friends, all caring, all concerned and all happy to see me. It was a lovely place and I knew immediately that I was home, like a hero returning from some great adventure everyone was overjoyed at my success. They were happy at what I had accomplished and the kind of person I had become after such a long struggle and that I was home. I couldn't even contain the overwhelming sense of joy as I looked around and soaked in the surrounding and the compassion of the good people around me. They were close to me, they were protecting me.
It was then that I was told how happy everyone was to have me home but that I still had responsibilities, I still had work to do and that I would have to go back. "No, no, no, no!", I screamed, like a little child stamping his feet I was upset. I didn't want to leave, it was so clear, so obvious now and the thought of having to return to that difficult, dull and painful job was just dreadful. But they made me leave, gently, lovingly, knowing that it was the right thing to do, they sent me back.
I can hear screaming, it's my wife, she's obviously upset. Someone is holding my head, my helmet is still on and I'm very comfortable. The realness of it comes back slowly and I'm impressed at how superficial it all seems and wonder why I never noticed that before. I look up and see Deya, red faced and tears streaming down her cheeks, begging me not to leave her, "Please don't leave me Brian, you cant die, please don't leave me." I'm not concerned but I feel badly for her and the obvious struggle she's engaged in. My body starts to convulse, I feel it shaking and wonder about that.
Reality comes back to me and I'm home again, surrounded by my people and I'm happy. The pure joy is not so intense now and I'm able to interact more. I agree that I know what I need to do now and they're happy that I see the importance of returning and so I'm helped again to return to the show. My objective is pretty clear now and they explained it well enough without really telling me anything.
Back again, but now Deya is running around. I can see her running from person to person with no idea what to do, she's screaming and crying and generally having a hard time getting in control. I asked the lady holding my head to call my wife over. When Deya comes over I tell her to be calm, that everything will be fine. I think that I need to find some way to keep her busy so I asked her to get the camera and take pictures, oddly, the thought of an old friend who accidentally shot himself in the leg came to me. His first reaction was to ask his buddy to grab his camera for posterity. It seemed like a good idea and would keep her preoccupied.
I returned home again, this time to say thank-you and to acknowledge my task. As I begin to leave I recognized that it requires less assistance than the previous times. I know now what my current mission is. The foggy fuzz of life comes back to me and I'm fully involved, no longer thinking about home, I'm focused on my task. Some one is cutting off my jacket, my pants have already been cut off, so I asked them not to cut of my boots too. I really loved those boots and there was nothing wrong with my feet!
On the way to the hospital via helicopter, I had a general sense of accomplishment as I reflected on the first time I left the show. It was fourteen years earlier and I was in a serious military accident. It was different than this time, fortunately, it was in another life, but that's another story.