Friday, August 15, 2008

Elvis is Alive!


Elvis' Bruised Leg - Motorcycle Adventure TravelWhere am I?

How did I get here?

The last thirty seconds of my life start coming back to me. I'm face down on the Autobahn in some nondescript part of Croatia.

Is that gas I smell?

Panic sets in as I turn onto my back. Am I alive? Can I feel all my limbs? Am I bleeding? Oh my God, I have crashed.

Where's my motorcycle?

A lifetime of images flash through my mind as i try to trace the decisions I made in life that brought me to this small piece of asphalt, in this tiny country, at this tiny moment in time. Was this karma? Am I being punished? Was this natures way of paying me back for not having a beer at the gas station? Too many variables, lets chalk it up to bad luck.

I slowly bring myself up onto all fours, as traffic flies past me at speed slightly below the sound barrier. It's hard to hear the cars over the ringing in my ears. I can't support any weight on my right hand and I stumble as I try to. I get on my knees and look at my hand. My motorcycle glove is shredded along the knife of my hand and as I see the blood soaking through the pain is transferred to my mind. It burns! Now I know how the girl in the Exorcist felt.

That is gas I smell.

I've been lying in a puddle of gas. My motorcycle stopped sooner than I did and it was laying behind me. My adrenaline kicks in as I get my feet under me. My bike is lying down under the metal barrier I ran into. I go over and pick up my motorcycle. I don't have the strength to put it on it's center stand so I lean it on the barrier and sit down in the grass. It's all coming back to me.

As I was leaving the gas station and merging onto the Autobahn a nondescript silver, or grey two door or four door car decided to change into my lane at ungodly speeds. I had only a split second to make a decision... not a real decision where you can weigh out the pros on cons and consider the consequences. No, this falls into the category of what's going to hurt less? Being hit by a car doing 2000 miles per hour or running yourself into a corrugated metal barrier doing sixty. I didn't have much of a chance to weigh the pros and cons, but at the time the pros of hitting the metal wall was possible life and the cons of being hit by the car was almost certain death. The fact that I'm writing this story now proves that I was at least half right at the minimum.

I don't know how long I sat at the side of the road but it seemed like a lifetime. It's really hard to put time into perspective. I remember when I was still in elementary school the two months of summer holidays would feel like a year. As we grow older the time starts to speed up. Seasons fly past us like a weekend. Years drop like sand through an hour glass. It takes moments like these to reset a person's perspective and to slow time down. The minutes I sat at the side of the highway felt like months.

Elvis is Alive Monument

This nondescript piece of countryside turned into a monument dedicated to everything I've done in life. If I were to erect a sign it would read, "I'm alive! And if you don't believe me, here's the gas station that proves it! signed, Elvis"

When will the bleeding stop?

I decide to be a little more proactive in my first aid. The blood is dripping down my hand and I see some blood seeping through my jeans. I better get the bleeding stopped. Here's a great piece of advice I can pass on. An experienced motorcycle adventurer would already know this but unfortunately I don't fall into this category. Always carry a decent first aid kit in Europe. What passed for a first aid kit at this gas station was incredible. I spent about 60 dollars to buy this huge first aid kit and all that was in it was gauze, gauze, and more gauze. No band-aids, no disinfectant, no wipes. Nothing that could actually help someone who required medical attention. I mean there was a little bit of tape but nothing to clean a wound with. This would be a great kit if you were perhaps shot at short range and you needed to clean the blood up off the floor. What a waste of money.

So I went into the bathroom and cleaned myself up. The wounds weren't too bad, mostly superficial. My leg was throbbing but the adrenaline kept it moving. I didn't want to look at it because I knew it was worse than it felt. This is what it looked like a few hours after the crash.

Elvis' Bruised Leg

I left the washroom looking like someone had slaughtered a small animal in it and I went out to inspect the wreckage. Some scraping on the engine cover, my mirror was gone, the handlebar was shaved down on one side, some scuffs here and there, and a missing tank of gas. I walked the bike back to the gas station parking lot and got my bearings. I primed the engine and decided to try and start the motorcycle. It started instantly and I was so relieved. I shut it off and walked back to the gas station. There is something missing from this story and I'm not sure if you have noticed it yet. I'm the only one in it. This was a busy station with a busy cafe and lots of people in the parking lot but no one seemed to notice me. No one cared that there was an accident. Even the police just drove passed the crash site.


Anyways, I went back to the station and bought a couple of beers. It was hot out and I deserved them. I sat next to my bike and drank them. The first one quickly and then I savored the second and third. It was a good day to be alive and that deserves a beer. I also needed some time to consider whether or not I would continue on to Slovenia or if I would turn back and regroup.

I put my gear back on. My helmet had a nice crack in it where it did its job keeping me from dying. I got on my bike and gave it a once around the parking lot. I filled up with gas, and tried the Autobahn again.

The turnpike was a kilometer ahead I could feel the pain in my body as I was starting to seize up. It's not bad enough that my body is broken but I left a bit of my spirit on that road back there. I can't describe the hurt I feel right now.

I turn my signal light on and turn right onto the turnpike...


Anonymous said...

You Rock! Sorry, but I have to laugh! Frken Funny!


Anonymous said...

Hey bro, just read your latest blog about your crash on the Autobahn. Was wondering if you are still feeling any lasting effects still from the crash or was it all superficial?


Do I have to wait for the next blog to get an answer?

Elvis Glazier said...

You know it takes more than asphalt, metal, and high speeds to take me down Shannon. The only lasting damage was psychological. But it's hard to tell since I've been psychologically damaged for years.

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