Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Way I See Brushes With Death

Pete and Repeat are in a boat. Pete falls out. Who's left?

.....Pete and Repeat are in a boat....

ALRIGHT! Enough hilarious jokes. This post is serious!

This week, I tell you about my recent brush with death and how I, Cole Cook, was able to escape it's cold clutches to tell the tale.

So the other day I was cutting bagels and cut my thumb.

Before we get any deeper into this epic tale of bravery, I should give you guys a touch of backstory. When I was 10, I closed a swiss army knife on my finger while trying to whittle an incense holder out of a piece of driftwood (that's the hippy-est thing I've ever said). I limped upstairs (I don't know why I was limping), almost passed out, and my brother and uncle laughed at me. When I was in high school, I went with my sister to give blood. I almost passed out again and my little sister laughed at me.

So flash forward to Tuesday night. I'm in my kitchen. I'm not wearing a shirt. I've got one bagel in the toaster and I'm cutting a second one while singing along with Alanis Morissette. Basically - I'm being a badass.

Then, approximately 15 seconds after thinking, "I probably shouldn't be cutting towards my hand." I cut into my left thumb. I throw the knife in the sink, stomp my foot, scream "FUCK!", put my thumb in my mouth, and start jumping around my apartment.

It's the worst cut in the history of the world. I can see the bone. I don't have a thumb anymore. I'm gonna die. I wish I would have visited Machu Picchu. My brother can have my Xbox One. Someone clear my browser history.

Against all odds, and to the surprise of the global medical community, I'm able to make it to the bathroom (hold the applause for the end, please). It's at this point that I start talking to myself.

"Alright Cookie. We're okay. It's okay. It's just a cut. We're gonna be fine. You taste blood, but that's okay. There's no pain in my hand. We're okay. Breathe, baby. Breathe. Gotta take a look at it. We gotta see what's going on, brother."

Reminder: I am talking TO MYSELF. Who the fuck is "we"? Why am I talking to myself as if I'm talking to another person? Why do I use pet names with myself? All of these questions are important and worth asking, and I have an answer to exactly none of them.

I unlock my jaws, and spit out a mouthful of red before looking down. What used to be a perfectly useful thumb is now a faucet of blood. I grab a fistful of Charmin and wrap my thumb up, closing my fingers around it. I don't have band-aids in my apartment, and I suddenly remember being in CVS a couple weeks ago and thinking, "Why would I need bandaids?" Well... in case you cut your fucking thumb open, Cole.

Now my thumb is "bandaged" and I'm okay. I have survived. Then, on the walk from the bathroom to the living room (which is about 7 feet since I live in New York), this happens:

Step 1: I think about how much blood I just saw.
Step 2: My entire body gets hot.
Step 3: My eyes lose focus and start trying to focus on EVERYTHING. It's like when you click on someone's face when you're taking a picture, and your iPhone focuses on four different things before settling on the face. It's like that - but without the settling part.
Step 4: I close my eyes, cause obviously that will help.
Step 5: All sense of balance leaves me. Just gone.
Step 6: Hands on your knees! Hands on your knees! (Like the song. Get it?)
Step 7: I start to breath like I'm in a Lamaze Class.
Step 8: I get through it. I'm okay. I'm not gonna think about my hand.
Step 9: I look down at my thumb. (I don't know why I did this)
Step 10: I'm in the fetal position, on the floor.

For those of you that are just joining the story (which should be no one, just scroll up and read the first couple paragraphs), I am on the floor, I am bleeding, I am half naked, I have Charmin Ultrasoft wrapped around my thumb, and I can't open my eyes.

Anyone wanna date me? No? Alriiiiiiiiight.

There's a certain type of feeling that accompanies being curled up, on the floor, shirtless, bleeding, disoriented and still listening to Alanis Morissette. That feeling is shame. Shame with a nice helping of helplessness and a side of emasculation.

So I just lay on the floor, cradling my thumb. Nothing else to do but wait this out, let the feeling pass.  Slowly, the world stops spinning (actually, the world keeps spinning, my head just stops spinning), and I make it to a seated position. I get my feet under me, finally find a fucking shirt, and start making my way to CVS.

In any other city in the world, a guy cradling his hand wrapped in bloody toilet paper is alarming. In New York, people don't even notice. I walk (I think I was walking, but I was probably stumbling) three city blocks with the world's worst first aid on my hand, and no one even looks at me.

I get to CVS (where STILL no one cares that I have a blood-soaked wad of toilet paper on my hand) and ditch the Charmin for a band aid. By this time, the bleeding has already stopped, and I get my first good look at the cut - it's about a centimeter long and clean, not deep at all - it's gonna heal in about two days. Band aid on, I'm ready to take on the world again.

However, instead of doing that, I buy four quarts of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (American Dream, Red Velvet, Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, for those who are interested) and go home to watch Netflix.

I think you would all agree that I deserve it.

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