I’ve spent today deep in hypochondria. Every little muscle twinge and pain in my body has made me think I’m suffering some serious injury as a result of a little mishap on the tram yesterday. One of our public transport choices in Melbourne is a rather extensive tram network. The trams have a certain charm as a mode of transport but they have to share the roads with other vehicles which leads to occasional misadventures when some bastard in a car cuts off a tram and it has to stop suddenly.
Actually, the shitty tram drivers cause misadventures all on their own with sudden jarring stops and starts at each stop. Most drivers, however, have mastered the art of smooth acceleration and deceleration. This is important as one of the drawbacks of the tram is that 9 times out of 10 the fucking thing is so overcrowded you don’t stand a chance of getting a seat. Sometimes the jolts are so severe that holding on to a strap doesn’t cut it. Every now and then there are injuries of the broken bone type.
I didn’t see what caused my particular calamity but I’d like to have the chance to give a serve to the prick that made the tram driver jam on the brakes. And possibly the tram driver if the severity of the stop wasn’t warranted.
It was a weird experience. If it was a few seconds later I would have been safely in a seat. As it was, I was in the middle aisle facing towards the back of the tram. And then Mister Sudden Stop paid a visit. The tram wasn’t going very fast but coming to a sudden dead stop was more than enough to end my standing up-ness that has seemed so stable just a second before. I was seriously airborne.
For the briefest of moments I was like unto Superman. I was flying. For about a metre. And then it turns out that gravity has more super powers than me. And I landed square on my arse. Luckily this was a padded landing and I didn’t land right on my coccyx because I probably would have broken it. As it was, the shock wave from the force of my landing shot straight up my spine and into my skull.
The force of the shock to my head was so strong I was actually convinced that I had hit my head on something. But there was nothing behind me. You can tell it was a massive shock because all I could manage expletive-wise was one loud “SHIT!” as my butt crashed earthwards. Anyone remotely familiar with my swearing habits would know I have no problem with launching into a long string of profanity when faced with even a minor setback. In this case I was too stunned.
I sat there for a moment thinking (but not saying ) “fuck, that hurt!”. It was probably only a second or two until two guys tried to help me to my feet. They were either side of me, each holding an arm and they’d lifted me a little off the floor. I figured, yeah, getting up is a good idea. But I couldn’t do it.
I was still stunned and my inability to get up had me thinking I’d suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury. Then I realised the “helpful” blokes were actually holding me at an angle that robbed me of all leverage. I couldn’t get up under my own power and they weren’t lifting me all the way to my feet, they were just sort of supporting me. I didn’t want to seem rude and say “let go of me you idiots” but I was still too disoriented to come up with a more subtle way of explaining the situation.
So I’m being supported by two blokes, stupidly saying nothing which I’m sure makes it look like I’m concussed. I’m not completely convinced that this isn’t the case myself. Another few seconds and the worst of it passes and I manage to get to my feet and find a seat. I’m still shaken up though. So much so that I don’t even think of going up to the tram driver and screaming “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ABOUT?”
And today, every little thing convinces me I’ve suffered to debilitating injury. And I should be suing the fuck out of the tram operator. Minor headache? I’m probably bleeding into my brain. Sore back? I must have cracked a vertebra. Aching shoulder? Not sure what that means but I’m sure it’s the trams fault.
Uncontrollable outburst of rage? Clearly the trams fault. I was never prone to that before the accident.