Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Knee

Sunday afternoon, I completely tore my ACL. This might be the story of how it happened.

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Having been disappointed in not being able to see Kinsey's dance recital (video coming later), I gave Connor to Sheryl and drove off, seeking solace in my solitude. I drove my '65 Mustang through the winding hills of Williamson County, breathing in the temporary freedom that the sound of the muffler gave me. Windows down. Radio off.

As I crested over a rise and began the descent, I looked to the left and saw black smoke rising from the trees. Thinking it was a farmer burning old leaves, I made to pass by, until I saw it smoke billowing higher and higher. I noticed that it was a large mansion burning. Not seeing anyone else around, I grabbed my phone to call 911. No signal. Stupid "no-cell-phone-tower-in-my-backyard" yuppies.

I tore down the driveway looking for any signs of people escaping. Nothing. Screeching the car to a halt, I jumped out and started calling out, "Is anyone there? Is anyone inside?" I couldn't hear anything, but I wondered if that was because the sound of the cracking fire that was drowning me out. I rushed up onto the massive porch, kicking the door in. The house was beginning to become engulfed in flames, but the bottom floor was only partially damaged. I rushed through, calling out for anyone there, but not hearing a reply. All of the bottom floor was sitting and dining and living rooms, so I knew if there was someone there, they must be upstairs.

Pulling up my shirt to cover my nose and mouth, I ran up the spiraling staircase taking the steps three at a time. Here, the flames were every where. As I yelled again, I heard faintly, "Help me! Help me!"

"Where are you?" I cried, looking and listening intently.

"Back here in the baby's room!" came the reply.

I looked down the smoky hallway, seeing "Molly" written in pink letters on the door at the end of the hall. I steeled myself and then dashed down to, shouting, "Get away from the door!" Flames rose around me as I ran my shoulder into it, not wanting to burn my hand on the door knob. I rushed in, seeing a woman holding an infant cowering in a corner away from the flames.

"It's ok, ma'am," I said. "We're going get out. Is there anyone else in the house?"

"No," she replied, through gasping breaths. "My husband and son are playing golf."

"Ok. Let's stand up. Give me Molly and we're going to have to run through the fire to get downstairs and outside." She handed the baby to me and took my hand. I looked at her. "On three. One... two... three...." and we took off.

The flames were continuing to grow and had now reached the bottom level, covering the walls of the foyer where the stairs led to. We quickly made our way down the stairs, and as we reached the last step, my shoe caught on the rug, twisting my leg, wrenching my knee, and felt a sickening pop. I cried out in pain as the woman stopped and looked back. "Here," I grunted through the pain. "Take Molly and get out of here!" She hesitated, then took the child and ran through the open door. I forced all my weight to the my left leg and dragged my right behind me. The flames were now on the stair behind me. I hop-dragged myself through the door, seeking the fresh air outside and willing myself to ignore the almost-unbearable pain. I made it through the door and in relief, collapsed down the stairs in a heap, looking up to see fire trucks coming down the driveway.

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Or maybe I injured it playing softball trying to get back to second base to beat a tag.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

That is too funny. Whatever makes you feel better :)

Jim Voorhies said...

You should drive the Mustang to work more often instead of the Malibu, but selfless as you are, the wife gets to use it to ferry the kids around, I guess.

Matt Kelley said...

I think you should have killed a bear with one hand and a dozen Nazis with the other while you were at it.

Celticopia said...

Thanks for hopping by my desk to make me look at that Phil. I was going to hassle you for having a boring story, and then you went and did this, so it appears you are unconsciously paying attention!

Brennan said...

You did beat the tag. That was a {not fit for a family-friendly webpage adjective} call. If you get back out there, I might be able to forego my courtesy runner. That said, I'm certain you'd still be faster, crutches and all.

Murray Sanderson said...

I hope Molly's mother will help you pay for the surgery.

Future Mrs. Roeder said...

ha!

Cory said...

I just re-read this and for some reason it reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes strip.

Phil said...

That is actually a huge compliment. :-)

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