|MY FIRST MORPHINE
Why is it that most of my “first times” seem to involve nudity? My introduction to morphine upped the ante by mixing in humiliation with full-frontal exposure. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In the spring of 1999, I was the #1 ranked pro-am Northwest road bicycle racer, which led to a cushy mountain-bike racing sponsorship. But all that ended abruptly while racing down a fast descent, when I collided with another racer, breaking my collarbone and pummeling to the dirt trail so hard that my helmet broke in half. The last thing I heard was my collarbone snapping – a crushing sound more thunderous than any John Bonham “When the Levy Breaks” drum mashup. An ambulance crew arrived immediately, and fearing I might have a broken back, they filled me with morphine and cut off my bike shorts and jersey with scissors to inspect my now naked body. I’m not sure what hurt more – my shoulder or my pride as I lay naked in front of the spectators while the crew slowly scooped me up and put me on a stretcher. I’m sprawled out on the race course for all to see and they cut off my clothes! I mean, didn’t someone think of at least shading me with a blanket? It was like Paramedics Gone Wild. One is shooting me with morphine while the others are cutting off my clothes. Add a disco ball and it sounds like a Head Like a Kite show.