I decided to take ‘ol Henry to Hawaii with me to visit a friend. See, I had been planning to go to Hawaii. It would be a retirement present to myself. Go me! I had a ton of miles saved up on my credit card so, mah flight was basically free! WHAT? You heard me! When this trip was originally discussed I was somewhat single. Being the amazingly loyal daughter, I am, or the Stockholmed kicked puppy, I told Rachel I’d probably be bringing Momster. Momster had been saying I “owed” her a trip somewhere. I was awarded settlement money for a pharmaceutical lawsuit that had finally ended. From suffering I had to endure with complications to birth control. #PharmaHormonesAreBad When the time came, Momster refused to take the time off for a trip. Alone time with daughter? Better not! There’s no value added, we’d have to talk to each other and I have no spawn for her to imprint on. RUN AWAY! She has refused to take a weekend mother-daughter trip to see me here in Florida the six years I’ve lived here. Some 7.5 measly hours away with room, board and meals taken care of. Why in fucksakes would she do this? Maybe because she let me take her to Ireland without complaining?…I digress this isn’t about Momster. She removed herself from this story…
By the time the trip came around I added Henry to the manifest without mentioning this to Rachel. With my travel points I was getting a BOGO Deal. At least that’s the only thought that was going through my head. Rachel’s house. Rachel’s extra car. I was only covering the airfare. This sets up the entire story for the trip…my deceit to Rachel.
I told Rachel about Henry about a week before the trip. To which she informed me I could find somewhere for us to stay. We weren’t welcome at her place. We were going to need a car too. Henry took this personally. I did too, but deep down I knew I was wrong. Rachel was calling me on my inability to stand up for myself in relationships. Flights were booked though. Hawaii or bust. Henry was good at being a drama queen! This was clearly between Rachel and me. Why couldn’t he see that? I had omitted information. It was my fault. Why was he so mad? Fix Yo Face Man! You’re still going to fucking Hawaii on my dime. I mean fuuuuuck, couldn’t he be happy we were in motha fuckin Ha-wai-yaa? My grandmother used to say Hawaii like “How ah ya” in a thick southern accent. Get off my ass about my fuck up with my friend! You’re making me hate myself more than I already do. The trip was to spend time with Rachel and because of my people pleasing, I pleased the wrong person!
Our second night in Hawaii, we were out at a karaoke bar that Rachel had mentioned was popular. It was also near her house. To this point we’d only talked via text. She was doing a great job of dodging me. I was hoping she’d give in and finally come see me. There we were in the bar where I asked for a Jameson neat and if the waitress knew where I could score and weed. back up a bit…Henry was an avid toker. He was taking an unwelcome break from the ganja due to the aviation aka TSA leg of the trip. All in all, he was being extra grumpy! On top of berating me about the Rachel situation. I thought maybe it would take the edge off. I’d heard scoring Pot in Hawaii was hella easy. It was a bust. No dice. No doobysnacks for Henry. I ordered my second Jameson neat and the arguing between us wasn’t getting any better. Rachel wasn’t showing up. I had really fucked up my friendship with her hadn’t I. I had only taken a sip or two when I heard
my breath caught in my throat. The song my dad and I danced to at my sham wedding. The wedding was a sham, but the family event was very real. The love I felt from my dad that day was real. A song I had forgotten about that had been hidden deep down. Not as obvious as the other 70’s rock ballads or Johnny Cash. Fucking Aerosmith! I ran outside the bar. I couldn’t take it. Tears were streaming down my face.
Henry sat at the table glaring at me like I was a freak of nature. After a few moments he came out to see what the fuck had happened for me to jet off. Not noticing I was clearly in distress, he laid into me about leaving him alone. After the song was over, I moseyed back in to realize my half-a-Jameson was left inside unattended. Great, who knows what people put in drinks around here. We paid the bill and planned to leave. Didn’t quite make it to the car and fought in the parking lot for what I can only describe as WAY TOO LONG! There was a McDonald’s across the way too. What was it about us and fucking parking lots?
His entire argument? Rachel backed out of being a part of our trip leaving us to our own accord because she wanted me all to herself. Henry got in the way of her big lesbian adventure plans with me. That’s what was going through his mind… I’m in Hawaii, fighting with my significant other trying to justify my sexual orientation. I couldn’t take a break from the fighting to have a break down about my dad…I was under constant bombardment from Henry about Rachel’s absence. He wouldn’t take, this is between Rachel and me. I fucked up our friendship because of you Henry. Rachel’s beef isn’t with you, it’s with ME! The only conclusion he could come to was calling us lesbians again. We were yelling in the parking lot in the rain, outside of this bar. All over how someone else reacted to what I did. I felt all the blood rush to my ears and there was a ringing. All of a sudden through the ringing I heard this carnal screaming. The sound was coming from me! I’d had enough! We were in public! In the fucking rain! Fighting! On vacation! The place we were staying was only 2 miles away. One exit down the freeway. I told Henry to get in the car. Shut the fuck up. Don’t say a fucking WORD about Rachel God Dammit. Just let us get back and we will discuss again there. He agreed with fright in his eyes. He had never heard a sound like that before. From me. Or from anyone.
Oh yea, did I mention at the time we decided to trek from Florida to Hawaii we left a very busy Hurricane season. While two named storms were in route to our coast, Hawaii was also being bombarded with two storms. Luckily, they were minor, and we did a swap out. I got on the road and we rode in silence as I turned off the freeway toward our Airbnb house. As soon as I made the right hand turn I heard him spit out “So Rachel…” Adrenaline started pumping through my veins. I was having a fight or flight response behind the wheel of a car. My right foot pressed the pedal down. This road was a windy downhill slop and it was wet from the weather. Oh yea, it was night. I heard Henry scream “Dena Slow Down!” The curve in front of the church came up so fast. I turned left but turned too much too late.
The tires couldn’t grip. We slid. The car flipped numerous times, I think the report says 3-4. Over an embankment, through a fence, down into a parking lot. Barely missing a parked car. Landing wheels down between two concrete light poles.
I don’t remember flipping. I remember going off the road and being back on the ground immediately. If I lost consciousness it was only for a few seconds, but it was for the brunt of the impact. I will give a small shout out here to my rental car, the Volkswagen CC Coupe. Thanks to my Capital One Venture Card, I was able to upgrade from a standard to a luxury vehicle with all around airbags. What’s in your Wallet? Right?! That car absolutely saved our lives that night. If I had been my regular cheapo self and done the regular rental thing, there’s NO WAY we would have survived that crash.
As soon as we were on the ground I was asking if Henry was alright. All I could think about was getting out of the car. What if there’s a fire? Get away from the car! So that’s what I did. My shoes had been knocked off in the accident. Along with my Fitbit that was never recovered. I’d find shoes later, get away. I got out of the car on my side. I can’t remember if Henry got out on my side or his. He was holding his arm and his ribs. What the fuck did I do? Henry and I were crying together plotting our story of a stray mongoose on the road. Thank Gouda he didn’t point at me and say “officer’s take this crazy bitch away…”
Rachel made her first appearance once we were loaded up in the ambulance. We sat and talked in the hospital room while they checked Henry out for his broken shoulder and busted ribs. The hospital treated me like a criminal expecting my blood alcohol level to come back off the charts. When it came back way under the legal limits and seemed to jive with my story there was no change to my care. I wasn’t checked out except for some pain to my right wrist.
Henry and I didn’t last long after the accident. I stuck with it longer than I should have. In the back of my mind I was afraid he was going to sue me. In hindsight, he probably would have, he got a little vindictive. More importantly, I’m so very thankful Rachel didn’t toss me to the curb. She taught me a very powerful friendship lesson. I’m super stoked to say I got to return to Hawaii, sans man, and enjoyed a badass week with my girl before she moved back to the mainland.
Do I have a point to this story? Sisters before Misters? Yea you can say that. More or less this is the same lesson I’ve been touting since the beginning of this blog. Truth. If I had spoken the truth to Rachel all of this would have been circumvented. The truth is still coming out about the damage this accident did. I was so ashamed of what had happened, I didn’t mind that the hospital was more worried about my passenger than it was me. If you’re in a car accident, get checked out! Even if you may think nothing is wrong. I got back to the mainland and as the months passed I realized my back and pelvic areas weren’t right. My chiropractor found evidence that I had transverse process fractures of L2 and L3 and further progressed my spondylolisthesis of L5/S1. All the damage in my left brain was apparent once I received my SPECT Image brain scan. I know this accident has to be where most of the damage stems from. I mean I’ve hit my head quite a few times being clumsy here or there throughout the years…but nothing like rattling it around in a flipping car going over a cliff.
Gotta take care of yourself folks. Even after you fuck up. Maybe especially after you fuck up. While you’re beating yourself up in your head about the bad choices you’ve made. Take some time to reflect on why those bad choices were made so you can take a different path next time.