I have just found this letter in the depths of my computer files. I wrote it when I was just turned sixteen as a bit of English GCSE course work, strangely I think I probably also sent it to the Joanna it is addressed to. What’s even stranger for you (the reader) is that this is a completely true story. I haven’t read this for many years and had forgotten some of the more gruesome details. Physically I’m still paying the price for this moment of utter stupidity, it’s the reason I wear glasses, it’s the reason my teeth are badly chipped and it’s the reason every day of my life is cursed with back pain. I would say ‘enjoy’ but that’s probably the wrong sentiment for this piece…
How are you ? Thanks for your letter, When I got it I was lying in bed and my dad threw the letter to me and it landed covering my eyes and nose I smelt it and thought ah yes a letter from Joanne ! I got out of bed said hello to my fish and fed them and then got back into bed and fell asleep again ! No not really I got back into bed and read your letter. It made happy to read it but I was a bit ‘upset’ that I was a last resort for a bored person but I’ll forgive you!
Ouch! I have an explanation to make, The top half of this letter was written quite a while ago but I am now going to finish it ready to send to you. My excuse for not writing back is by no means a weak one I promise you. About about a week after a started this letter some I found horrific happened, I will explain… On returning from an adventure holiday with my c.p.v.e course (in the evening) some friends of mine came round to call for me and one of these friends drives, and we drove up to a local deserted airfield (Parma) anyway when we got their we all took turns to drive around in my friends fiesta (Gregs car) everything was safe and I was getting quite good behind the wheel. Anyway we stopped for a bit of fresh air and Greg and I stood on the back bumper leaning forward onto the roof pretending we were moving!?!?
Anyway the person currently in the driving seat (Ian) had the dimm idea to start the car and drive of, me and Greg had to cling on for dear life but loved it and the buzz of the danger of the car going just 10 mph. Over about an hour and a half the car got faster we got more daring. We started doing the more dangerous stuff like having the hatchback open and the seats down so that we could have the car going slowly and Greg and I would run behind the car catch up and jump up. The next thing we did was to just sit in the back of the car at around 30mph and dragging our feet on the broken concrete/tarmac surface of the airfield the progression from this was to stand in the boot, leaning out holding ourselves onto coat handles inside the car.
We did this many times and because we had slowly developed to this madness it didn’t seem all that stupid. The time came to around 10:15 and I had to be home in an quarterhour little did I know but I wouldn’t be home for at least another 3 1/2 . The car drove back to the far end of the airstrip with Greg and I hanging out sideways from the boot with our feet inside and our complete bodies outside. I was holding onto the little plastic thing surrounding the keyhole for the hatchback and the car turned round and without any time for a rest it sped of faster than it had before at around the 40 mph mark things were ‘fine’ until Ian the driver started to swerve violently from left to right. If you have ever seen a car going that speed swerving then you probably know how violently it throws its weight around. Because of this one time it swung particular hard to one way (the opposite to the side that I hanging on,) as it did this my hands slid of my anchor and as the car swung back the other way my hands completely missed the key thing that I was holding onto and I was thrown off the car….
To the tell the truth I can’t remember hitting the ground but the doctors later deducted and my witnesses in the form of my friends told me that I went up, came down hard landing on my face just next to my left eye, Bounced several times rolled and came to a gradual halt.
The first thing that I do remember is looking up and seeing the car 200 yards away and hearing a lot of noise. As I pulled myself to my feet my body throbbed all over and the whole left side of my face felt numb, an expanded tight mass. As I reached the car I stumbled and slapped down on the bonnet. As looked up to my horror I could see the people in the car staring at me open mouthed and silent the reason this shook me up so much is because they to me were blurred and somehow double, Greg came down from the position that I held a few minutes earlier and helped me into the front seat of the car. They wouldn’t let me look at myself in the mirror and told me,”Your in a bad way,your face is all messed up.” This assured me to no end and I just urged them to to take me home. On the way back in my ears all I could hear was an extremely loud buzzing like the feedback from a loud guitar and all I could see was a blur of lights and I felt so sick. I felt confused,panicy but a sort of drunken happiness. When I reached my house the other friend Paul helped me out of the car and to my front door, When my mum answered I held my gloves up to my face to cover it up as I felt some strange sort of shame over what I had done. I said nervously,”I have,” I paused to try and think of a suitable explaination,”I’ve had an accident.” By now I think my mum had figured this out and ‘thanked’ Paul and gently took me towards the car. We collected my dad from the local pub and drove to hospital. It wasn’t until about half way to hospital that I started to notice the pain, I couldn’t move my neck without feeling stabbing pains surrounding it and in my mouth I could taste my teeth like grit or sand in a sandwich and I could feel a gaping hole in my face on my cheekbone. I spent three hours in casualty that night and had fourteen x-rays. At breakfast the following morning I was still tired after an uncomfortable sleepless night with my neckbrace. I tried to eat some breakfast but apart from still feeling violently sick whenever I tried to bite my jaw together it felt as if it had rusty hinges. That Saturday I was at hospital for four and a half hours and I had another five x-rays to see if I had broken my jaw or cheek bone.
That day I was operated on, I had my face numbed by a cold local anaesthetic and then prodded around and emptied of any bits of the runway that I had taken with me. As he cleaned me up I could feel the skin being lifted away from my cheekbone and all the grit being emptied out. After much discussion between several doctors that I could see leaning above me staring into my face it was decided that I couldn’t have stitches because there wasn’t enough intact skin to attach them to, this meant that some bits of my face will be scarred forever. After being visited by other interesting people such as dentists and other clever people I was sent home with a out patient card in my hand. It wasn’t until three days after my mishap that I was eating properly again.
I still have recurring night and daymares recalling the moment of desperately grabbing at the car as I fell away from it. Also as ever I am entriged and mystified as to the strangeness of an accident in the way that one second before it happening you are perfectly okay and they next your life can be totally change forever.
Last Updated on February 18, 2023
Don’t let Alice see this;)
Andrew Culture says
It’s okay Steve, I won’t feel too bad about something I wrote sixteen years ago!
Andrew Culture says
I was speaking to my mum about this recently and the bit about the anestetic isn't true; they only sprayed a steriliser solution because my mum told them not to give me anything for the pain, she wanted me to learn a lesson!