Sunday, March 25, 2012


For my 27th birthday I got a plane crash in the woods. I got a growler of Icicle Beer left on my doorstep from a group of boys whose arms I use as a pincushion for my shaky IV sticks, and a foil balloon from a quiet boy who was raised inside of a cult in Texas. I got an Alaskan paramedic smiling as he handed me a plate of chocolate, lit up with candles, a room full of huge ex-marines and special agents and arctic mountain guides dressed in long underwear singing to me and raising bottles of Icicle's double porter. And I got a huge, fat-flaked snow storm that lasted for days. 
Not a bad start.
Hell, it's everything I ever wanted.
The gratitude I feel at being here, at being twenty seven years old and having done everything I've done and now being in this place, learning these skills, is utterly overwhelming. I wake up in the middle of the night aware that my brain, in my unconscious state, is quietly and meticulously reviewing everything I learned the previous day. It's three in the morning and I wake up whispering the Glasgow Coma scale and oxygen flow rates. I can run much longer and much faster than I do at home, which isn't saying too much, but it is saying something. Every new person I've met, every moment spent on the ridge in the snow at night monitoring someones broken body for signs of shock, every tracing of the blood's path through the heart and lungs, every word that leaves my instructors mouth becomes fuel for me, a combination of motivation and inspiration and fear and adrenaline. I feel like I've been gunning the engine for weeks, but I can't actually go anywhere until I've passed all the exams. It's building up, an ever increasing pressure inside my vessels. My respiratory rate is increasing. My pulse rate is hummingbird high.

I feel like I'm coming apart at the seems, as if my body is no longer a sufficient vessel for everything I'm coming to understand. I would not be surprised if, one day this week, I stood up at my desk and split cleanly apart, floated away. If I can keep my hands in time with my head, ensure that they are able to work the ropes and the needles and tubes as fast and easily as my brain can see it all written out in front of me, if I can run as fast as my heart rate, and if somehow I can someone manage to voice the things inside that need to be said, pure and exact and nothing more, if my physical actions are as focused and direct as my mind is quick, then I have a chance at staying whole.
Late Twenties? How.....? 


Nick Best said...

Welcome to the 27 club! Heres hoping we survive it.

Cassandra said...

Loved this post, Lina. :)

Cassandra said...

Loved this post, Lina. :) And happy birthday!

Ren said...

Love it, and that's the best pic of you eva! :)