Time well wasted

Sunday, September 21, 2008
You have to believe that life is more than the sum of its parts, kiddo.
From Hillcrest Sunset

I love HDR photography. Some people dislike it because it's so surreal, but I honestly believe it's a closer representation of what we see than a normal photograph, and to me that's the point of photography - to relive the moment. Which is why I'm glad I'm not a photographer, because I don't have to care what anyone else thinks. All I have to care about is what I like.

It's amazing all the good times I've had within the scope of this one picture, and I really didn't think about that while taking it. The late night stops at grubs, Bikes Blues and BBQ in the WAC parking lot, the jogs to Wilson park, nights on the Hog Haus balcony, the walk home from Dickson street, the tree branch that supported Blake on the night of 7 mugs, on the rocks, speak easy, Georges, running back to the house on snow nights, and so many more. West Ave has been good to me.

The title had nothing to do with the post. Its just a great quote from a movie I watched with Taylor the other day.
posted by Brian @ 12:44 AM   4 comments
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
West Ave and something about sand
From Hillcrest Sunset

I've lived at 7 West Ave for about 3 years now, and in that time there have been scores of great times (which Blake told me to write a book about, and the title had something about sand, but I can't remember it). From the Halloween parties to BBQ's, wine and cheese to just hanging out with the roommates. But I'd say at least half the stories that surround West Ave were not events that happened, but events that happened to us. I know I've told some of you this story but for the rest of the fans this is a new one.

It was sometimes last week, I think Tuesday maybe, 1 or 2am (days a times are a little fuzzy - it was all really a blur) and I was out like the 26 year old I am. I'm jarred awake by a banging on my door, I sit straight up. My first thought, of course, is that there has been another car wreck outside (it would make 3 for 7 West Ave so it wouldn't have been surprising). Instead the follow conversation ensues:

Billy: Hey... could you come help me with this?
Me(still half asleep): uh... .... .... do I need pants?

That's actually as far as the conversation went. I'm pretty sure Billy either didn't hear me or decided the question wasn't worth answering. I'm not 100% on why my first thought was the necessity of pants but my second thought was definitely "What the hell would he ask me to help him with that wouldn't necessitate pants?"

I went with pants.

I got outside to find Billy talking to one of the neighbors (who had woken him up), there were no wrecked cars so I was about as confused as I was 5 min previously. Billy yells over "we're taking Gray to the hospital." Gray is our neighbor, the house next door has been turned into apartments and Gray and his girlfriend live in one. We're not close, but they're definitely the friendliest neighbors we've had... and pretty much the only ones we've talked to (naked old dude and topless Dance Dance Revolution girl were just a bit too odd to go over and start a convo with). Apparently he has overdosed on something. Billy goes in to check it out.

I decided not to go into the house. I'm not good with these sorts of things, those who saw me the night of the piece of glass in the foot a few weeks ago can attest to my nauseous, pale as a ghost reaction to such things. Very soon after Billy comes out.

Billy(running): "We're going!"
Me: I'll lock the door (still not fully awake)

I hear the 'burban roar to life down the street and I run over to the neighbors. Three or four people come out with a limp, colorless body and put it in the back seat. I'm awake now.

I jump into shotgun seat and yell at the girl who won't let us close the door because she thinks he's going to be fine and if we take him somebody will get arrested. I yell to get back and grab the door behind me and we speed off into the night. The girls behind me (Gray's GF and the girl from the other apartment) are freaking out. They know what he ODed on but are talking about what they should tell the paramedics so he won't go to jail. I, in a voice that was probably too loud and harsh for the situation, tell them to "tell the people EXACTLY what he took. I don't want him to die!" While this is going on Billy is on the phone with, I'm assuming, 911. He's trying to get patched through to Washington Regional so they can know we're coming - all the while I'm watching out the right side yelling "Clear!" as we speed through red lights. The people on the phone are apparently attempting to send an ambulance. Billy's statement that we are, in fact, on our way, is apparently lost. It was only at this point that I questioned why we hadn't called an ambulance, but it was a little late for that sort of thinking. He finally convinces them to patch him through the hospital... at 70mph down Greg street.

We fly up to the Emergency Room entrance and of course no one is waiting for us. I get out and wave frantically at the staff sitting behind a desk. They send out a solitary nurse with a wheelchair - apparently Billy's warning had no impact. When she saw Gray's condition she hit the emergency button and more nurses and a bed showed up pretty quickly.

That was the last I saw of Gray that night. We sat in the cold bright waiting room for a while. I sat and stared into the wall. I didn't know if he was alive, I didn't know if he was going to be ok. I didn't know him well and I didn't know his girlfriend enough to be very comforting - but amazingly time flew.

After maybe an hour or so the staff told us to take the girls home. They weren't family so they couldn't tell us what was going on until Gray's dad got in from Little Rock.

Greg street at 40 mph seemed to go by slowly, at least until the red and blue lights started flashing behind us - Billy had not used his turn signal... and the cops knew who we were. I assume the hospital had called or 911 had. Either way they knew we were the ones who took Gray to the ER and apparently they thought we were on something too. They pulled everyone in the car out by me. I like to assume that it was the I've-definitely-been-asleep-for-a-while hair that told them I had been doing nothing this evening and that it wasn't that I was the least interesting person in the car, but who knows. We eventually got it sorted out and went home.

I talked to Gray a few days later, he was back at home and doing well. He later brought us over a huge bottle of Jager to say thanks for saving his life. All I could think to say was "all I did was ride shotgun..."
posted by Brian @ 7:10 PM   4 comments
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