musical associations

July 12, 2010

When I was 16 I fell off a horse and broke my collarbone.  I had to spend the next three or four days in bed — doing anything hurt, and the thing about a broken collarbone is there really isn’t anything the doctors can do to immobilize it.  You’d have to immobilize your entire torso, neck, and arm, and since the bone heals in like four weeks, that just isn’t reasonable.  So they put you in what they call a figure eight sling that restricts movement in your shoulders and holds the bone in about the right position and call it good.  (Actually, they used the sling to set the bone.  Put it on, tightened it, which caused my shoulders to roll back, which snapped the bone back into place.  Which caused 16-year old me to completely freak out because they didn’t tell me what was going to happen, they just snuck up and did it, which was probably the point, but man, bones are not supposed to make that noise, and it was right next to my ear which made it seem really loud.  Total freak out, I’m telling you.  I don’t even remember any pain, just that awful cracking sound.)

That first week of dealing with an essentially unimmobilized broken bone was sheer hell.  I took lots of codeine and lay in bed for a while.  The real hell of it was I was that despite the pain killers I was awake and unable to read.  I couldn’t hold a book.  So I listened to the radio and tried a couple of audiobooks (a dramatization of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was great until I realized that laughing hurt a lot).

Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” had just come out.  The radio station played it over and over and over and over again.  Surprisingly, I actually like the song.  But to this day, hearing it reminds me of lying in bed with that broken collarbone, staring at the ceiling, wishing I could move so I could turn the damn radio off.

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3 Responses to “musical associations”

  1. Jim Van Pelt Says:

    I have all kinds of musical associations, although they’re not as dramatic as your story.

    “They’re Coming to Take Me Away,” reminds me of the Littleton YMCA where I learned to swim. I remember hearing that song while standing at the concession stand, waiting to buy one of those huge, flat packages of blue taffy.

    “Satisfaction,” by the Stones. I didn’t have headphones in high school, but I would put my hip-high speakers one head width apart (facing each other), and lay on the floor between them.

    “Thick as a Brick,” by Jethro Tull. I had a big party at my house right after I graduated high school. My parents were out of town. The morning after, terribly hung over, I walked through my beer bottle littered living room while this album was playing.

  2. Jakk Says:

    Aww. =( I would of volunteered to hold the book and turn the pages after hearing that story. Seriously.

    I am really sorry to hear about the collarbone. That would of been hell for me too(the not able to READ…i could do without everything else). I was a total bookworm most of my life, so taking away my reading is the absolute worst.

    The only time i ever broke anything was from a horse, who stepped on my foot and broke my toenail right off my toe. I consider myself lucky not to have had serious injuries like you did.

    For me, anytime i hear either ELO or Journey i think back to my teen years. Sigh.

  3. Jennifer L Says:

    Heh. I was 9 when I broke my collarbone (or rather, when one of my cousins shoved me off my feet, causing me to land on my right shoulder with a very loud pop; I didn’t break it, he did).

    I got put in the same sling, and hoo boy, did it hurt like hell.

    I, too, have a musical association for that particular injury. Our local UHF TV station was having a week-long Twilight Zone (the original) marathon that week, so to this day, when I hear the Twilight Zone theme song, I have this unconscious tendency to reach up and rub my right collarbone. Ow.


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