XIII: Another Near-Death Experience

You won’t believe this one. I had spent a buzzin’ couple of days checking out the very London-like Calcutta, including footy in the park & a trip to the races (didn’t bet just watch’d) – plus a very pleasant time with the three single Oz girls bare-chested on ketamine in a hotel room. However, I am a poet, & last Thursday morning I decided to take a trip to Plassey (xxiii), 150K north of here to check out the battlefield where Clive won Britain her first important slice of Raj cake. It was a cool trip & I hired a cycle rickshaw to show me what was left of any features of the field, all spent underneath a hot & shimmering sun. I’ve hit the Gangeatic plane now, & all one can see is alluvial flatlands at every turn. After a couple of hours pottering & musing on the dark dragonflies that darted hither & thither, my guide dropp’d me off at the bus stop where I hopp’d on a bus to Murshidabad, the capital of Clive’s opponent in 1757, the Nawab of Bengal. I noticed the driver was a bit reckless, but this didn’t phase me as I’ve gotten used to the crazy roads & nothing has happen’d… until now. I was happily cruising along in the middle of one of those days that makes life worthwhile when I black’d out. Regaining consciousness several hours later I found myself in a hospital ward, cover’d in blood & surrounded by my fellow passengers – some hook’d up to drips, moaning & in a pretty bad way. The fuckin’ bus had smash’d head on into a truck!

I took stock of my wounds… a face cover’d in minor scratches from flying glass (even my pockets had glass in them), two deep cuts to the temple (which still throbs painfully) & a completely fuck’d right shoulder. The hospital was pretty dire, & of course I have no insurance, so after blagging a sling I snook out the back (a burly security guard wouldn’t let me leave by the front) & caught a train to historical Murshidabad.  My first attempt at finding a hotel room failed – I was so tatty & torn & bloody they wouldn’t let me in. I was luckier the second time – a grotty pad in run-down place, I found a room & basically slept for 40 hours out of 48 – minor concussion I think. I ate my first food in two days last night & decided to head back to Calcutta to find a doctor as the one in Murshidabad couldn’t speak English & just gave me these drops – which are no good for a suspected fractured/dislocated shoulder.

I caught the 6am train back this morning, which took 5 hours. En route I spoke to a geezer. It turns out the crash was big news & there had been two fatalities. My second near-death experience in a week – I hope these fuckin things don’t come in threes! After a couple of days R&R I was feeling better ‘til I hopp’d in a rickshaw pull’d solely by a man who managed to find every pothole between the station & my hotel. However I’ve landed now & the geez on the train has given me the numbers of a couple of good doctors, so that’s tomorrows plan. Tonight, however, my favorite of the Oz girls (who are still around) is coming to mine with her weed to watch satellite TV & nurse me thro’ my pain (hopefully naked but for a very skimpy apron)

17/3/2002
Calcutta

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