We had a Scenic Fights shoot a month ago on 9/11 and Pac had to do a throw. But, like I said, that throw went bad and he essentially dropped me straight down on my head.
Even though I landed directly on to the top of my head, because of the speed he was going at, and the height (maybe three feet off the ground), while it hurt like hell, I was ok enough to get up and finish my scenes.
This past Sunday, because Pez was able to watch the kid, I was able to do another shoot but, in hindsight, maybe it woulda been better if I’d not been able to make it.
First of all, I started getting an outbreak of hives. Think it mighta been a friend’s perfume because I remember my throat tightening when I met up with her.
Her: Are you ok?
Me: (coughing) I’ve not been ok for years now.
It’s been a solid week since then and things are about the same if not worse.
Now have a newfound level of respect and empathy for Mouse, who’s been dealing with this kinda stuff her whole life.
Still, I decided to just suck it up and go. The director had me go buy a mock-turtleneck to hide everything.
But that’s not even why the shoot was awful.
See, Pac was supposed to do this joke throw and, during a practice throw, he fully picked me up, at least five feet off the floor.
He misjudged the angle – and the there was some communication issues between him and the director – and he ended up dropping me on my neck onto the crash pad.
Despite there being three inches of normal padding and six inches of the crash pad, because of the force and angle, I legit thought I was gonna be paralyzed.
Haven’t been that terrified about anything since the kid went to the hospital and, of course, Alison before that.
Screamed out in pain and Pac later told me that the entire room went quiet with mouths agape.
Chad: (later) I remember watching that and thinking, We all just watched a man lose his body right now.
Went completely into my head and, for a terrifying 5-10 seconds, could not feel my feet.
Pac later told me that I was babbling that I couldn’t feel my feet but that I was wiggling them the whole time. In hindsight, he thought that was funny.
Him: Of course, at the time, I was horrified.
It took a solid five minutes or so for me to come to my senses. Pac said he immediately came over and put his hands on my chest and neck to make sure I was alive.
Don’t remember that at all.
The entire shoot paused for a solid 45 minutes – which we never do, as we’re usually racing for 10-14 hours straight with a 30 min break for food – so I could get my bearings.
Was pretty cloudy-headed and in intense pain for the rest of the shoot, although I did burst out laughing once I realized that I wasn’t paralyzed.
Only managed to finish two scenes before I had to head home. The rest of the night was ice packs and ibuprofen.
Don’t recall what I said to Pez at all when I saw her later on that night.
Pac felt awful about it, and everyone checked in on me that night and the next day, which was nice.
It was honestly life-changing. In light of what Mouse said to me earlier the previous week, I gave Pac a ring.
Him: Dude, I felt awful for you but I was also feeling sick that I might have crippled you.
Me: Yeah. (thinking) If anything good came out of this, I remember thinking, “I hope I die instead of being crippled for the rest of my life and be a burden to the kid.” But then I realized also that I really, really didn’t want to die.
Reached out to Gradgirl, in a manner of speaking. She’s not contacted me back, dunno if she ever will.
I’m not even sure it’s her getting my messages because we always communicated via this specialized app. It could be someone else entirely getting them or maybe she’s just deleting them as they come in.
But I hope maybe she’ll read one or two and maybe hate me just a little less.
She was a friend when I needed one and I hope I can be one to her, somehow, someday.
It’s funny, I thought a buncha things lying there – mainly the kid, of course.
Shit, he’s gonna be so fucked up.
In my haze, I also remember thinking, Alison’s gonna be so mad at me if I died and left the kid alone.
But I also thought of Mouse and Gradgirl too. Mainly, that I hoped I wouldn’t die with them hating me.
Him: (laughing) So, all thoughts of suicide are gone?
Me: (nodding) So gone, man. I don’t want to die at all. Was thinking that there’s so much I still want to do. With the kid, with a lotta things.
Him: So, you should be thanking me then.
Me: (laughing) I wouldn’t go that far, Pac…