Dancing Queen — Linda Jones
Linda Jones is an award-winning NYC based actor and voice coach currently working in audiobook narration and voice over, as well as theatre, film and television.
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07 Sep 2019 Dancing Queen

Gonna tell you a story ’bout a networking event, a dancing queen, and my very first drug trip. It was a sweltering Brooklyn summer night. Fireflies and and peacocks and colored lights. The air carried disco and lilac and twilight …and me. Well, for a very brief moment anyway.

You might call it a networking event gone wrong… or rather, I might call it that. A group of women (most of whom) I’d never met, I’d been invited to come along to this summer event—roller skating at the Dreamland Disco in Prospect Park. The theme was ‘Dancing Queen,’ and costumes were encouraged! (Thankfully I’d thought better of that.)

I arrived fashionably late and took my time getting situated—skate rental, lockers, and sea legs. I loved skating as a teenager, but wow these were a lot harder than I remembered—even just standing was a challenge. At one early point, the front piece of one of my skates fell off and I had to re-jigger it back on again. And then try to stand up again. I poked around slowly off-rink (discovering to my horror that there were divots and bumps that I’d need to navigate), trying to feel comfortable just getting from one point to the next. Once somewhat steady, I moved to the rink. And how could I not? The music was my youth, my age, my era! I found more confidence circling around and around a smooth surface, We Will Rock You and 867-5309 taking me from one end to the other. Sure I was shaky. But it was fun! And I was doing it!! And after a few rounds and a few rests, I decided I was confident enough to go find my group. The thread said they were at the bar near the far end of the rink, so I headed back that way.

Did I mention bumps and divots? Declivities? Yeah, so… those.
Did I mention the air carried me? Yeah, so… that.
Wow you fall a lot faster when there are wheels on your feet.

I never did meet my group. I never had a lovely beverage. The networking I did that night ended up being with the EMTs, the ambulance people, the hospital folk. And they were all very, very lovely.

I fell backwards onto my left wrist (a Colles’ fracture—boy, you learn something new EVERY day!), and when the roller rink staff asked me to stand up WITH WHEELS ON MY FEET, I said no. No thank you. I initially said no to an ambulance, too (our healthcare system is something for another post), but buckled under the weight of my deformed wrist (you could see the break). I arrived at the Brooklyn Methodist ER around 10:30 that Friday night, got home at about 9:30 the next morning. And in the hours in between I learned that I shiver when my body is in shock, it’s very hard to pee into a cup with one hand while wearing a hospital gown, I’m not pregnant, battery life is limited, and the doctors and staff at Brooklyn Methodist, while busy, are actually pretty fantastic. They took care of me. And I’m not just saying that because of the drugs.

Long about 6/6:30a (not sure how well I was tracking at that point), they were finally ready to reset my arm. They talked to me about the process, what would be done, how long it would take, what I’d be given: Ketamine. I laughed. Horse tranquilizer? Special K?? The LA party drug??? The young doctor smiled. Yes: I was going on a trip. In the wee hours he’d asked me to pick a piece of music that might put me in a good place—now he wanted to know what it was. He asked me to think about a relaxing place—and when I couldn’t, doc helped me out, describing a lovely overcast day on the beach. And to the strains of ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ I headed off on my first drug trip.

There are strange little bits and pieces from that trip in my memory, but most of it is long gone. And that’s just fine. I was just as happy to get out of there, the niceness of the staff notwithstanding. It was the start of an even stranger trip. This is my first broken bone, though not my first surgery, and I now have a metal plate and pins inside my body. After surgery they gave me fentanyl for the pain (my GOD the drugs at this place are AMAZING). And then John came and took me home. In a week or so the cast comes off and theoretically, things will continue to heal. I dunno. I’ve never done this before. I hope, I hope… but there’s still that niggling worry that walks with me day by day. Then again, that’s nothing new.

But please let me offer this bit of wisdom from my many years and single broken bone: if you’re headed to a networking event, please wear a helmet. And don’t, whatever you do, strap wheels to your feet.

Linda Jones
[email protected]
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