My hospital stay lasted ten days. I guess the doctors wanted to be sure there were no hidden side effects or brain damage. After all there was little else they could do, a linear fracture doesn’t need to be set, nor like a dental cavity be “filled in.” My head wasn’t even bandaged, a la the soldier on the cover of my comic The War between the States (a giant Classics Illustrated version).
As I recovered in my hospital bed, my family visited, and I had a couple of roommates. The roommates must have cycled out faster than me, because I don’t remember any of them. Or maybe we were all just focused on the TV mounted on the opposing wall.
I do remember watching some daytime TV, whatever was on (NOT soap operas), usually reruns or old movies. Of the latter in particular I recall Tarzan of the Apes, the Johnny Weismuller/Maureen O’Sullivan version. The exciting part was the search for the elephant grave yard, and Tarzan swinging through the trees and that cool yell of his that let us know that help was on the way. And oh yeah there was some kind of love story between Tarzan and Jane.
I taught myself something cool. The hospital supplied playing cards but instead of playing solitaire with them, I taught myself how to build a card castle. I used the table top that swung on an arm over my bed at which I ate my meals. It was hard at first, getting those first cards to balance at their tops against each other. And if you could get the next pair to stand beside the first, you could place a single card to bridge the top of both and help stabilize the structure.
I ended up with a classic structure as things go, a first row of six pairs, topped with a row of five, then four – three – two, and one pair at the top. All with one deck. After a while my fingers became quite adept, and I could slap together a castle quickly and without any collapsing. It helped, giving the cards a sleight curvature so at their tops they met at two points.
But as they say, all that goes up, will come down. And so they did. And likewise things come to an end, and so did my hospital stay.