There I was, lying in the landing area. I kept thinking that I ought to be able to push myself up to a sitting position, but I just couldn’t. Lug said, “Don’t even try. Just lie still.” Thanks, Lug.
Within a minute, half of Hoffman Bros. was there, too. He’d been standing by the runway, waiting to take a passenger up on a tandem jump. He saw my landing and knew that something was wrong. No matter how much my landings had sucked before, I had always applied brakes. I hear tell that he immediately turned his passenger over to the safekeeping of someone else, took off the rig, and broke into a run.
Then T showed up. T manages the dropzone. Together, T and HHB managed to get my helmet, gloves, and rig off without moving me out of my slumped-over-can’t-sit-up position. Then T said, “Let me help you out of your jumpsuit so they won’t cut it off in the emergency room.”
What a good idea.
Except that, as I told T, it was the first time EVER in 313 jumps that I wasn’t wearing shorts under my jumpsuit. Every other jump, I had on at least bike shorts and, depending on the weather, sometimes long underwear and yoga pants. It was supposed to be hot that day, and, while getting dressed, I thought, What the hell.
Granted, I had on some fine-looking underwear from Aerie. But I didn’t want to be lying in a field in them. Remember the underwear; they come into play later.
So we left my jumpsuit on me. An EMT who happened to be skydiving that day came over and we had a conversation about whether I should go to the ER by car or ambulance. By this point, HHB was kneeling with my head between his knees to keep me from moving it, so it wasn’t much of a conversation. I really, really wanted to pick ‘car,’ but my better judgment won out, particularly because my neck hurt so much that I couldn’t imagine sitting up or walking to a car.
T called 911 and, a few minutes later, the sirens arrived. That was the beginning of The Faces.
From that point on until after sometime on Tuesday, all I saw were faces and shoulders bending over me. The first few new faces I saw while lying in the field looked really young.
Then Mike showed up and took charge.