As I sat at eating beef wide rice noodles (乾炒牛河, gān chaǒ niú hé in pīnyīn) at Chen’s Kitchen (one of few Chinese restaurants in the Baltimore area that I’ve come across that serves this dish), I started reading Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath by Michael Paul Mason (click here to read my post about borrowing this book from the library).
Reading about young Cheyenne Emerick a struggling playwright in his 40s living in a dilapidated Hollywood apartment and suffering up to six seizures a day made me thankful for my generally injury-free life.
Cheyenne was just a young man when his love of snowboarding took him to Utah where he went of a jump at top speed, fell victim to flatlight (unable to see where the grey-white sky turned back into the ground) and landed in a quasi-cannonball position causing his knee to slam into his forehead and forever damaging his prefrontal cortex. Chapter One, The Hermit of Hollywood Boulevard, tells Cheyenne’s story and Mason’s inability to get him the help that he needs.
If it sounds intense, that’s because these stories of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often severe and permanently life-changing.
I will have to find some light reading after I finish Head Cases.
Click here to read an excerpt of this book.