While standing in line to buy surgical pads today I had ocassion to think about something I rarely bother to consider. Motorcycle helmets. I know some people think they’re the devil. And that’s fine. Its not my decision to make. Usually when it comes up and I ask the response is “If I got in an accident on a bike I’m dead anyway.” That’s true. Helmets aren’t any kind of guarantee. But what if you don’t die? What if spend a week in a coma and wake a drooling vegetable? What if you wake and have the mental capacity of a five year old until the day you die? Lots of flippant answers jump out for this. “I’d be a vegetable, how would I know.” or something in that vein. That’s true also. But would you knowingly condemn your spouse, significant other, parent or whoever it is in your life that would love you enough to wipe your helpless, shitty ass every day? I want to say I can’t imagine the hard nights and stressful days of managing something like that. The directionless anger and sadness and tears that coping with caring for that would bring. But I saw it standing in that line. Val got hit today on a green light by a car making an illegal right on red. Haven’t seen the bike yet but she’s ok. Broken wrist, some pretty good road rash (even with a bike jacket with those ridgy armor things) and scratches. But looking at the front of her helmet, she wouldn’t have a face of she wasn’t wearing. The above picture is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And I’m glad she’s here and ok. If you ride, you’re someone’s most beautiful thing. Wear the damn helmet.
The clock said 6:28 and I sat bolt upright. Shit. I should have left for work 40 minutes ago. As I’m swinging out of bed I realize it’s the weekend and I’m an idiot. But an idiot with 3 more hours of sleep in front of him. I’m already up so I guess it’s a good time for a drink of water and a piss. Stumbling my way to the kitchen I flip the light and stumble over Dharma, our aging Brittany. “Sorry, Dharma.”
No response from her which I think is weird but whatever, I’m thirsty. Drinking deep I close the fridge and lean down. Something’s wrong. She’s cold and isn’t breathing. “Dharma…. (shake)… Dharma.”
I’m really alarmed and wide awake now so I run to the bedroom. “Val.” As I come around nudging her shoulder. “Val. Something’s wrong with Dharma. Val, wake up. Val.”
Some part of me knows something is wrong and I pull the covers off of her. Nothing. No rising or falling of her chest. I put my ear to her mouth and nose. I don’t hear anything. I put two fingers to the left side of her throat. Nothing. Just cold. I’m barely containing a freak out and grab my phone off the charger, punching 911.
"This is 911, what’s your emergency?"
"Something’s wrong with my girlfriend. She’s not breathing and cold. I’m going to start CPR." I run off my address. "She wasn’t taking any meds. No history of chronic ailments, The front door will be unlocked. Please hurry."
I drop the phone on the bed and run to unlock the front door and head back to the bedroom. “Shit,” I think. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, FUCK.”
I haven’t been certified for CPR in years. I start compressions. Then assisted breathing. Compressions. Breathing. Compressions. Breathing. Over and over. Not thinking. Mechanical. “Come on sweetie, come back.” Compressions. Breathing. There’s no response.
My little brother’s a paramedic when the county runs short on the schedule and there are plenty of firefighters on call. I’ve heard enough stories to know how this plays out. Breathe. Compressions.
I hear the front door. “Back bedroom!” I shout. A police officer and two EMT’s come in with red bags. I step back and realize for the first time that I’m naked. I slide pants on. I can’t see what they’re doing but after a hurried few moments they slow. “I’m sorry,” I hear one of them say. But I’ve stopped seeing them. There’s just nothing.
"Sir. Do mind telling me what happened here?" I’m staring at nothing "Sir." The cop puts a hand on me. I look at him blankly.
"Why didn’t Tessie bark when you guys came in?" He looks confused. "Tessie!" I call and get no response. "Tessie!" Still nothing. I look at the cop. "Whats happening here?"
He looks at me, “I was hoping you’d tell me.”
I walk through the whole house turning on every light. “Dharma! Tessie!”
The cop grabs my arm. “Sir you need to calm down.”
"I don’t understand," I say. Dharma is laying in the kitchen, motionless. Tessie lays in the floor of the sunroom, also motionless. Just like me. I stop.
"Why don’t you sit down for a minute," says the cop. I just look at him and he leads me to the couch. "What happened here?" he asks.
"I woke up and thought I had to go to work, but it’s Saturday. I went to get some water. And I noticed the dog was dead. She’s old and I wasn’t sure what to do besides wake up Val. She was dead too. And now Tessie’s dead. They’re all dead. I don’t understand."
The cop looks at me for a long time. “Can you stay here for a minute?” he asks. I nod my head, staring at the hair sticks on the coffee table I made for Val to wear at our wedding. We’re getting married in a month. We were going to bring Dharma and Tessie along with us. Found a house that will allow pets which is next to impossible. Val is going to be a mess about Dharma, I think, as the cop moves around the house.
More people in uniforms come in. A girl in a uniform sits next to me and asks me to tell her everything I remember. I do. “The wedding’s in a month… I don’t understand”. She just nods and writes something down from a pad she got from somewhere. The first cop comes back into the living room and motions to the girl on the couch. I’m still staring at hair sticks. I hear “no sign of struggle or forced entry” and “dead for awhile”.
The girl in uniform sits back down and the first cop stands on the other side. “Sir, you’re going to have to come with us for a while so we can have some people look at this place and figure out what happened.”
"Where are we going?"
"For a ride. You hungry?"
"No. I’m not hungry. Is Val ok?"
"No. She isn’t ok. She’s dead. I’m sorry."
I don’t hear or see or remember anything else I’m just sitting in the back of a police car and I wish I had a shirt because the fake leather stuff is cold on my back. Why don’t I have a shirt? Why am I in a police car? I look up and watch the blue and red lights play on the front of the house. I should have cut the grass. I didn’t know we’d be having people over. What time is it? I open my eyes. It’s six twenty eight.
House Boisseau of the Reach. Born from the armsmen of a dead house lost to antiquity by William, third of that name.
In the early days of the Targaryen invasion, the Lannisters, to strengthen their borders and gain access to cheap lumber and iron took the hold of Irongrove, north of Old Oak near the border of the Westerlands. An unremembered harbormaster was bribed to allow Lannister longboats to land in the night, taking the town. The harbormaster, all the nobility and any that refused to bend the knee were put to the sword.
After allying with House Tully, Aegon swept west like a forest fire. With limited resources he was quick to accept local allies and all that would swear to him found a place. Among the mercenaries and refugees was a squire William Boisseau, 3rd and last of his line. When asked why he was enlisting he answered simply, “To kill Lannisters.” He fought in the vanguard the next day and every day after until Aegon held the Iron Throne. He rose quickly through the ranks but refused all other posts, insisting on fighting in the vanguard as long as they were in the west.
The true birth of House Boisseau came during a feast in honor of The Smith when the conversion of Aegon was still fresh and he had the zeal of a fresh convert. Assassins struck with knives and arrows. William sounded the alarm and killed four, taking an arrow that would have otherwise claimed Aegon’s sister and wife Visenya. The arrow nearly killed William. When he returned to consciousness, Aegon visited him personally in the med tent and offered him title and land of his choosing. He relayed his story and named Irongrove.
For his sigil he chose the phoenix for himself and for his plans for Irongrove. The first sword (left) was for that of his father who died. The smaller offset sword was a reminder of his time with nothing but that sword. The Fleur De Lis was later awarded to House Boisseau by House Tyrell after the War of the Ninepenny Kings.
Currently House Boisseau still maintains a keep in Irongrove. They can field only 1500 armsmen and are known mainly as skilled ship builders, blacksmiths and carpenters. Their loyalty to the Targaryens did not survive the reign of the Mad King Aerys. During Robert’s Rebellion they fought alongside the Baratheons. Their hatred of the Lannisters survived. They maintain strong ties with the Greyjoys, providing material support for raids along the coasts of the Westerlands. House Boisseau is ruled by Jon who has yet to provide an heir. His brother Micheal is Master at Arms and heir apparent.
We all have that one friend we place bets on as to how they’re going to bitch out next
In a forest of doubts, chopping down trees to build a siege tower for an assault on you fortress of self regard.