June Softly

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ANCIENT RUINS written by ~ Neil Cotter

A long time ago, far away from where we are
we fought a battle for our lives in the shadow of stone mountains
Swinging, cursing, crying, screaming
All the sounds of war about us
when the sun rose we were but two
standing among the ruins not of what we were but of what we are
looking for the next fight
among the ruins

That's a photo of myself and my buddy Ruben Carril. We met on a forum for people who had been traumatically injured. We both got wacked on bikes so we hit it off right away. He lived in Cali and I lived in NJ but the bikes were the thing we had in common. Ruben was sideswiped by a car in traffic and forced UNDER the back wheels of a full gravel truck. He and the bike went up in flames and he was crushed from the pelvis down. After dozens of operations he finally had to concede his left leg was never going to be healthy again and he had to have it amputated above the hip essentially squashing any plans he may have ever had to ride again. His wife tried to take the home he owned before they were married. The people he had working for him in his business tried to take that from him also. They never caught the driver of the car that hit him and the truck driver was NOT held liable so Ruben was stuck with over a million dollars of medical debt, on top of everything else. He never blinked. He went to war with his now ex-wife, his employees and even the state of California in court and won! He got to keep his house, his employees had to pay him for the business and the State of California absorbed his medical bills. He met a girl on the internet from London. They started talking and hit it off right away. After a couple weeks she flew to Cali to meet Ruben. That was all it took. Ruben liquidated all his assets and moved to London. He said he was grateful for everything he still had but he still missed riding and didn't see how he would ever be able to do it again. (He was actually missing his left butt cheek so there was no way he could even sit on a bike or even a trike without sliding off the seat.) Until, I found this one contraption that was like half car, half bike! It had a bucket seat like a car but handlebars and an automatic transmission that made riding the thing possible for him. I sent him a pic of the thing just trying to get his spirit up and boy did he run with it. By the following week he had found a place in South Gate that rented them and had made some plans to ride with a guy who had a Harley. I told him, “If you can ride that thing, I’ll fly to London and we’ll go for a ride” He called me the following Monday and said “pack a bag cause we’re riding!” True to my word, I got on a plane, flew to London and we went for a ride to Stone Henge. I had a buddy who sold T-shirts here in the states who gave me the t-shirts you see in the photo at the top.
Ruben Carril in London

Not much sympathy here

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yup, it was a pretty cool ride