What a difference an “I” makes.
Tonight, right now, Nancy and I should be at "Noma", the revered, nearly-mythical restaurant of Rene Redzepi in Copenhagen that reopened last week after being closed for a year to "reinvent" itself as Noma 2.0.
Instead, we are at "Nima", a ward in the RigsHospitalet, Denmark’s premiere trauma center where Nancy is under “observation” after a brutal fall on a main street of this capital city.
To ease the concerns of the multitudes who love her, Nancy is fine and resting comfortably, and will be out of the hospital tomorrow. And if anyone has a problem with me writing about our tumultuous day, well, I applaud you. I do, because I didn't want to, but Nancy Silverton told me to write the story. And she even approved the photo.
Nancy and I had finished lunch at a place called Relae, had strolled through a cemetery whose rooster includes Hans Christian Andersen, writer of fairy tales including "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling", ( Not that either of us knew this) and someone named Kierkegaard, apparently an "existentialists", something I have no idea , none, what that entails. Nancy - just now - described it as "a movement" revolving around 'What's the point?" thinking. She asked me why I am asking about existentialist and I said because that Kierkegaard guy in the cemetery was one. She replied "Oh, he was?"
I read that above graph back to her just now and she laughed. How sweet that laughter..
Seven hours ago there was no laughter. As her and I walked along a boulevard, she tripped on a cobblestone and fell. Fell hard .
In a life often frequented with frightening sights, seeing Nancy fall so shockingly fast and not being able to stop it, hearing her head “thud” onto the concrete, not hearing any response to my voice as I held her head, well, that was the single most terrifying moment of my life.
Three kind bystanders knelt with me, One at my urging called the paramedics Moments later, in the distance, I hear the wail of an emergency siren, among the most comforting of all sounds.
As paramedics rushed her to this hospital there was just "Yes worries.". The look of concern on the paramedic's face riding in the back with us as he read her high blood pressure in the back sends my Worry to Worry 2.0 After initially being comforted at the arrival of the ambulance, I return to scared, .closing-in-on-petrified, as Nancy keeps asking me over and over and over again "Where are we?" and then - after I say "Copenhagen" - she asks over and over and over again "Why are we here?" She doesn't understand what "Noma" means.
At this hospital's Emergency Room, blessedly nothing like the frenetic scene at County USC where I was recently to see a wounded female LAPD officer, a team of doctors and nurses ready her for a CT (Cat) scan to determine their biggest concern; is her brain bleeding?. A Dr. Matilda, with the bluest eyes, explains to me if her brain is bleeding badly, extreme measures might be required. Then she comfortingly says based on everything she observes, she doesn't think that is the case.
Still. Being from a nationality of underrated worriers. it is hard to hear that . I strain to stay positive. I think of my go-to quote during times of stress, a bastardized line I use from Mark Twain, "Some of my biggest worries never happened." This day in Denmark, Mark doesn't soothe me.
Twenty minutes later, Dr. Matilda tells me "There is some hemorrhaging ( one of the planet's worst words). She is bleeding from the brain, but, it is very minor. Very slight. She senses my emotions and Dr. Matilda holds my shoulder and says "The best place for her is right here. Your wife is going to be just fine." That's music
The doc says they will keep her overnight - maybe two nights -for observation.
Nancy gets pushed on a gurney up to the 9th floor. Already her memory is getting better. She recalls the cemetery and lunch. As we enter an area for observation a sign on the wall proclaims it "Nima". She points to it and says - now fully aware of Noma - and says "Nima , not Noma."
She settles in the room. Both of our cell phones are nearly powerless, but we try to get a hold of Jonathan Gold and Laurie Ochoa, our dining companions tonight at Noma. I can't get through. Fortunately, Ruth has called on another matter and I tell her the situation and she gets to them.
Two hours later, some food arrives from Noma with this note. "So sorry to hear about your fall, and to miss you tonight. Come back ANYTIME. Rene."
Breaking news As I type that above quote Nancy , laying in the bed, wires stemming from her body. just said "Michael, when you get a chance, I need my lipstick"
That's the point.