Film critic down

My Concussion is like a small pet. I have to take care of it and bring it on quiet walks.

I have a mild concussion. It’s like having a small pet. I have to take care of it, and bring it on quiet walks. It has become both a burden and a solace. I now blame everything on The Concussion, every little mental lapse. Which is convenient at a certain age. It seems way cooler to say “I was hit by a car” than “I’m having a senior’s moment.”

It happened a week ago Friday. I cycling up Yonge St. at rush hour after a workout at the Y (confirming my theory that most injuries are incurred by vain attempts at physical self-improvement). I had every intention of getting off Yonge St. at the next intersection, knowing that it’s not the wisest route for cycling. But the road was free of snow and ice, and nominally safe. I was doing nothing wrong, just minding my own business, when a car sideswiped me. I think his mirror might have caught my handlebars. It happened so fast, though I had enough time to swear at the driver as I went flying. My head hit the pavement first, and as it bounced off the tarmac and other limbs touched down, I remember thinking: “The helmet works.” Then I was lying on my back with a searing pain in my groin Later it turned out that something, some part of my bike, ripped through my jeans and torn through some muscle. I suppose I was fortunate. A few inches to the left and . . . shudder. My right shoulder was also hurt, plus some scrapes and bruises.

I didn’t even know I had a concussion until I started having dizzy spells in the days affer the accident. I saw a doctor, who certified the concussion and urged me to avoid exertion, mental work and emails until the symptoms subsided. He didn’t mention blogging per se, but I have a feeling I’m typing against doctor’s orders, which makes it feel strangely illicit. There have been some alarming news reports on the lingering effects of concussion lately, and my wife advised me not to read them.

The car that hit me was a black Mazda driven by the executive producer for content of a Canadian entertainment company that shall remain anonymous. As a member of an endangered profession—film critics at mainstream print outlets—of course I’m now paranoid that this was part of a conspiracy to eliminate my kind.

I was due to travel to Toronto to the Victoria Film Festival three days after the accident. Although flying is not recommended for concussion, I decided to go ahead with the trip.
Watched an action movie on the plane called Eagle Eye, which gave me vertigo. I have no memory of it. The Victoria Film Festival turned out to be a relatively relaxed event: if you had to have a concussion at a festival, you could do a lot worse. You wouldn’t want to have a concussion at Cannes. Tomorrow I’ll post reportage from the Victoria Film Festival, featuring Don McKellar, Barry Pepper and Lianne Balaban. But now I must rest my head.