This might not be all that exciting to read about in a long block of text…

The saga of the filthy fast-food restaurant floor, my injured foot, and the insurance company continues, but might end within a few days. This has been an ongoing distraction, one of the things that have been sapping creative energy this spring and summer, draining some part of my mental attention that would have gone to editing and creating. Part of why I’m suddenly inspired about SPQR Blues again could very well be because I can see an actual end in sight to this. Maybe this week, maybe a few months from now–but an end, not just limbo and frustration.

For those who haven’t been following on twitter–tweets starting on March 12–it goes thusly:

In March, after sitting on a panel at Bronx Heroes Comic Con’s Women in Comics event, I slipped on a disgustingly dirty, greasy, wet floor at a nearby fast-food joint and injured my foot. The only route from the counters to the main seating area was layered with a grey slick (you could see a long streak where I slid across it), and there was no yellow caution sign nearby to warn anyone. I tried to talk myself into thinking I could just get in a cab instead of the bus and go home and that would be the end of that. I really didn’t want to go to the ER–we all know what ERs are like. But when I tried to stand up, I couldn’t put weight on the foot. A witness to the whole thing said I burst into tears the second I put my foot down, even as I was saying I think I should just go home. But I couldn’t walk.

Then there was the whole business with the EMTs laughing at my driver’s license photo. Ugh.

It was embarrassing to be carried out by EMTs, required hours sitting in a wheelchair in a very cold ER, I had no food all day and evening, and I think I caught a nasty flu-like bug there. The wrenched back/neck went away fairly soon, but the foot lingered on. I spent the Ides of March sadly complaining on Twitter about the pain, and the rest of the month angrily complaining about the pain (sorry about that, people who read through the twitter feed). I missed Carmine Street days. I had to skip MoCCA. I hobbled around in sneakers and an ace bandage–I tried a low work heel too soon and couldn’t walk more than one step before it felt like my foot had been snapped in half (but on the plus side, I got to borrow these awesome shoes). I tried nice low heels again in June for a fancy French Embassy to-do in honour of François Mouly and managed a few hours. The macarons were delicious, but my palate does not understand paté.

Really, it could be worse. At the same time I was limping my way to Carmine Street and to an in-office freelance gig in the Flatiron, my poor interim boss was wearing a massive leg brace after surgery and having bits transplanted (he seems to be all better now, btw). But I don’t remember it taking this long to heal or hurting this much when I broke my toe.

So, I got the ER bills. Ouch, of course. The restaurant location ignored me until I pestered them. The restaurant’s insurance company mostly ignored me for four months–responded to only a couple of emails, ignored a huge number of phone calls. I’ve been chipping away at the bills myself, but money isn’t exactly free-flowing at the moment. The restaurant’s parent companies (these guys and these guys, if you want to know) peeped up once when I mentioned on Twitter that I filed a small claims suit in May. I still didn’t hear anything more until a week before the court date (which is this Thursday coming). A rep from the restaurant has tried, in two phone calls now, to scare me off in various ways, escalating the scare tactics when I ask questions. At this point, I think it would be more interesting and educational to go to a court hearing, see for myself how the process works, and draw/blog about it.

I’m not sure why they didn’t just review the bills when I sent them, then talk to me. Let’s just round the total to an even amount and be done, I suggested on Friday. “It’s a settlement, you don’t get everything you want,” the rep replied.

Um, remind me: whose hazardous place of business was it?

It’s not like I’m suing for a million dollars. I want to cover the medical bills, prescriptions, taxi rides to the doctor, court filing fees, and, because they didn’t think it was worth their time to reply to many efforts to contact them, I want a modest nuisance fee for a week of potential lost work when I couldn’t travel downtown to get things started with a freelance client. All of which would be less than the small claims limit in the suit, too. It’s a settlement. They don’t get everything they want.

As I’ve said, it’ll probably be much more interesting to go to the hearing, battle it out with witness vs. witness and videos vs. pics, and have something to draw about during the process…even though I’m not sure how gripping “re-filing court documents” and “sitting in grubby waiting room” will be as a four-panel strip. Maybe I’ll put everyone in togas, and give myself a Flavian up-do.

Tuesday ETA: I agreed on some terms to settle this before the hearing; the company’s lawyer changed and reworded the terms but says it’s still exactly the same; so after waiting, waiting, waiting on them, I now have to rushrushrush to read their wording carefully and decide if the differences matter (at the moment, I think they do…)