Fragile
Did you ever go through a period in your life when it seemed like everytime you walked through the front door, you walked back in hurt? I did. Especially if I wanted to do sports. Take, for example, the time I was on the soccer team. Team thunder, we were, and we weren't the best, fastest, the slickest, or the ones with the trickiest plays. Actually we kind of sucked.
So one day we were in the middle of a game and I look up and I see the ball hurtling toward my face, kind of like a majestic star shooting through the sky. I had a second and a half to choose: my face or my arm. I chose the arm; there was something about a ball hitting your nose that just doesn't feel good. So I lifted my arm and WABAM! I could hear William Cohan saying, "Direct hit! Direct hit!" My wrist snapped back. It hurt, but I kept going.
We ended up losing the game and a few hundred dollars when we had to take me to the hospital. It turned out I tore a few tendons and ligaments. That was the first incident. Then in January, I was skating on the sidewalk on my new roller blades. I was feeling pretty good since I was avoiding the cracks and uneven pavement- brought to you by the great city of Vancouver, thank you very much. So there, I was skating down the sidewalk when, all of a sudden, I feel myself roll over a stick. The next thing I know, I'm watching myself go down and hit the ground. I think I must have passed out because I recall waking up and not being able to feel my arm. Then, believe me, I felt it. Have you ever seen one of those loony tune cartoons where Sylvester leans back and puts his hand on the stove, and all he does is say something's burning? Then he looks around, sees his hand turning red and starts freaking out? I guess its what you would call a shock factor, but whatever it was, it happened to me. When I saw my arm turned at this angle, it was just sickening. I felt my stomach roll, but the amount of pain pushed it back down. I sent my little brother to go get my dad and our friend Phil. They pulled me up and literally rolled me into the house. I don't remember where Phil went, but for a while it was my dad and I alone. I was sitting there crying, and my dad was trying to keep me from doing so by telling me the best kinds of jokes- dirty ones. So my mom comes home from work and takes me to the hospital. Since my arm was broken in two spots - my wrist and the middle of my forearm- they had to reset it. And I could choose from two options: get a shot and watch and hear them reset my arm, or go under and not feel anything until the pain meds wore off. I took the easy way out and went Australian - go down under. The nurses and doctors were really great. The stuff they give you before they do anathesia is totally awesome. I remember having to go to the bathroom so they wheeled me on my gurney. I don't like those little dress things they make you wear. Your butt can get real cold, real fast. On the way back I remember doing the wave and singing the Miss America song. The old people clapped. I guess they thought I was really good. A few hours later I found out why they call it laughing gas. I was laughing at the stupidest joke I had ever heard. One of the nurses told it to me when I had the mask over my mouth and nose. "A horse walked into a bar and asked for a drink. The bartender looks at him and says 'Why the long face?'" Then they told me to breathe then count backward from ten. Let me tell you, after nine I couldn't remember my own name. Is this arm stuff sounding familiar?
So the following year, I was in eighth grade and life was getting pretty good. I was playing basketball with a few friends of my brothers, and mine when the dog runs in front of me mid-jump. The dog was ok, but I had a sprained ankle. Mom thought it was just swollen, so I let that be that. Then the swelling wouldn't go down. So, mom took me to the doctors. I got more hospital bills, was only a few more damaged limbs from my own room with a nameplate, on a first name basis with half the nightshift staff, and a really cool pair of scrub pants. I had to sit through the entire Superbowl season with an ace bandage and crutches, hoping the other team wouldn't score since it was 5 seconds left in the game and tied, and I'd be able to tell my grandkids about the first Superbowl to ever go into overtime. I had a hard time walking around school the next day too.
The ironic thing was that the day I sprained it was exactly one year and one day after I had broken my arm. I have thought about other sports. I'm scared to do baseball, softball, gymnastics, or football. I would do yoga, but it seems too much like Kama Sutra, and that's just not right. Fishing is calming, but I tried to avoid that ever since I got the fishhook caught in my eyelid. On the other hand, maybe I could just learn how to play chess.