Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I couldn't tell you-who could-if my current state is directly related to the posting of pictures of myself as a young, light-on-his-feet fellow, just below on this page, but the older I get the more superstitious I get, so it seems hard to dismiss the idea out of hand. The day after posting those photos I earned a free ride on a time machine and am now around 80 years old. Or at least thats what you would think, watching me from a distance or a height.

Sunday, minutes before the end of the second and final flag football game of the day, running and jumping to break up a long pass after I had let my guy sneak by me, I landed on my right ankle and just crunched it.

Hop-off-the-field-arms-over-the-shoulders-of-others crunched it.

And now I am 80.

It's not so terribly bad, really. Especially in this city, where everything is a rush. Is it? Not if you just cannot physically get there quickly, it isn't. Things are just going to have to wait. And if they don't, well, what the hell was I going to do, flap my wings? The transformation to Old Person Thinking is nearly immediate. The willingness to stop for the smallest reason, the blustering annoyance at Average Speed Walkers "cutting you off" in the doorways of stores. It's all right there.

Perhaps its all right there because it, everything, exactly the moment you are injured, is suddenly very far away. The five minute run to the corner bodega? Twenty limping, shuffling minutes. And I'm lucky. I'm only 80 on one side. I've still got another leg that can propel me to far away lands like the drugstore and bank on my bike. Did you know you could limp on a bike? Me either, but you can, pedaling along with one foot, and it must look hilarious...

I am very sorry I sent my camera in for servicing, as the visual is really quite colorful. A sort of Autumn Harvest palette of plum, pumpkin and maize-colored splotches flowing over a puffy pink package. It's really more like somebody slipped a large, translucent hot water bottle over my ankle and filled it with all those crazy colors...or a rotting fruit salad...

Or, you know those old ladies, the larger ones, who's thighs have given up and dropped all their skin to the floor, giving those women a kind of elephant ankle? Now imagine that ankle was tagged with graffiti. Its a little like that.

Not quite so much, anymore, to be honest. I just rewrapped it and after two days of ice and elevation it's only about two-thirds of its previous size. And in the nick of time. I start an installation job at 7am tomorrow, so the ankle is on notice. 6 hours to shape up. Nothing an economy-size box of coaches tape and a handful of anti-inflammatories can't fix, or at least make bearable. These are the moments it pays to be out of general construction and into the
lighter stuff.

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