I said aloud, “I am cursed.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Since Thanksgiving things have sucketh mightily as my family says,” I said after a lousy run of luck over the holidays.
My book came out at a weird time before the holidays. It’s not a typical holiday read (a collection of short stories and/or workbook about breasts – yep people will be delighted to have that under their Christmas tree and/or Hanukah bush). Somehow I think even the pagans will have a difficult time justifying it as a Winter Solstice gift. Definitely not a hostess gift.
For a year, I have been limping through my yoga classes, teaching duties, counseling appointments, and onto stage to read my scribblings. I have a Morton’s neuroma, ganglion growth between the toes, necessitating some combination of painful shots, foot binding reminiscent of the Inquisition, and eventual surgery with an awesome recuperation in an attractive surgical boot.
Then there was the massive brouhaha with the heating/air conditioning/duct work/zoning/dampers replacement. I have heat and more than likely a fractured or chipped ulna. For over a month, I have griped about pain in my arm and numbness in my fingers to the point I can’t hold a cup. Probably happened moving carpet from the attic, down through the hole in the closet, down from the second to the first floor, then out the door across the parking lot to the dumpster.
When I tell people, “My right leg and arm are going to be in either a cast or brace of some sort,” they have not exactly been helpful or maybe I’m touchy.
“I can’t drive with my foot in a surgical boot. I have a manual transmission,” I said.
“Wait. It’s your right foot that’s broken?”
“Well you can’t drive an automatic either.”
“Yeah. Guess you have a point.”
Notice, he didn’t say, “And honey, I would love to drive you around when you need me.” What are friends for – good times it appears.
This morning I had a difficult time getting up. Stuck like a turtle on my back trying to figure out how to use my left arm to roll onto my right side to hoist myself out of bed. The cat watched for a whiie, meowed, sat on my chest for a minute to scamper down my leg knocking my foot against a book. Fat cat. Great, it feels like I have a collapsed lung, broken arm and great shock waves of pain rolled up from my foot into my hip. Tears, lots of them, not such a great way to start the day.
My yoga classes are composed of breathing exercises and standing poses avoiding anything on the ground and my imitation of a turtle stranded on its back.
I could go on with this laundry list of troubles. My shower has a leak that rivals Niagara Falls. My computer is running hot (I need a better porn site). My office is like the Arctic – luckily I hand out blankets as people come in for sessions. My iPod has developed little lines though it and that can’t be good. My Fiat has a poltergeist – the windshield wipers come on whenever. My plans for New Years collapsed along with my engagement. Yick. If I were a horse, I would shout me.
(You might be wondering how I am writing at the moment. One word – oxycodone. When it wears off, I better be at home, in bed, with the remote in my left hand and my foot up).
In my general clumsiness from the foot, arm, and escalating grumpiness, I knocked over a pile of photos. Trying to clump them together with my left hand and right claw, while swearing with pain, I picked up the photo posted here. My second husband took the picture after years of medications, two chemical menopause episodes and an eviscerating surgery a week earlier. I was ecstatic to be home from the hospital. My hair – on my head, eyebrows, eyelashes, everywhere – had fallen out and was beginning to grow in. I had lost twenty pounds. Had absolutely no make-up on. My first husband was telling anyone who would listen that I had died. I was 29.
My friend took the photo.
“You look like Lyle Lovette here,” she said.
“I can live with that,” I said.
“Good bone structure but not your best picture,” she said.
“I didn’t die and that was all I was asking for,” I said in conclusion.
It was a long recovery. Twenty-five years later, I complain about the little, painful, annoying but not lethal, indignities of living. While mechanics, techies, orthopedists, and a pharmacist would be helpful, mostly, I need this picture.
Throughout this new year, I want to remember – with gratitude – I am not cursed.