Monday, June 23, 2008


A few weeks ago I was having brunch with a few friends at a local eatery. We all agreed to met around 11:00 a.m. I rode down into the Fan about 10:45 with plenty of time to spare. Since it was a wonderful spring day, I enjoyed the slow ride through the streets of row houses way over priced. I locked my ride and walked into the establishment.
After announcing the reservation, the wait person pointed to a corner and said, “This way.”
I stepped forward and then WHAM! I stopped and pulled back.
Since I just walked in from outside I still had my sunglasses on. The interior of the eatery was dark and I had walked fast step into a chair.
The wait person, realizing I had suddenly stopped and was bending over in pain, asked, “Are you alright?”
I shook my head and hobbled forward. My leg felt pain, but it did not buckle.
As I took my seat, I changed my glasses to see the group being assembled before me. I smiled the cat smile. More of a grin than a smile.
After ordering drinks, we started small talk, which really did not work well in a packed room with tin ceilings. I could not hear from across the table.
As time proceeded, I could feel the blood oozing down my leg to dye my sock. Now and then I would shake my numb leg. Then the blood started sticking to my jeans to form a clot.
An hour and a half rolled by and we auntie up our potion of the bill. Then it was time to stand up.
I thought my leg might buckle, but it held. Each step was a searing throb to the outside world.
We bid our good byes and parted ways.
I hobbled to my bike, unlocking it and wondering if I could peddle. The first sweep was fine. Actually it was better. A different pressure and bend.
That night, as I took off my jeans, the scab separated to show a golf ball size bulge. It felt hard. Had I broken a bone? Or was it just a clot that would flash to my heart ?
After several days the swelling had not gone down and the purple bruise appeared. Several people asked about the injury. I laughed it off. Rub some dirt in it.
On the third I began to be concerned. A band aid had not cured the problem. What should I do?
The ocean. Salt water is the best doctor. So, for a day I went to the beach to soak the injury in the mother earth. And sure enough it is going away now.
We can handle a lot of bodily pain, without medicines and pills and shots, but the society says we need to take this medicine.
A few years ago I hit a pothole and flew off my bike, face first onto a driveway. A few scratches. Then I noticed I was having problems breathing. My chest was tender and when I pressed the breathing became shallow. I walked the bike home and for a few days of tenderness, I did not ride. Then slowly, then faster, then uphill. The breathing came back. I could still feel a lump on by ribs. Probably cracked a rib or two and maybe stressed a lung, but why go to the doctor for that. Shake it off. Rub some dirt in it.
The beginning of this year I had a different pain. An internal pain, but I could not shake it off or rub dirt in it.
Some of us can handle outside pain better than inside pain. You can’t put a band aid on the soul.

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