Monday, August 27, 2007


I should explain my mysterious terrible day post.

Last night I was backing away from my desk. I haven't really internalized the layout of my new place yet. I bump into stuff. Last night, backing up, I grazed a chair in the kitchen. I meant to pull my hand off the controller but my pinky finger hung on, caught. This is a problem as the weight of my hand, and to a degree my arm, is hanging on the controller, this time sending me backwards into the little table and chairs. The ensuing ruckus pins me between the table/chairs and the stainless steel counter top beside the oven. And by me, I mean my face, the right side, pinned against the steel, my body's weight resting there. I got the god damned pinky off the controller (if I have some sort of wreck or swerve the pinky is usually the cause -- I don't flex the wrist and fingers right and I lift my hand high to move the rest of my hand except it) but otherwise I was stuck. I tried calling for help but these brick walls insulate pretty well. After a while, I gave up and began figuring my way through waiting it out. Relaxing, ignoring it, which is a silly thought. But you think it.

To be short: I was that way for two hours. My cousin dropped by, who has keys. Luckily, we'd made nebulous plans earlier in the day.

When he helped me up, I was sore as hell, stiff, my face throbbing. A bit rattled from two hours or so of incessant pain but also a kind of exhilaration -- that it was over, the pain already fading, from my side at least. My face, my cheek, is sore.

Otherwise, back to normal.


The day began well enough: Sunday brunch at Pearl's Cafe. A seat by the corner window. Catfish, green beans, potatoes. Tea. Not bad at all.

I'd been finished a while, still watching the cars traffic through the square, when a couple in their sixties, I'd guess, walked in. Both were good looking but he led her and she seemed to dodder, to be unsure. Early onset of dementia. He was talking to the hostess, let go of her hand. When she looked towards me something in her mind sparked. She walked to me, put her hand on my shoulder. She said, clear as day:

"You must be the joy of the muse."

Then her husband had her hand once more and her language fell apart in her mouth. He led her away, dimmed.


Jen said...

what a divine moment.

Ginger Heatter said...

Damn, that sucks! Having a black belt in clumsiness, I've often relied on my cell phone to get me out of scrapes. Would something like that work for you, in case you got stuck again and didn't have someone coming over, or had another incident like the one on the sidewalk the other day? If a teenager can unlock an iPhone for use on other networks, maybe you could find a whiz kid on campus willing to customize something for you in case you needed help? Apologies if you've already considered this before. I have problem-solver psychosis. In traffic, I tend to mentally invent wild new transportation schemes, like gondola lift style personal transportation pods linked to a sophisticated network of automated cables, knowing full well they're probably not in our future. ;-)

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing your moment with us.

ruth ann

Matthew Guenette said...

Near the end of her life, all morphined up and such, my mother once said, laughing, "how much poundage can this life take?"

Apparently quite a bit. Great post, man.

Annandale Dream Gazette said...

Ginger's idea sounds good. Maybe find 2 nearby friends (do you know anybody there) and put them on large-button speed dial & leave the phone on speaker phone & attach it to the chair?

Sounds awful. But your reaction was admirable, in that you didn't panic or freak out...not that that's much of a consolation.

So should everybody start referring to you now as Joy? (or Paul-Joy?) If you are truly their Joy, put in a good word for me, will you? Those damned bitches have been letting me down lately.

msw said...

Have you ever thought about wearing a really fancy gold ring on that hand? I bet you would be so proud of it that you would constantly flex your hand to show it off. It would build your strength in the hand so that your pinky wouldn't get caught and give you a conversation piece for making new friends. Fancy gold rings aren't cheap but I think it would be worth it.

Anonymous said...

i think you received the greatest compliment anyone ever could, and it was well-deserved. there's no doubt you're the joy of the muse; she's blessed you with poetic genius.

Leslie said...

On the other hand (pun intended) if you go with the gold ring approach, maybe the muggers will set you back upright after they steal the ring.

I have a poem about an alzheimers moment with a man in Baltimore...

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Meditation? Does it only work when it's voluntary? Probably. I'm a lousy meditator. Head loud. Hate sitting still.

I bet you lay there imagining "gondola style lift transportation pods". I woulda.