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November 22, 2004 - 10:18 am

TRIPPING TIGER, BLEEDING DRAGON

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Saturday, two days after my miscellaneous birthday, I was out for a run, when five miles into it, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and Royally Busted My Ass. I think that’s a medical term.

It probably wouldn’t have been as bad if I’d been wearing some clothes, but since I run in as little material as I can legally get away with, my skin was the only thing coming between my bones and the pavement. The pavement came out on top.

My first response was, naturally, a string of expletives. My next move was to get up as casually as I could, given my compromised position, and look around to see if any cars or people were laughing at me. I hate when cars laugh at me. Except for one SUV stopped at an intersecting side street, I don’t think anyone noticed (yeah, right). This one SUV, though, was perfectly poised to see the whole show, from the droll look on my face as I realized what was about to happen, to the Crouching Tiger Duck-and-Roll move (a split-second decision to save my hands, MY HANDS!), to the cat-like I-Meant-To-Do-That recovery. I’m sure they’re still laughing about that one.

Since I have the world’s highest pain threshold, it really didn’t hurt much and I looked at the whole thing like a car accident: assess the damage and try to guess how much time and money will be required to fix it. My legs were fine, so I started running home. About a quarter-mile later I realized blood was streaming down my arm from my shoulder, my elbow, and my wrist. Since I was just approaching my friend Diane’s house – horror movie style – I considered cleaning up a bit there, but then thought better of traumatizing her three kids at 8:30 in the morning with the carnage that once was my right arm. On, on!

My rhythm must have been off after that because about a mile on down the road I WRENCHED MY ANKLE. Godbless@#$%!^&*!@!%&$!! In a moment of clarity I faced the possibility that I may not be the gazelle that I imagine myself to be. But did that stop me? No way, my friends. I walked it off like the non-gazelle superhero that I most definitely am and continued running for another two miles.

When I got home, John went off to work leaving me to shower and bandage myself one-armed before having to get to an appointment on a job site where I quickly understood that measuring takes more effort than you’d think when you have ground your arm down to a fine paste.

By noon, it really hurt. The bandages were soaked through and stuck to all raw areas, and I realized that it was more than a mere flesh wound. My muscles were sore and my shoulder and elbow were black and blue and swollen with lumps. I could barely lift my arm, and we were having Johnny, Naomi, Alan, and Julie over for dinner later for my birthday. I was useless and unenthusiastic. Super!

Dinner was great though. It was fun seeing John run around doing stuff trying not to look stressed. He always looks so uncomfortable in the kitchen, and for some reason, I find that amusing to watch. Alan and Julie gave John a hand when they got there, and they all really pulled it off: grilled New York strip, blackened and broiled Mahi-Mahi and Grouper, grilled shrimp, salad, asparagus and homemade yeast rolls, and for dessert, an ice-cream cake.

So, I guess my birthday is officially over, and as far as I’m concerned, I could never celebrate another one and I’d be just as happy as a gazelle.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading - "For Geraldine On Her Miscellaneous Birthday" -Bob Dylan
viewing - Chariots of Fire
listening -“Blood and Chocolate” by Elvis Costello

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