Posts Tagged ‘martyr’

Garbage In, Garbage Out


17 Oct

bodies

Among Speaking Bodies

samplex

Originally published on October 17, 1996

Just when one thinks that it would be easier to drain all the seven oceans of salty fish nip than to squeeze another drop of self-pity from the rather mundane story of my life, then boom, another couple of notches later, I find feeling as if downing a jar of extra large crunchy Greek olives and sardines is the highest compliment I can pay myself for the failure of another unpersuasive idea...

This morning while taking out an armful of corrugated cardboard recycleables, I broke my left foot, again! I'm beginning to feel like a sad parody of Tim and his annual collarbone. The foot snapped lengthwise with characteristic audible clarity. I was stepping from the house to the front porch and my unfastened sandles slipped to trigger the occasion. Ten minutes later, wincing on the sofa, with vigor and gruff I jump up at Sue's notice that a man is foraging through our big blue plastic, metal, and glass curbside recycle bags. Once at the door I yell that rather than plunder the dozen or so smaller bags neatly packed inside the big blue ones he should just take off with the whole shebang.

Why is it that I have to guess at you breaking a limb? Why make me assume such nonsense rather than just say it out straight 'I broke my GD left femur!' Don't assume anyone in your audience knows all the details so you can discuss such as old news.
He was an older, maybe sixty year old black man, well-attired, did not exude the aura of a lifelong wino (would it matter?), but he immediately shot back that he wasn't gonna leave a mess. He was merely taking a few cans. I stared in dreaded white silence for ten to fifteeen long seconds before telling him to go ahead. I watched him scavenge for coke and beer cans, leaving the glass wine bottles and plastic milk jugs behind as he rummaged for parts of a penny. I took a bag of cans to the plant once and got nine dollars for what must have been a thousand crushed cans some years ago, never again. Ah, as I write this, the truck pulls up and regards the trash, and rather early today. Two pickups ago, they missed our whole street altogether. Dutiful citizen on even numbered years, I called Publics Works for a rescheduling. Three days later the trash was snagged, after I was told to leave the stuff at the curb indefinitely until pickup. Neighbor Chisley did not, and so had quite a mess two weeks later the next time. However, without too much gross exaggeration it is safe to say we sprawl along the curb other Tuesday more than the whole side of this block of Eighteenth Street combined. The scavenger in good news to the scafflaw followed his word, and the curb was nice and neat after he left, so I guess my starring role as the Billy Goats Gruff foul-toothed troll who lives under the bridge to the 21st century is safely undisturbed.

11dirtyfeet

Side Stepping

Despite this leg drop injury I refuse to rush to the hospital, unmoved by the indignity and the expense of THAT trouble. If I hadn't heard the snap, crackle, and pop at the time of the 265 pound stomp and roll I'd even doubt it was broken. I can even put steady weight upon it, and feel arrgglike pain only when I bend, drag or rest it in a bezier curve along the sofa. But the icy and instant numbing at impact and consequent prickly twinges further identify my condition. Ooh well dearies, fortunately it wasn't my ankle or heel. I still have a fine pair of wooden crutches I inherited for $30 from my last left foot catastrophe in September, 1993. The blood vessel knot and prickly numbness will no doubt subside in a few days if I don't aggravate it by jumping for joy if that Apple monitor ever frickin' gets here. Sue suggests the doctor. Says we've got insurance. Uh, workman's comp for injury on the job? I just ain't inner rested. Who will putter around doing the countless manipulations it takes to keep a hint of order around here? Who wants to lug around some ridiculous cast for six weeks. Oh I know. We'll hire a nanny...

Nausea. Sartre. Simpletons and Simon Magus. Surely I am blessed among men...

Oh course soon after writing this note I receive another nasty reply from my next door neighbor Blumstein, who types, (obviously from his workstation on the job, a job he wished upon me as often as the spirit moved him:

Gah Bree Elle,

Why is it that I have to guess at you breaking
a limb. Why make me assume such nonsense
rather than just say it out straight 'I broke my
GD left femur!' Don't assume anyone in your
audience knows all the details so you can
discuss such as old news.

But the reality is that if you did break your
leg, whichever left and/or right, you should
get it professionally set before it heals in
an obnoxious way and must be broken again
to correct it thus fucking it up even more.
God I hate martyrs...

Blum

It was interesting to discover he cared, even if it took the form of a Blumfisted flame.

Well Bob, it wasn't my left femur, but some bone, perhaps the cuboid, in my left foot. You're right. What I thought was obvious—I stepped on my foot wrong, I suppose some folks, yourself included, might presume that I had stumbled so hard and so recklessly that I would have been hurled forward, broken my leg, or even my neck, such is the beastly public image, brimming creative minds like your own have deployed as the real Gabriel Thy. My apologies.

—GT

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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