Wednesday, you could not have come soon enough. Wednesday is like a little island where you can rest up for your swim to Friday.
I had a pretty good day yesterday, albeit stressful. I had a lot of stuff I wanted to accomplish, including, baking a lasagna before noon. So, I thought I was real smart – I made the noodles the day before, setting the dough out during a quiet moment in the afternoon. After dinner I cut the dough into 12 little balls and rolled them out in neat strips to hang on my laundry rack in a quiet corner of the kitchen. I went to bed feeling pretty pleased with myself, my husband and son praising my pretty noodles as we said our good nights.
I don’t know why I woke up at precisely 4:30 the next morning, but I woke up, good and awake. I realized I wanted to do a bunch of stuff before noon, besides the lasagna, so I jumped out of bed feeling pretty smug. As I squinted my way through the apartment toward the kitchen, I heard the weirdest noise. I knew what it was in an instant – the sound of a perfect noodle dropping off a rack and splintering on the kitchen floor.
I made that Cathy noise – “aaaaaaccccckkkk!” out loud, the dogs started. I reached for the kitchen light and there they were – eleven perfect noodles, folded serenely over the rack, the remaining half of the twelfth teetering precipitously from one curled edge. On each of the others, I could see a crack forming – they were breaking right in front of my eyes and getting ready to head for the floor.
Did I tell you? We have the dogs in the house all the time these days, they’re spoiled completely rotten, and despite my best efforts to vacuum the floor almost every day, the kitchen vinyl looks like a sweater most of the time. My husband and son are squeamish – are all men like that? I could just hear my husband suggesting take-out food if he suspected my gorgeous noodles had mingled with le melange de vivre that covers our kitchen floor. I had to act fast People, I rolled over the kitchen counter like GI Joe, and started yanking those noodles just ahead of Doom. It was the most excitement we’d had in the kitchen since the New Year’s Eve fire that burned down our neighbor’s house.
Got ’em, every last one! The one that had fallen on the floor hadn’t shattered too badly, so I picked up the bigger pieces, blew them off lightly, and stacked them on the counter with the others. What happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.
But that just seemed like the beginning of a very weird day for me, I’m glad to be sitting here telling you about it.
I had also wanted to water the trees and shrubs in my tenant’s yard, and pull out the dying poppies and other spring flowers left brown and frowzy along her fence. It gets pretty hot out there by 9am these days, so I got my gloves and my wheelbarrow and my hose with attached sprinkler and headed out about 7:55. My husband had his chores to do, and then we planned to meet up in the kitchen to make the lasagna. We get real excited about lasagna.
I have three hoses that I string together to water the trees a long my driveway. I attach one to the spigot on my driveway and string them out from there, all the way down our long gravel path. My son is home from college right now and his big F-150 is sitting alongside our front gate. I find that if I sneak along between the truck and the fence with my string of hoses, I get a few extra feet toward my intended areas. There’s a big buck brush there, we planted it from a tiny pot when we moved here, and it’s gotten about 9 feet high and almost as big around. As I struggled through with my lasso of hoses, I bent down to pick up my sprinkler, and when I stood up, WHAM! I found myself laying in the buck brush, really pissed off. I had hit my head on my son’s side view mirror. Holy shit, it hurt so bad, I felt like Kevin Love. I just laid there for a minute, looking up into the spider webs.
I always feel stupid when I hit my head, but I felt no need for the usual concussion protocol. I was just really glad nobody saw me.
My parents noticed when I was small, I am kind of clumsy and not really pulled together good. My dad had to cover his mouth and walk away the day I hit myself in the face trying to start the lawnmower, and later that day, he and my mom decided I probably shouldn’t use a lawnmower. They didn’t teach me to drive until I was 19, and then they fought over whose turn it was. My husband doesn’t like me using tools – he has to start the lawnmower and the leaf blower for me, cause my arms aren’t long enough, and he won’t let me use the weed whacker cause it’s so long I have to strain up on my tiptoes to clear the ground. He lets me use the weed burner, but he always posts himself somewhere he can watch. I don’t like being helpless, but I try to live within my limits.
After yesterday, I must admit, I’m a little worried about myself. I always remember my great pitfalls – like the time my mom told me to watch the neighbor kids playing baseball from the tree in our front yard. She didn’t want me playing with those kids, they were mean, older kids. But she said, it’s okay if you watch from your tree branch, just don’t talk to them.
That plan would have worked just fine, if Tim Baylow hadn’t knocked a fly ball off about the first pitch. I watched it disappear into the sun, and then I heard the sound of branches breaking over my head. I looked up just in time to take that hardball right between the eyes. I let go of my perch without hesitation, like a stricken bird, and I still remember the sound of my head – like a hollow log – hitting the packed dirt underneath our tree.
My mom stood over me with that tired look on her face. “How many fingers am I holding?” she asked in deadpan. “You’re holding a cigarette,” I said in the same deadpan, to much laughter, and then my mom cussed out the neighbors kids and told me to go in the house.
Sometimes I wish I had stayed in the house. Certainly yesterday anyway. But you know the dogs, they are whining to play all day long. Biscuit hardly knows what’s good for her – she wants to run and play in 106 degrees, she doesn’t know better. We lay in the house, finding chores to do, taking naps, reading or watching some tv – then we go out in the cool evening, run around the yard. Sometimes I don’t see so good, it’s dusk and all. Every now and then I make a misstep, and think, “wow, be careful, could get expensive!” Last night I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking, I think. Anyhoo, Badges was just going crazy, running around the yard in circles, and oh well, I don’t know what came over me – I reached out and tried to grab him.
What followed is sketchy, but I’m sure it involved the little rock wall that lines our front lawn, and an instant of hesitation. I knew I shouldn’t step on the rock wall because sometimes the rocks slip. So at the last minute I made one of those slow-mo, Steve Austin moves, tried to jump over the rock wall.
Everything went very slow at that point, I actually yelled to my husband – “oh no, this is it, I’m going to break my foot!” I remember landing on one unsure foot, a sandal not properly strapped, gravel giving way as I went into a terrific skid. My right foot folded itself up, I remember thinking, “is this possible?” as it went limp at the ankle. Suddenly I was standing on the top of my foot. And then I was sitting on it, hard. I still have a pain in my ass that feels just like the heel of a sandal. Yes, I kicked my own ass.
It hurt like blue blazes, I lay on the ground, cursing and calling for my husband. He came over, not having seen The Incident, wondering why I was groveling on the ground. I don’t know how many times he’s told me, stay away from the dogs when they act like that, but I couldn’t resist, the look on Badges face was so completely wild, it made me feel wild too.
I limped off to the garden, wiggling my toes, it seemed to be fine after a quick rub. I went about watering and weeding, etc. Hours later, it was time to go to bed, and all the sudden, the damned thing started to throb. It reminded me of being in labor with my kids – unreal pain, followed by a little lull, followed by another jolt of unreal pain. I had taken an aspirin shortly after The Incident, but that was spit on a griddle. I took another aspirin, propped my foot on a pillow at the bottom of the bed, and proceeded to writhe in pain for about 45 minutes. It felt like somebody was trying to wrench my foot off. And then they’d stop for a second. And then they’d start again.
My husband reminded me of the Vicodin the doctor gave me when I sprained my back real good years ago. Only two pills, he said the sprain would heal, and I wouldn’t need painkillers anymore. I don’t like the “din” pills – when I had dental surgery I used a “din” pill and vomited myself into a tizzy. So, I put the Vicodin in our little lock box, cause they cost $50, and left them, using a heating pad and the “Sit and Be Fit” show to get through the back sprain.
My husband suggested we cut one up into little pieces, try that. I was desperate enough at this point to forget the stomach pain I’d had from pain killers in the past – that sensation that something is trying to eat it’s way out of your stomach. So my husband took out a pill and cut it with a butter knife into tiny sections. I ate one with a glass of water.
Wow, was that something. About 15 minutes later I noticed the pain was ebbing away. I woke up at 4:30 this morning to find my foot hardly hurt at all. I limped around the apartment to check on the dogs and went back to bed, having been up pretty late trying to decide to take the pain killer. The burning stomach feeling woke me up shortly thereafter – I was so glad I had not taken a whole pill.
So I asked my husband, did he save those little bits of pills? Never know when we might need one again. He scraped them back into the tiny envelope, folded it securely and laid it back in our little lock box.
Today I am getting around with a little limp, there’s a weird green lump on the top of my foot where I ground it into the gravel path, and I’ll say it aches a little. Nothing like last night. I will strap my sandals firmly from now on.