Day 10 of #100DaysToOffload
Almost a year ago I fell from the rafters of my attic, through the ceiling of the first floor, and down to the hard floor. I landed like a gymnast, sticking the landing and bending the legs, trying to absorb the impact, and I collapsed to the ground. I don't know whether the ankle got ripped when I started to fall and had to twist it out of the corner where my foot had jammed in the rafters or whether it was from the impact itself, or a bit of both, but the result was that when I tried to stand, feeling mostly bruised, I collapsed back to the floor. I glanced at the ankle enough to know that it was no longer straight.
The paramedic said, upon entering the room, “Well, that doesn't look right.”
That was almost a year ago, and I am grateful that the damage wasn't worse. A surgery and months of recovery means I can get up each morning and go for a walk. Or bike or go up stairs or stand and work or any other everyday sort of thing. To anyone else, there's no difference from before. They sometimes forget that it happened.
I didn't want to be up there in those rafters. I said as much and protested. The pretext was minor and, after all, I said, I would call the professionals the next day. But she couldn't wait and insisted and wouldn't let that suffice. I just wanted to have lunch, maybe a picnic, with the kids. Marriage is a complicated thing.
And so I was up in the attic, for the n-teenth time, investigating a phantom smell which I couldn't do much about even if I found the source. I thought I might be attacked by a raccoon, but more likely I was looking for the remains of some unfortunate squirrel, just so curiosity could be sated and she might leave me the fuck alone about this mystery and stop complaining that the company that had addressed this issue already had in fact screwed up and we'd been ripped off and so forth. But since I hadn't found the mysterious source of the phantom smell in the previous times, now I had to investigate the stratosphere of the attic, only reachable by climbing to the higher rafters. And so I was another person-length higher, 6 feet up so I could peer to the furthest unfathomable corners, on angling rafters that I think of now and thank the world that I chose to climb there, rather than a few feet to the other side, where there was concrete or glass or other deadly obstacles beneath.
The skin on the top of my foot doesn't feel right anymore. There's a nerve that runs down the side and they have to move it to do the surgery. Nerves don't like being moved. Or touched.
Marriages are complicated things. When I fell the first thing she said, after hearing my scream and running into the room, was “I'm a horrible wife” and I could hear the concern. I wasn't a jerk to wonder where that concern was 30 minutes earlier.
I didn't want to be up there but she insisted. I had told her so. I told her I just wanted to eat lunch. And then I harrumphed and went up there so she would leave me alone about it.
The ankle aches sometimes, especially when it is going to rain. I finally have that farmers' divining rod that I never needed.
There's a nasty scar on both sides. I don't feel so bad about that. I usually only see the one on the one side of my ankle.
The surgery went extra long and they didn't give her any updates and so she sat in the parking lot worried about the worst and, though I wasn't there to see it, apparently broke down and stayed there instead of doing the sane thing and going home until they called.
I shouldn't have enjoyed that little bit of pain inflicted.
I was simply minding my own business in the pandemic. Getting my monk on. But some people can't sit quietly in a room. They smell things, grow disturbed that something might be amiss, and then make their husbands dig around in dangerous attics.
Sometimes the ankle aches, on the left side, or on the heel.
Something else happened this past year, and I doubt it is unrelated. I rediscovered joy, in my work, in many things, in friends I thought I had lost to time and distance, in everyday things.
Sometimes I notice an ache. (Sometimes I ignore it.) And what's now probably permananent, though you would never know to look, the skin tingles.