Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

with 5 comments

piratespegleg

So here’s the deal: being crippled sucks. I have mad respect for people out there who are saddled with a peg leg – pirates, mostly, with the occasional cartoon character. I salute you and your lifelong commitment to imbalance.

A man walks into his doctor’s office only to find out he’s got just a few weeks to live. The way he walks out is vastly different from how he went in: he feels alone, scared. He worries about his family and their future, about money, about funeral costs. He’s confused by his urge to laugh out loud, and sees the world so differently. He’s appalled by the cliches that are taking up his brain space; his least favorite one, ‘It is what it is,’ continues on a loop in his mind. He wants to shake himself awake, but knows it’s a cliché, too. ‘The blue sky really is bluer when you know you’re going to die,’ he thinks. ‘There was so much that I wanted to do….’ The journey to his car is the longest and most thoughtful walk he’s ever taken in his life. Knowing that it’s going to be one of his last, he decides to enjoy it.

Well FUCK YOU, guy-who-can walk-to-his-car-that-he-operates-with-his-two-working-legs. Oh noes, you’re dying? WELL I CAN’T FUCKING DANCE. So I don’t want to hear your shitty haiku about blue sky and the wind in the trees when you’re capable of walking to the loo without a bathroom buddy. At least you get to walk to your death like a man.

Like the story goes, when I realized what a long haul I was in for, my world blew apart. Four weeks in this cast, four weeks in the next cast, 6-8 weeks in the final cast, then physical therapy and no major activities or sports for a year – my stupid leg will be a wobbly little noodle LIKE FOREVER. And all because of softball, something I PAID to do this summer through 826 Seattle. I need a shirt that says, ‘I Paid $50 To Play Softball & All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt & a $12,000 Surgery.’ On the bright side, I was so poor that the hospital paid for my surgery; the charity dude was like, ‘So when was the last time you worked?’ And when I laughed in his face, he knew immediately that I qualified for assistance.

When told I can’t do something, I get very, very angry. I’m a lasher-outer-immediate-apologizer, so that bi-polar adventure goes something like this: ‘GODDAMNIT, COULD YOU LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE FOR JUST ONE MINUTE. I’m sorry, I’m just really frustrated today and I’m sorry you have to deal with NO YOU CAN’T FUCKING TOUCH ME, FUCKING WHAT THE FUCK! Oh god, I’m SORRY! KILL ME!’ And on and on, ad infinitum. The Esq just pats me on the shoulder and says, ‘If there’s anything you need….’ which of course makes me feel ten thousand times worse. Stupid asshole, being all patient and understanding. I WANNA FIGHT, BITCH.

All of the things that I haven’t done, wanted to do, or dreamed about doing since the day I was born have come home to roost on my sedentary face. And a lot of it is ridiculous – wrestling alligators? climbing Everest? being employed? – but some mornings I wake up in tears, because my dreams are filled with things that I just can’t do. I can’t clean my home properly, and it’s a fucking dump right now; I can’t bake anything, one of my favorite pasttimes; I can’t join you for a meetup or a happy hour or a show, because making it down the stairs in my apartment building wears me out by the time I reach the car. I’m doubly worn out by the simpler things: using the bathroom, trying to do dishes, going up a slight incline. Sex can be a distracting, logistical nightmare – and who has the energy for it after all this bullshit? Still, the show must go on.

Speaking of shows, all I watch now are dancing shows and cooking shows. Apparently I enjoy watching people do that which I cannot, because I’m a glutton for punishment. All of a sudden, I’m watching So You Think You Can Dance, and I care about the outcome. I even have favorites! I know them by name! I watched every YouTube video of that show from previous years, too, and actually cried – REAL TEARS – during an Iraq war-themed hip-hop performance. In my defense, it was PMS-related; I cried later that day when the Esq brought me pita chips instead of Frito’s. Hello, my name is Loser.

As my parents would say, this is just an opportunity for me to learn about myself – and what I’m learning so far, I don’t really like. I don’t like how helpless I feel, or how much of a burden I feel I’m placing on the people around me. I don’t like that I can’t contribute, especially when I worked ONE FUCKING DAY at my new job before injuring myself. I don’t like how dependent I am on interacting with other people. I don’t like that I’m getting depressed from sitting in the same two rooms, every day of my life. HOWEVER – it’s not without some good points: I get more time with the monster and the man, which is nice when I’m not driving them batshit crazy. I get two vacations to our beach cabin this summer, something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I been working. I have time to read and write and nap, three activities that bring me incomparable pleasure. I’m building a healthy addiction to The Sims and The Deadliest Catch. I’m learning how to communicate better. I’m being forced to breathe. So it’s not all bad – I’d just like my fucking legs back, thanks.

When people ask me how I ripped my Achilles tendon off, I amuse myself by lying to them: I told one doctor I was running a marathon; I told another that my boyfriend did it, while the Esq was out of the room. He didn’t believe me.

Me: You know, beneath his laid-back, stick-like appearance lies the insanely jealous heart of a murderer!’

Doc: Well he seemed nice.

Me: You’ll be quoted as saying that right after they find my body.

Doc: (writing) Ha, ha.

Me: No, seriously – if he had done something, what would you guys do?

Doc: Since it says here you injured yourself playing softball, we’ll just focus on that. If it said you were pushed down the stairs, well – that’s a different story.

Me: But I could be lying! He could have pushed me down the stairs, and I just made up the softball thing!

Doc: If you were going to lie about how you injured yourself, would you really pick ‘softball’?

Me: No. I’d pick cagefighting.

Doc: Exactly.

I told a woman I broke my ankle, because she looked confused by the words ‘Achilles’ and ‘tendon.’ I told an old high school friend that I was waterskiing; I’ve never been waterskiing. Car accident, elephant trampling, stick-fighting, running across the street to get Luke Perry’s autograph, moonwalking in preparation for Michael Jackson’s death, sky-diving, flesh-eating bacteria, gang initiation, warding off the religious, and ‘I don’t know.’ That one was hilarious – some guy at the library said, ‘So how’d you do THAT?’ And I was like, ‘Hmm… I dunno.’ He looked really confused and walked off. I’ve used all of these excuses and more. My favorite one, though, is that I was laying waste to Troy. That just sounds hardcore.

We leave today for a week at the beach cabin – Oregon coast, here we come! – and we’ll be back next Wednesday. There’s no TV or internet, although I’m hoping to finagle a little WiFi down there – so this is my last communication until then. Any comments can be seen from my phone, but I can’t manually approve them until I get back. If you want to follow our vacation updates, I’ll be doing so from my Twitter account. See you on the other side!

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Written by sn0tteh

July 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM

5 Responses

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  1. You got rage! I love that and pity those closest to you. Take up jewelry making or something involving small tactile efforts. Watch When Harry Met Sally. Feel sorry for yourself because you have earned the right to bitch and moan.

    Elizabeth Lee

    July 16, 2009 at 1:37 PM

  2. Sorry about your achilles. Scott severed BOTH of his achilles, but he couldn’t dance to begin with, so no big loss. His positive spin was that if he lived 200 years ago, they would have just shot him like an injured race horse because he would have been useless.

    Erin

    July 16, 2009 at 1:54 PM

  3. I heard you rescued a bus load of nuns from falling of of a cliff into a river of gasoline and pirannahs. Just sayin’…

    Libby

    July 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM

  4. This is just one of the many reasons I do not exercise. Did you cry during that episode of Deadliest Catch when dude’s little sister died? Me either……………….

    kimwaters

    July 16, 2009 at 7:40 PM

  5. Shit. That sucks, dude.

    I’m sure you’re full of all the sympathy, but yeah. I’m sorry.

    Badass Geek

    July 24, 2009 at 11:09 AM


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